Toxic Control of Pests In the Home and Garden
If all other methods have failed, and monitoring
shows that your pest population is still above your action thresholds,
then, and only then, should you consider
spot treatment of the least toxic pesticides. You must weigh the risks
associated with the use of a pesticide against the problems caused by
the pest. Consider your options carefully, being mindful not to blindly
jump at a solution that may have risks without first collecting the facts.
'least toxic pesticides' does not include a pesticide that is
by EPA to be a possible, probable, or known carcinogen, mutagen,
teratogen, reproductive toxin, developmental neurotoxin, endocrine
disrupter, or immune system toxin;
(b) a pesticide in EPA's toxicity category I or II; and,
(c) any application of the pesticide using a broadcast spray,
dust, tenting, fogging, or baseboard spray application.
If you must use a
pesticide, you should the least toxic pesticide available. Boric acid,
formulated from a natural mineral, is an effective ant and cockroach stomach
poison. When properly applied, it has a relatively low toxicity compared
to other pesticides. Further, it does not evaporate into the indoor air
of the structure, unlike many other pesticides. Look for boric acid that
has less than one percent of inert ingredients, therefore you have a better
idea of what you are applying and its risks than with most other pesticides.
While boric acid is somewhat slower acting than other materials, it is
highly effective over a long period of time. But remember, all pesticides
are poisons designed to kill, and should be handled carefully and with
respect. Boric acid should be applied only in areas where it will not
come in contact with people - cracks and crevices, behind counters, and
in baseboards. Applicators should wear protective clothing, gloves, and
a filter mask.
following Least Toxic Control of Pests factsheets can be ordered individually
or as a compilation through Beyond
Pesticides. Check back often as we are continually updating our factsheets
that are available online. More information on integrated pest management and utilizing least toxic alternatives, check out our Children and Pesticides page.
Least Toxic Control
(indoor and outdoor) see also Beyond
Picnics: controlling ants in your home
For indoor ants follow the trail of ants and seal the entry point, for outdoor ants sprinkle cornmeal around the outside of your home.
Manipulate the temperatures to kill them or use boric acid or diatomaceous earth.
When a nest is detected wait for the bees to emerge, the plug the holes with steel wool or aluminum foil and encase with a metal screen, wood putty will not work.
Probe their holes with a long flexible wire to kill the larva or use parasitic worms with water and apply to holes.
For indoor centipedes, capture and release them outside. Decrease food supply and close up any openings.
Prevent bodily infestation by tucking socks into pants, or if you have been infested scrub away the chiggers vigorously.
Big eyed bugs are a natural predator here and Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that will kill them. Otherwise use soap and water or diatomaceous earth and apply to your lawn.
see also Good
Riddance to Roaches: a guide to home cockroach management
Prevention is the best method. Otherwise, apply boric acid to cracks and crevices where roaches hide which will kill them in 3-5 days.
Aside from extensive cleaning, vacuuming, washing, and grooming you can use D-limonene and linalool which are citrus extracts that will kill the larva and adult fleas.
Apply milky spore (bacillus papillae), a non-toxic control, with 1 tsp. in rows every 4 or 5 feet then water the lawn. Or you can mix one cup of these ingredients, mouthwash, liquid dish soap, and water with 2 cups lemon juice and spray over the lawn.
Destroy the egg masses between July and April, or create a stick barrier band of glue or tape around the tree to prevent the caterpillars from climbing up.
Lice and Scabies see also Getting
Nit Picky About Head Lice (note: the Derbac™ combs
referenced in this article are no longer available)
Apply coconut oil as a lubricant to the hair and use a nitpicker over one inch sections of hair at a time.
Use horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps, which work with 100% mortality when applied in mid-July and late October.
Mice Control see also Minimizing Mouse Madness
Have a heart traps, snap traps, and glue traps are all least toxic effective ways to eliminate mice.
see also Backyard
Citronella candles, mosquito larvae eating fish, Bt, or horticultural oils can all be used.
Moths (see also Clearing
the Air of Toxic Moth Repellents)
Discard infested food, apply Bt, and use pheromone traps for the last remaining moths.
Snails and Slugs: Beyond Slime
Control for moisture with ash pilings, hand pick slugs and snails out of your garden, also use copper bands or foils around plants, trees, or garden plots to exclude slugs and snails.
Live traps are useful, for bird feeders use a squirrel guard baffle or mix cayenne with Vaseline and apply to the feeder pole.
Drywood/Subterranean see also Taking
the Terror Out of Termites
Boric acid, heat treatment, and bioblast (a common soil born fungus) can all be applied to eradicate termites. Prevention is the best method however.
Use a tick drag around the area to attract ticks, or use carbon dioxide traps that are essentially dry ice to attract and kill ticks.
Least Toxic Control of
Your Health From CCA-Treated Wood
Is the Key
Safe Is Your Bait?