Steve Tvedten's "The Bug Stops Here"
Copyright and Disclaimer
Located at:

Table of Contents


If I asked you to roll around and/or climb on concertina (razor) barb wire - you would think the request absurd - yet ants can climb all over it without harm - you can powder your baby's bottom with talcum powder, but ants will leave an area where talcum is sprinkled.

Volatile, synthetic pesticide poisons were basically invented to kill man - why try using them on insects? Unlike the "professional" pest control industry that only has one "tool" to control pest problems -volatile, synthetic pesticide poisons - we want you to begin to understand my "tool box". The following are only a few of my favorite things or "tools" or Pestisafes® to control or repel the species of pesticide resistant insects that annoy man and/of that damage his crops and/or the other nuisance wildlife that "bug" him.

The poison "industry" and "some" regulating people want to "register" these Pestisafes® as "pesticides" because they kill, repel and/or control pests better than "their" registered economic pesticide poisons do - to them I ask the simple question, "If I crush a resistant ant with an ice cube and then the ice cube melts, is the moisture and/or vapor still an unregistered `pesticide'?" It is my understanding that all materials generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and/or naturally occurring things do not need to be legally registered unless you want to claim or make them all proprietary products.

We know that if we try to kill a pest with "their" volatile, synthetic pesticide poisons - "their" poisons and inerts often can and do remain behind to contaminate and harm us, our children, pets, food, water, homes and environment for a long time - the toxic pesticide poisons that remain to contaminate and create pesticide resistance are not simply moisture or vapor, but dangerous poisons! It seems simply amazing and implausible to me that my techniques and Pestisafes® that are safer, less expensive, more effective, scientifically provable, field tested and result oriented would meet such resistance - especially from "open-minded scientists." But, to them, I would say you can not serve the public and your own selfish, archaic interests. You either love your fellow man or you love money and power more.

1. BAITS - Why use baits?

Baiting for German cockroaches:

Termite baits are just starting to be introduced and be used.  The best termite bait station is the made of rolled cardboard and described in The Best Control II©.  A termite bait station to be effective must be properly placed near the structure, but away from soils contaminated with termiticide poisons.  Virtually any diluted antibiotic or salt spray will quickly kill a feeding colony of termites.  As EPA and environmental concerns limit traditional termiticides, people will rely more on baits.  Trying to get a feel for the colony is important for treatments, esp. baits.  Worker termites and supplemental queens are the ones to key on with your bait treatments.  Placement is important.  Use ½% - 1% disodium octoborate tetrahydrate or table salt or borax as the maximum amount of toxin in your (cardboard or cellulose insulation) baits, or use Flagyl® or goldenseal which also helps to kill the protozoa and bacteria in their guts.

2.  BENEFICIALS - Beneficial insects are classified into two major groups: 1) Predators that attack, kill, and eat their prey and 2) Parasites which lay eggs in or on a host which later hatch and kill the host.  Pathogens are a third group of beneficial organisms e.g., bacteria, viruses, and/or fungi which invade the host and cause disease.  Insects, nematodes, BT, milky spore, decollate snails, microbial fungicides, streptomycin bacteria, lacewings, predatory mites, lady bugs, praying mantis, earwigs, yellow jackets, and/or predator wasps, mealy bug destroyers, etc.  The costs are varied and the types of beneficials extremely varied, e.g., the lacewing is not mobile at the time of application and must be applied directly to the infested area, while adult lady bugs can be released to find their own target pests, but lady bugs are captured and not raised and may be out of stock.  There are many suppliers and, as with most trends, you can expect more to come on line.  Many of the companies who supply beneficials also employ consultants.  These consultants typically have a wealth of knowledge regarding specific traits and tendencies that each beneficial is capable of demonstrating.  The 5 listed below are just a fraction of what is out there:  

Main Street 
Locke, NY 13092-0300 
ARBICO Environmental 
P. O. Box 4247CRB 
Tucson, AZ 85738 
1-800-827-2847 (BUGS) 
Rte. 1 - Box 39 
Quemado, TX 7877
1-315-497-3129  1-800-832-1113
Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc. 
P. O. Box 1555
Ventura, CA 93002-1555 
Biocontrol Network
5116 Williamsburg Rd.
Brentwood, TN 37027
1-800-441-2847 (BUGS)

Biological control of pests involves the use of one living organism to control another.  For example, most arthropod pests have natural enemies or disease organisms that control or suppress them effectively under some conditions or in some situations.  Occasionally insects or microorganisms contribute to the control of certain weeds.  Many microorganisms also provide natural control of pest birds and rodents.  Sometimes biological control can be an important component of a pest management program by taking advantage of these helpful organisms.  When natural enemies or microorganisms are present, efforts can be made to protect them so they may increase in number and help control pests more effectively.

