Steve Tvedten's "The Bug Stops Here"
ALTERNATIVES YOU CAN USE TO SAFELY ELIMINATE COMMON PESTS
IN AND AROUND HOMES, APARTMENTS, SCHOOLS AND WORKPLACES
In the following sections we have truly attempted to tell you some of the easiest, fastest, safest, most inexpensive and most effective practical ways to eliminate many of the most common pests in and around your home. We have only talked generically about pest control, e.g., roaches and not discussed in this small volume the many differences between German roaches or American roaches or any other individual species. We have attempted to list the most practical and simplest choices first. Some of these treatments may not be appropriate for children and pets, or even for you, so please use the safest alternative or leave the pest problem alone. We have only included controls for only some of the most common pests; even so, you should be able to safely control most pest problems in your home with the "tools" in this little book. For more details or information about other pest problems and hundreds of other alternative pest controls, read Steve Tvedten's book on CD-ROM entitled The Best Control© available at Safe2Use or call 1-800-221-6188. For even greater details and thousands of safe and far more effective alternative pest controls, read The Best Control II© on CD-ROM.
The use of Intelligent Pest Management or IPM prevents or greatly decreases the number of pests and the potential pest damage. It costs less, is more effective and is far safer than the use of volatile pesticide poisons. The goal of true IPM approach should always be to manage pests and the environment so as to balance costs, benefits, human health and environmental quality. IPM programs apply a holistic approach to pest management emphasizing natural biological methods, and the appropriate use of selective, safer products called Pestisafes®.
|Basic Knowledge: You must first find out what pests you have and then what they want and need. Why do they want to stay in and around your home? Eliminate these factors and, obviously, most indoor or outdoor pests will be eliminated in direct proportion to your efforts.|
If you must use spot applications of non-volatile pesticide poisons, use them only as a last resort, but only after trying all other options first and, by law, use them only according to the labeled instructions.
PREVENTION - This is the Very Best Control or Defense. It is the beginning of Intelligent Pest Management®.
To an insect or rodent, your home or building and its surroundings is a macro-environment consisting of thousands of micro-environments; many with their own "climate", moisture, temperature, food and/or conditions conducive to their invasion or infestation. All creatures have the same four requirements we have for survival: food, water, shelter, and warmth. Most structure invading pests are controlled when you simply control water (moisture for drinking and the relative humidity) because water is their most critical survival factor. So properly ventilate, install and maintain dehumidifiers, fans and/or air conditioners and quickly correct/repair all moisture problems.
Inspection: The second best control you can use is to conduct a proper and thorough inspection - 90% of your pest problem will be in 10% of your building or lawn. If you don't see anything during the day, conduct a nighttime search and destroy mission using a red (or black) light. You must look everywhere.
Imagination and Common Sense: The third best control is your mind; it is 200,000 times bigger than most of your pests, so think before you act - many controls can be as simple as vacuuming up the pest, closing a window or vent, caulking, stepping on the "bug" or tuning on a fan or dehumidifier. Common sense is not too common.
Decrease moisture: Properly install and maintain vents, vapor barriers, fans, air conditioners, and/or dehumidifiers. Moisture is the major destructive factor to homes and the major key to pest control elimination. Control moisture and you control pests and damage to your building.
KEEPING THEM OUT
Exclusion: Seal cracks: The first defense is making sure pests don't get into your home. Crawling pests enter through cracks in or around the foundation or siding or doors and windows, while flying insects usually come in through open doors and windows. An annual inspection of the foundation and siding to caulk cracks (use good quality sealant) is a good idea. Be particularly careful to seal around exterior plumbing and electrical outlets. Make sure that door thresholds have good weather stripping under them and that the door and windows seal well when shut. Check that screens on windows, crawl space vents, and attic vents are intact and sealed around the edges. Remember 80% - 90% of all insect infestations migrate from the outside into your structure. Only 5 types of pests are generally carried inside buildings to create pest infestations; they are German cockroaches, fleas, stored product pests, mice and Pharaoh ants, so inspect for them. Don't forget to install door sweeps.
Use of screens: Window screens are excellent for keeping insects out of a house, but screen doors are not very effective. This is because flies and mosquitoes are attracted to people or food odors so they hang around outside screen doors and whisk inside every time the door is opened. Try to ventilate the house adequately without screen doors, at least on heavily used entrances. If screen doors are used, they should have strong spring closures that shut the door quickly and tightly.
Use of glueboards, duct tape and repellents: Prevent many pest invasions by properly using glueboards or duct tape and by sprinkling dry Tide laundry soap powder or talcum powder or medicated body powder or Comet® or food-grade DE as a barrier inside and outside.
Manage lights: Good design and management of exterior lighting is important to prevent insect problems.
Avoid leaving porch lights on all evening to collect a cloud of moths and other insects and/or predators, e.g., bats. Every time the door is opened, the insects swirling around the light are swept into the house. Minimize the attraction time by turning porch lights on only when they are needed. Sensor lights that switch on in response to motion are ideal because they light the area for arriving guests, but switch off after a few minutes (saves energy too).
When designing the lighting around the exterior of a new home, don't put light fixtures directly above the doors, especially over doors to decks or patios that might be used a lot in the evening. Place flood or spot lights a few feet away from the door and direct the light onto porches and stairs. This illuminates them safely, while keeping the mesmerized insects away from your door.
Use yellow bulbs in yard light fixtures; flies and moths are not as attracted to yellow as they are to ordinary white light bulbs, or try sodium vapor lighting.
Manage the garbage: Keep garbage in sturdy, tightly covered containers and wash them out regularly with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint and borax. This prevents flies from breeding and reduces the attraction for ants, yellowjackets and other insects. If the kitchen food garbage can be composted daily, the trash will contain little that is attractive to insects. Where composting is not possible, tightly wrap up kitchen garbage, take it out frequently to a covered trash can, and dispose of it in sealed plastic bags. Avoid letting old clothes, newspapers, paper bags, cardboard, empty cans, and other trash accumulate in storage rooms, garages, etc., as these provide breeding sites for many household pests.
Manage your soil: Healthy, organic soil prevents many pest and weed problems.
Always remember: No one control will ever work in every situation. Try the simplest and safest control first and then, if that doesn't work, try some of the other control suggestions or a combination of the safer control suggestions. If you still don't get control, &read the appropriate chapter in The Best Control© or The Best Control II©.
Be sure you are not sensitive to any control suggestion and keep all controls out of the reach of children, pets and wildlife.
Top | Table of Contents | Next