Environmentally Friendly and Humane – Natural Pest Control

Cinnamon is a Good Natural Pest Control Alternative
Cinnamon sticks/ground cinnamon (Photo: Simon A. Eugster, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Perhaps what defines “Natural Pest Control” is the idea that the products and methods you employ to rid yourself of pests are friendly and humane — at least they should be to children, pets, and humans in general. The second aspect of natural pest control is that you can Do-It-Yourself (DIY). There are some forms of natural pest control, however, where you should still call a pest control professional, like Wildlife Removal Services, to handle the issue. The following are a few DIY options.

Natural Pest Control: The Basics

At the fundamental level of natural pest control is just some good old-fashioned commonsense. If you haven’t taken the following steps, please do them now because they are steps you can take before a professional steps foot on your property for the big pest removal jobs and they’re also considered “natural” forms of pest control.

  • Remove Food Sources: This means dog or pet food. Pack them in a sealed-off container. All forms of critters have a heightened sense of smell, so if you keep pet food in a container outside, the container should be free of holes or gaps, and seal-up tighter than Fort Knox. Otherwise, you need to bring food indoors at night, and promptly remove dishes/clean-up after your pets have eaten. There’s no room for laziness with this one because once wildlife pests smell the food, they’re on it.
  • Remove Water Sources: This is a difficult one because if you have a garden in your backyard, chances are you have a sprinkler system, probably on a timer too. No worries — just make sure there aren’t any leaks, and the timer shuts off when it should. Other than that, put hoses and pet water dishes away, and fix all potential water leaks (near faucets/hoses) because after having some water pests will move on to munching away at your herb garden if you don’t.
  • Destroy Nests/Addle Eggs: This one is obviously for bird pests. There’s nothing worse than growing an orange or pomegranate tree just to find that your fruit has bird beak-sized holes in it, and has started to rot before you have a chance to enjoy the “fruits” of your labor. Just get up in the tree, use a rake handle to knock down the nest and addle the eggs. Pigeon removal or any bird removal for that matter isn’t an easy process; you’ll need the help of a professional, so take natural, preventative measures first.

Coyote Urine: Repel and Deter

Coyote Urine as a Natural Pest Control Alternative
Coyote (Photo: Frank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Coyote urine works well to repel and deter wildlife pests. The technique is to spray, or pour it around the perimeter of your property. You might be thinking, “eww, gross,” but it works! So: how does it work? Wild animals have innate survival instincts, and one component of those instincts is the animal’s sense of smell. Coyotes are predators by nature, especially so in a pack. When another animal like a deer or a rabbit picks up the scent of a predator—in this case, the scent of the predator’s urine—it triggers a fear response in that animal. To avoid being eaten (i.e., survive), the animal must flee the area, and that’s exactly what it does as a direct result of these fear-induced survival instincts.

In this sense, the coyote urine repels and deters animals from coming onto your property, and from returning after picking up on the smell of the coyote urine. A coyote picking up on the same scent may also leave under the impression that a rival coyote has marked its territory. However, for coyotes, wolf urine works best. There are other predator urine products out there depending on your situation (e.g., mountain lion urine, bear urine, and bobcat urine). Coyote urine works best as a natural pest control deterrent on the following animals:

  • Deer
  • Mice/Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Possums
  • Raccoons
  • Groundhogs
  • Gophers
  • Iguanas

Homemade Repellent: Mothballs

No one likes the smell of mothballs, including pests. You can use mothballs to evacuate possums from under your porch or crawlspace, but also as a deterrent for coyotes. When used in and around outdoor trash cans, the strong smell of mothballs masks the odor of food in your trash and keeps pests like raccoons out.

If you have a garden growing in your yard, chances are you’re combatting all manner of pests. Aside from insects, one of the peskiest leaf-eaters is the possum.

As an added caveat: yes, these natural pest control repellents work; however, because they are natural, you’ll have to reapply them every so often.

Natural Pest Control: Your Garden

The process of creating a garden is a lengthy one, and it’s an amazing form of therapy for many, so when pests come along and start eating our crops, we “naturally” want to kill them — or at least deter them. Keep in mind that these pests are your typical insects, such as ants, locusts, and aphids, but occasionally, gophers too.

  • Molasses Mixture: Dilute molasses with water, and add in a little dish soap, then spray the leaves of your plants. This is a natural deterrent for possums who sometimes eat vegetable gardens.
  • Cucumbers: That’s right! Cucumbers are a natural deterrent and repellant for ants! Put them in your window sill, or near cracks and openings where ants may enter.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is a wonderful deterrent for your home or garden because it’s naturally acidic. The acidity of lemon juice removes an ant’s tracks and messes with their tracking system, which would normally lead other ants to your door or plants. Spray it on your plants or near openings in your home (this is one reason why organic household cleaners have lemon juice concentrate in the mixture).
  • Vinegar: For obvious reasons, vinegar is a natural repellant because it has a permeating, acidic compound. That’s why most natural, multi-purpose household cleaners contain vinegar. Mop your kitchen floors and wipe your counters with a vinegar and water solution, and you’ve won half the pest prevention battle.
  • Cinnamon or Chalk: Both cinnamon (ground cinnamon) and chalk (crushed into powdered form) sprinkled around doors, windowsills, and floors (near sliding glass doors, etc.) acts as a barrier for ants. They will not cross that line. Cinnamon and chalk both act as a drying agent, which essentially dehydrates and mummifies ants. Cinnamon also repels spiders, so put a couple of sticks in your windowsill.
  • Spicy Pepper Mixture: Use the hottest pepper you can find mixed with hot sauce (you can use water, but the idea is to make it burn), a little dish soap, and garlic. Garlic is a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent that contains sulfur, which is toxic to pests. The dish soap also helps breakdown the soft bodies of aphids — a garden’s archenemy. Spray this on and around your garden plants and it will deter most insects and some wildlife (such as possums).

About Wildlife Removal Services

Offering humane wildlife removal services to San Diego, Orange, and Temecula counties.

With over 9 years of experience Wildlife Removal Services should be your first choice when calling a Wildlife Removal Specialist.

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