One of the first references to natural pest control comes from J. C. London (1850) in his “Encyclopedia of Gardening (Book III, pg. 819) when he suggested a toad kept in a mushroom  house will eat worms, ants and other insects, but to most people the idea would be disgusting of a toad crawling over anything intended for the table.”  

3.  BORAX, OR SODIUM TETRABORATE, - is a combination of sodium, boron and oxygen, and is mined from the soil in its crude form. Boric acid is a crystalline material derived from borax. Caution: Remember, boric acid and all boron products can act as a stomach poison when ingested. While 20 Mule Team Borax® is extremely effective in controlling or eliminating ants, termites, weeds, lice, fleas, spiders and roaches, the Dial Corporation notes, "This product has not been tested nor received approval from the EPA for use as a pesticide." Even so if you mop or spray the floors, voids, sill boxes, tunnels, backs of furniture, appliances and other areas where you see insect pests with borax - you will be surprised on how great the material controls virtually all pests. It has been used for years to make cellulose insulation insect free and fire retardant. It also is great for removing stains in carpeting and/or odors in urinals, etc. - so mop to remove odors and to help clean - in doing so you will also control pests "accidentally". In their 1920 - 1928 Burroughs Welcome & Co. (USA) Inc. catalogue they note borax (Sodii boras) is an antiseptic, used for lotions, mouthwashes, and gargles. Also given internally for epilepsy. Note: Chroma Trim Gum® includes 200 mcg of boron (as sodium borate) as a "food supplement". The use of borax to disinfect: Mix ½ cup of borax in 1 gallon of hot water to disinfect all surfaces. This mix will also inhibit mold growth. Borax and boron products should not be eaten or ingested! Be careful not to contaminate food, utensils, pets or people.

4. BORIC ACID - Boric acid and its salts have been used for pest control for over a hundred years, and in folk remedies for more than 1000 years. Boric acid baits have been used since the late 1800's. Boric acid has been used in medicine since the time of Lister in the 1860's. It was first used to protect wood in the U. S. in the 1920's against blue stain fungi. The fire retardant properties of boric acid were discovered in the 1930's. Celcure® was patented in 1933 to prevent wood fungi decay. These substances are various forms of boron which also routinely is found normally circulating at low levels in our blood streams. Boric acid and other insecticidal dusts are inorganic pesticides that have other uses besides their insect killing power. For example, boric acid is a wonderful pesticide as a 99.95% pure dust formulation, but in a 1% water solution, it is commonly used as an eyewash. Most dust formulations have an abrasive action on the insect which removes the waxy coating on the exterior of the insect's body. The waxy coating is used to retain water and without it the insect quickly dies from dehydration. Be careful not to contaminate food, utensils, pets or people with any (boron) product!

5. BUG JUICE COCKTAIL - Blend ½ cup aphids or 1 cup infested leaves and 2 cups water strain and spray. If you see a handful or two of your garden's cabbage loopers are chalky white and weak - they are infected with nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV) - put loopers in blender with water, strain and spray over crops. The remaining pests will die in several days - try a mixture of bugs, strain, and spray. Collect ½ cup of any specific pest and mash well. Mix with 2 cups water, and strain. Mix ¼ cup of this bug juice and a few drops of soap with 2 cups of water, and spray. Don't make yourself sick, too! Use nonfood utensils, a mask and wear plastic gloves.

6. CARBON DIOXIDE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS OR DRY ICE - can be used to freeze pests, e.g., an entire hornet or wasp nest, which can then be safely removed and placed inside double plastic bags, frozen for several days or buried. You can also freeze other insects, e.g., roaches. Carbon dioxide fumigation has been widely used to treat stored grain. Grain bins and other structures have also been routinely treated with carbon dioxide to eradicate insect infestations. We believe the insect opens up its breathing apparati when exposed to high levels of CO2 and then suffocates from the lack of oxygen. Carbon dioxide will also suffocate rats and other mammals in their tunnels. Concerns have been raised regarding the production of carbonic acid from the CO2 and the water in the chamber and its subsequent danger.

