I avoid chemicals at much as possible and always find that with a bit of research there is an organic or natural alternative that works just as well and often for a lot less cost. Diatomaceous earth (DE) is one such thing. I became aware of this product when I say a friend of mine using it in her house to treat fleas on her cats.
DE is a powder made from fossilized prehistoric crustaceans called diatoms. The sharp edges of DE cut into insects’ bodies, causing them to die of dehydration. Diatomaceous earth is most useful in dry situations — for example, puffing it into crevices where insects have been seen. In the first few days after treatment you may see more insects as they search for water, but this will reduce over time as they die off.
I don’t mind a few mini-beasties in my home but if i ever have an infestation I’ll know what to dry. The advice is to buy ‘food grade’ if you’re using it around the house, which you can buy from the Irish company, Diatomaceous Earth Ireland.
If you just want to deter insects then there are a heap of natural materials that you can try.
- Cedar to deter moths
- Citrus peel to deter spiders
- Lemon eucalyptus oil and garlic for mosquitos
- Vinegar or cucumber for ants
Other strongly scented items like herbs, cinnamon, vanilla or a bowl of water with cut onions in it are all said to put off insects too.