7. CAULK - Seal all visible cracks, crevices, voids, and other openings (that you can insert a business card into) to prevent and/or control many pest problems.

8. CHARCOAL - Activated charcoal filters can remove dust mite and cockroach allergens and/or odors and clean chemicals out of the air when you put one on both sides of a running box window fan.

9. CHAROCAL BRIQUETTES - Lit briquettes create carbon monoxide and when placed in tunnels - carbon monoxide is heavier than air - and all living things die that breathe this gas. Be careful if you try this control and first check regarding any ordinances that would prohibit it's use.

10. DEHUMIDIFIERS - When properly installed, dehumidifiers (and/or air conditioners) reduce moisture and many pest problems including termites, mold, carpenter ants, mildew, roaches, sow bugs, earwigs, fungus, etc. are all eliminated or at a minimum greatly controlled. Air conditioners, fans, and/or dryers also help reduce the relative humidity - most insects/spiders/termites/fungus/mold/etc. need high levels of humidity to survive - often if you just reduce the humidity - you can control all of these pests. Add a fan to increase the desiccant action.

11. DETERGENTS - are surfactants, or surface active agents, basically washing compounds that mix with grease and water; they form a "bridge" between lipophilic substances and water-soluble substances and thus enhance penetration of water, insecticides, oils, or enzymes. Richards and Korda (1948) found that detergents disrupt not only the lipoid layer of the epicuticle but also the protein layers of the endocuticle. The properties rendering a detergent most effective are (1) enough liposolubility to penetrate and emulsify the epicuticular wax, (2) sufficient solubility in water (i.e., not excessively lipophilic), and (3) ability to penetrate the outer cement layer of the epicuticle. Obviously, once the cuticle is comprised by the detergents - insecticide poisons are not necessary to control the insects. Make sure your detergent does not have any hazardous or prohibited "inerts". While detergents are synthetic, some of their ingredients can be natural. Detergents were developed during World War II when the oils needed to make soap became scarce.

12. DIATOMACEOUS EARTH (DE) - Diatomaceous earth is a mineral product mined from the fossilized silica shell remains of unicellular or colonized algae from the class Bacillariaphyceae, better known as diatoms. There are many different companies that sell DE. The Author recommends the product sold by Safe Solutions, Inc. Most registered DE has pyrethrin and pipernoyl butoxide (PBO). Some unregistered (without pyrethrin and PBO) food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is safe enough to be eaten, yet will kill most crawling insects. Be sure you have the best quality. Make sure the DE you use meets World Health Organization (WHO) safety standards. WHO cautions that DE with a crystalline silica content over three percent (3%) is dangerous for ingestion by humans or animals. Safe Solutions, Inc. DE has less than 1% free silica. Swimming pool DE ranges from 60% to 70% free silica. The Author does not recommend the use of swimming pool DE. Safe Solutions, Inc. food-grade DE can be used as a dry dust or wettable powder. To make a wettable powder mix, use 4 tablespoons of product per gallon of water and add a ¼ teaspoon of Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner per gallon of mix.  For more information or purchase go to:

The Safe Solutions, Inc. diatomaceous earth pictured below shows a well preserved, impurity-free DE product.


DiaFil (Fresh Water Diatoms)
(Scanning electron photomicrograph, X 1000)

13. DUSTS - Road dust, talcum powder, Comet® cleanser and many other fine dusts kill insects by desiccation and/or suffocation. Dusts clog the spiracles or breathing holes of insects.

14. ENZYME CLEANERS - The 5th Edition of Truman's Scientific Guide to Pest Control Operations described "The Ideal Pesticide". "Ideally any pesticide will act rapidly on pests, yet be completely harmless to people, domestic animals, wildlife, and other aspects of the environment. Its residues would only last as long as was necessary to create the desired effect, usually for very short periods. It would also be inexpensive and readily available in necessary quantities, chemically stable (before application), non-flammable, and otherwise safe to use around homes or industrial sites. It would be easily prepared and applied, non-corrosive and non-staining, and it would have no undesirable odor. Unfortunately, no such (synthetic) pesticide exists."

Purdue University and Advanstar Communications (Pest Control Magazine) worked on this 1997 Pest Control Manual, but they were, obviously, still unaware the Author, Stephen L. Tvedten, had begun working with and using and field testing the perfect (pesticide) or Pestisafe™ based on natural pest control.

In addition to their (perfect pesticide poison descriptive) list, Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with (or without) Peppermint is, in the Author's opinion, the finest enzyme cleaner out there and it will never create any pest resistance problems, for it truly is the perfect pesticide and the entire compound contains only ingredients that are considered food grade or GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) and can be used virtually everywhere, even when people are sick, under 1, over 60, pregnant and/or chemically sensitive to control even pesticide-resistant pests.

The Author has watched insects and spiders die in 10 - 30 seconds when this particular enzyme cleaner is mixed at a rate of 1 oz. per quart of water. The U. S. EPA prohibits any/all claims that any registered pesticide poison is either safe or non-toxic. That is just another reason why the Author calls the Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint a Pestisafe™ rather than a pesticide poison.

Insectivore plants produce and also use protease enzymes to digest their insect prey. Spiders produce and inject protease enzymes to predigest their prey and all molting insects produce a small amount of protease enzyme to serve as a chemical "zipper" so they can split open their exoskeletons when they molt and increase in their size; without the protease enzyme they would be trapped inside their own exoskeletons and be crushed to death by their own growth.

Fogging and/or lightly spraying Safe Solutions Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint in or on gardens, lawns, orchards, fields, swamps, and/or directly on insects, washing floors, linen, clothing, pets, hair, etc. will quickly and safely result in virtually instant pest control. We strongly recommend you only use diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint (that contain protease enzymes) to control virtually all mites, arachnids, insects, fungus, mildew and mold pests. Most enzyme products or cleaners available at swimming pool supply or cleaning or janitorial supply houses use bacteria to create "their" enzymes, e.g., pet mess cleaners, drain openers and septic tank cleaners - some of the bacteria or acidic pH may be harmful to you and yours and none of them are patented or tested for this use. Use the U. S. patent pending and Australia patented Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint at a rate of 1 oz. per quart of water to clean virtually everything and incidentally to control virtually all indoor pests or 1 - 2 oz. per head for lice control, or 1 oz. - 2 oz. per dog for flea control, or 1 oz. - 2 oz. per 3 gallons of water as a soak for ant nests, or 1 oz. per 4 gallons of water for agriculture use, or 1 oz. per gallon of water or for use as a floor cleaner.

The body surface of insects consists of a hard skin known as the cuticle - the major pesticide pathway is cuticular penetration. The insect cuticle is hydrophobic so that it can resist desiccation and drowning but the Safe Solutions, Inc. enzymes and surfactants quickly and safely cut through this protective shell. Synthetic pesticide poisons use light oils, dusts and/or volatile solvents to help penetrate this same cuticle. Caution: Remember, these Safe Solutions enzymes will kill all insects including beneficials - so use them outside with great discretion! Note: You can adjust the Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner dilution rate (1 - 500 or about ¼ oz. of enzyme cleaner per gallon of water) when spraying to control soft-bodied pests, e.g., aphids - lady bugs and other beneficials will not be destroyed at this rate. Gabriel Cousins, M.D. has stated, "All life depends on enzyme function. When our enzymes are deplete, so is our vital force and health." Be careful to spray a few leaves and check if any plant is sensitive before you spray the entire plant. You should also spray a small area first to see if there is any sensitivity or staining before washing to spraying the entire animal, plant or area. You can purchase Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with (or without) Peppermint by calling the office at 1-888-443-8738 or online from Safe2Use. This cleaner is not sold by Safe Solutions, Inc. as a pesticide.

15. EXCLUSION - Keep pests from entering with screens, properly fitting doors and windows, caulk, cement, rodent guards, etc. You can fill large voids/cavities with aerosol foam insulation. Screening Caution: Screening will severely restrict air flow into vents, so if you need to screen vents, build a box with a surface area large enough to allow proper air flow. Your screen manufacturer will provide you with tables that determine how much the air flow will be restricted.

16. FANS - will control roaches in kitchens if left on 24 hours a day for several weeks and when used outside will safely keep mosquitoes at bay. To control dust and dust mites take a (square box) window fan, using duct tape attach two furnace filters (cut to size) to the fan grills on both the intake and exhaust sides. Turn on the fan and it will filter dust and mites from the air - use activated charcoal filters and you also remove odors, pesticides and increase filtration results.
Change charcoal filters as needed.

17. HAIR DRYERS - can be used to control fungus and roaches and other pests - simply direct the hot, dry air at them or where they hide and see what happens next.

18. IMAGINATION - this is the greatest pest control "tool" ever - some people have no imagination and are doomed to only use more and more "registered" poison to "control" less and less their pests. Look around, think, ask and develop new tools all of the time. Imagination combined with intelligence can not be beaten. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is very restrictive; imagination is unlimited. Your brain is 200,000 times bigger than that of the insect pest, so use it and you will win; use volatile, "registered" pesticide poisons and you will lose!

19. INSECT REPELLENTS - You can make an effective insect repellent using 75% coconut oil, 15% water, 4% soybean oil, 3% geranium oil and 3% vanilla. You can also lightly rub Vicks VapoRub®, Noxema®, cedar oil, lavender oil, pennyroyal oil, sweet basil, peppermint oil, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil or scented geraniums on your body and clothes. Dilute all fragrant oils in coconut oil, vegetable oil or almond oil first. A strong infusion of chamomile tea can be applied to the skin or fur to repel insects. Baby powder with talcum will repel many crawling insects Always test a small area of your skin (with a small amount) to see if you get a reaction before treating the entire area or body.

20. LIGHTS - Can be used to inspect or repel or attract pests. Red light as the only light source allows you to check for roaches and carpenter ants at night. Black light makes rodent urine and scorpions fluoresce. Yellow light (bug lights) and sodium vapor lighting will not attract as many insects. Regular (white) or black light can attract insects to your trap or vacuum.

21. PETROLEUM JELLY - Many insects are attracted to yellow, white, or blue colors - use an index card as a trap by covering it with sticky petroleum jelly, STP® or honey - most insects, e.g., earwigs are repelled by petroleum jelly - so you can use sticky petroleum jelly to make your roach traps escape proof. Most insects will not cross over petroleum jelly barriers, so use them to "fence out" pests.

22. PLAIN WATER - a strong stream is effective in destroying aphids, mealy bugs, mud dauber nests, and red spider mites. It also makes cats and dogs leave your yard quickly.

23. SALT - Salt sprinkled on weeds that sprout in paved areas, along fence lines, driveways or wherever you want - salt will kill all plants including "weeds"; salt or salt water sprays will also kill snails and slugs. Salt will kill fleas and lice on people or animals and termites and numerous other pests. CAUTION: It will damage plants and will not remove nits. Many salts can be used to pretreat soil and wood for termite control, but some salts will also destroy ferrous metals, e.g., nails.

24. SOAP - Soaps are also surfactants, but they are made with natural ingredients; they may be used as alternatives to control insects, algae, moss and weeds. Mix 4 ounces of virtually any soap - mild (unregistered) dish soap or a natural soap or a commercial cleaner or a degreaser in 1 gallon of water and spray as an insecticide to quickly control most insect pests or use an (registered) insecticidal or herbicidal soap, e.g., Safers® or Ringer®. Be sure your cleaner does not contain alkylphenol polyethoxylate - which is a hormone disrupter. Spray floors and yards to control ants and fleas. This mix will also control many insects, e.g., white flies, mites, aphids, etc. Spray a few leaves and wait 48 hours if there is no ill effect - spray your plants every 2 - 3 days for several weeks. Caution: Some plants and beneficial insects are very sensitive to small amounts of soap. Use 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil for each quart of water and spray to control aphids, spider mites, scales, some caterpillars and mealy bugs - this "brew" is effective against eggs as well as adults. If it is sunny and/or the temperature is over 850 F. the oil may damage some foliage. Deodorant soaps especially Dial® can repel deer and other animals. Sprinkle dry soap into garbage cans after they have been washed and allowed to dry; it acts as a fly repellent. Sprinkle or spray Tide laundry soap around the foundation of your home to keep ants out. At 40o F. or less spraying birds with soapy water will quickly kill them. The "original" Pestisafe®. Soap and water - When Grandmother finished washing the dishes she threw the soapy water on her plants and flowers controlling most insect pests quickly and safely.

25. SPRAY BOTTLE CURES - Non-toxic "pesticide" sprays that can be made from ingredients readily available in the home. We prefer to call them Pestisafes®.

  1. All-purpose - Take an empty spray bottle and fill about ¾ of the way with water, then add a few drops of Ivory liquid soap, some hot peppers or hot pepper sauce and some garlic. This works well, but needs to be reapplied after every storm and/or every couple of weeks.

  2. All-purpose - Grind together three hot peppers, three large onions, and at least one whole clove of garlic. Cover mash with water and place in a covered container. Let container stand over night. Strain mixture through cheesecloth or a fine strainer and add enough water to make a gallon of spray.

  3. All-purpose - Mix one tablespoon of a mild dish washing detergent plus one teaspoon of a vegetable cooking oil with one quart of water. This can be sprayed on all plants. Remember to spray both the top and the underside of the leaves. You can also add 1 teaspoon (rounded) of baking soda if you have fungus problems.

  5. All-purpose - Finely chop 10 to 15 garlic cloves and soak in 1 pint of mineral oil for 24 hours. Strain and add enough water to make a gallon of spray. Test on a few leaves to see if the plant is damaged and spray as is, or add a few drops of soap for extra stickiness.

  6. All-purpose - Blend ½ cup of hot peppers with 2 cups of water. Strain and spray.

  7. All-purpose - Combine 1 to 2 cups of rubbing alcohol with 1 quart of water. Test spray and let stand overnight to see if damage occurs to plant.

  8. Orange trees and rosebushes - Soak macerated tomato, rhubarb or oleander leaves in water and apply as spray onto leaves and branches. Be careful; these leaves are very toxic.

  9. Red spider mites, spiders, cabbage worms, and weeds - An ounce of table salt to a gallon of water has been shown to stop these pests. Use a tablespoon of salt to two gallons of water for the worms. Be careful - salt damages plants! Straight salt, especially in non-garden areas can stop weeds and termites in protected areas, e.g., crawl spaces, but can kill plants and harm ferrous metals.

  10. Species specific - Collect ½ cup of a specific pest and mash well or blend. Mix this with two cups of water and strain. Mix ¼ cup of this "bug juice" with 2 cups of water and a few drops of soap and spray.

    Caution: Some sprays can damage, discolor, kill or scorch foliage or irritate people or pets - always test a small, inconspicuous area first before treating the entire area, pet or person!

26. STEAMERS - Steamers are just entering the marketplace. The Author has used the Vapor Dragon to control pests and bacteria with steam.

27. SURFACTANTS - Are slightly viscous, clear amber substances or colloids that work as ("magnetic") cleaners and degreasers. Surfactants can be used as household, industrial and marine cleaners, personal hygiene products, insect repellents and pest (and bird) control compounds. A micelle is a colloid, microscopic particle formed by an aggregation of small biodegradable molecules. Each molecule has a hydrophilic (water-seeking) pole and a hydrophobic (water-repelling) pole. The hydrophobic poles attract each other, forming the interior of the micelle and the hydrophilic poles form the outer surface. When a single micelle or surfactant molecule comes in contact with a hydrocarbon molecule (grease, oil, wax, binders, etc.), the hydrophobic center of the micelle or surfactant quickly bonds via homologous attraction to the hydrophobic hydrocarbon site, locking it into a colloidal suspension, pulling the hydrocarbon into the micelle and lifting the hydrophobic hydrocarbon molecule from its original surface. This emulsification process easily penetrates highly viscous, dirty and/or sticky materials, lifting them off.

Unregistered surfactants are routinely added to or used in pesticide poison formulations, but we have found they often work better alone. If sprayed all alone, some "regulators" then call these same surfactants "unregistered pesticides". Because the exoskeletal structures, wax and joints of insects are basically all comprised of hydrocarbon molecules, insects, gnats, mosquitoes, flies, etc. may avoid surfaces upon which diluted surfactants or (colloidal) micelles have been sprayed for two days or more. When sprayed directly with surfactants, (which cause the micellation) insects, mites, mold, bacteria, etc. will all die quickly because of the lifting of hydrocarbon molecules (they literally are dismantled)!

Surfactants are considered to be biodegradable and basically innocuous to people and pets, but will often kill fleas, lice, ticks and other pests while washing or upon contact. If ingested, they may cause diarrhea primarily due to the emulsification of grease and oil in the digestive tract. The surfactants in Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint are basically the same as those found in a dish detergent.

28. TALCUM POWDER AND/OR MEDICATED BODY POWDERS - Control and/or repel many pests when sprinkled around. Some people consider talcum powder to be carcinogenic and/or dangerous - but, given the opportunity to choose using a little talcum powder that actually stops most ants immediately or using some volatile poison that does not work as well - I would choose talcum powder - my answer is very simple when you consider the question in reverse would you prefer to dust a baby's bottom with talcum powder or a "registered" poison? Actually there are grades of talcum powder - some contain asbestos and are not safe - as far as I know baby powder does not contain asbestos. Talcum powder quickly dries out the insect and/or clogs the spiracles and, thereby, kills many insects. Talc (non-asbestos form) does typically contain crystalline silica at levels greater than 0.1% but less than 1.0%. Silica has been determined to be a Class 2A carcinogen by IARC. Repeated exposures can cause talcosis, a pulmonary fibrosis, which may lead to severe and permanent lung damage, possibly leading to disability and death, so use it with care. I would also mention that talc is an ingredient in Tums Antacid/Calcium supplement. Talcum powder will repel/control fire ants and other insect pests and nuisance wildlife. Try to use corn starch as a replacement in vacuums to suffocate vacuumed pests; always pick the safest alternative.

29. TEMPERATURE - Increase or lower temperatures even 30o to 40o and you safely and quickly control many insect pests - change the temperature even more drastically and/or quickly and you can control virtually all pests. Unlike mammals, many cold-blooded organisms (insects included) are at the mercy of quickly changing temperature extremes. If climatic temperature increases occur over a developmental period of months or years - a given insect may gradually acquire the ability to survive, this is termed "acclimatization". If an insect can overcome gradual temperature stresses in days, hours, or even minutes this short-term adjustment is called "acclimation". Most insects quickly die if you quickly change their temperature.

30. VACUUMS - Vacuums quickly remove insects, spiders, food, debris, eggs, body parts, etc. - if you are vacuuming up live insects or pests be sure to put a little talcum powder or corn starch in your bag first to suffocate the pests - use a HEPA filter and a red light at night to get nocturnal pests, e.g., roaches. Use a dusting brush to vacuum up spider mites on the underside of leaves or whiteflies both from the air and on household plants. If you use a rinse-and-vac, be sure to include some soapy water to drown the pests.

31. VENTILATION - Moisture reduction by proper (basement, crawl and attic) ventilation, fans and/or dehumidifiers, plumbing and rain gutter repairs, roofing etc. is a primary factor in controlling most structural insects and fungal problems. Excessive moisture attracts or creates conditions favorable to many insect, fungus and mold problems.

32. VINEGAR - Spray weeds and pest plants with vinegar. White vinegar will also kill ants. Vinegar attracts wasps, fungus gnats and fruit flies - put 2" in a long necked bottle - add a few drops of liquid soap or enzyme cleaner - and they will crawl in and won't be able to crawl out. To deodorize concrete, scrub with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with (or without) Peppermint or a solution of half white vinegar and water or undiluted denatured alcohol as needed. Vinegar is an acid that can be used to soothe the alkaline sting of a wasp. Mix 3 parts vinegar (10% acidity) with 1 part dishwashing soap and spray weeds to kill them. White vinegar sprays repel cats and small dishes of white vinegar absorb odors.

33. THE USE OF VINEGAR AND HYDROGEN PEROXIDE TO DISINFECT - Now, you can safely disinfect your home and food - without exposing your family to toxic synthetic chemicals. You can make your own inexpensive sprays that actually work better disinfecting than any commercial synthetic disinfectant. All you have to purchase from the drug store is some (fresh) three percent hydrogen peroxide and some plain white or apple cider vinegar from the grocery store. Put them full strength in their own clean spray bottles.

If you want to safely disinfect vegetables or fruit, just spray or thoroughly mist them with the vinegar and then the hydrogen peroxide (or the hydrogen peroxide and then the vinegar) , and then rinse them off under running water. Using first one spray and then the other, you can also safely and effectively disinfect food preparation surfaces and other washable surfaces and materials. You won't cause stains on most surfaces, nor will you have any lingering taste of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide on your food, and you will not harm you or your family or the environment.

From Our Toxic Times, May 2001: Heinz Company spokesperson Michael Mullen references numerous studies to show that a straight 5% solution of vinegar—such as you buy in the supermarket—kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold and 80% of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can't claim on its packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the Company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing the two mists killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E.coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces when used in this fashion, making this spray combination more effective at killing these potentially lethal bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.

The best results came from using one mist right after the other - it is 10 times more effective than using either spray by itself and more effective than mixing the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in one sprayer.

Top | Table of Contents | Next


Nontoxic Products Recommended by Steve Tvedten

Now Available

West / Central East
Safe 2 Use Safe Solutions, Inc.