Monday, September 1, 2008

Day 133 of our Green Year: Dealing with bugs

Well, the summer is coming to an end and fall is on our doorstep, so it may seem odd that we would be doing a blog about dealing with insects. However, there are plenty of insects still around, and where we are in BC, they will still be around for a couple more months.

Many people choose to use a variety of chemical products (Raid anyone?) to deal with bugs, but you have to ask yourself; if those chemicals kill bugs, what do they do to you? When I was a kid, our family would release Raid in our house to kill flies when there were too many of them. Then we would go back in a couple hours later. I always wondered what kind of health effect that would have on the family, and I don't imagine it was a good one.

First of all, Layla and I do get a lot of spiders in our house, and some are quite least by Canadian standards. The way we usually deal with them is with a boot, but we do not kill all of them. Sometimes it is good to have spiders in your house because they will deal with other pests like flies. As well, we sometimes take the spiders outside so they can deal with pests out there. However, if you want to get rid of spiders, cleaning and dusting your home on a regular basis will help. Make sure you get rid of all the spiderwebs that you find.

Second, it looks like we have a wasp nest near our home, so we have to deal with that. If you use a mixture of water and peppermint oil, spray it around the outside of your home. Do this during the evening when the insects are less active, and they will stay away. Do not do this if you are allergic, just get someone else to do it for you.

The main point to remember is that when you see pests, like ants, you do not have to use poison to get rid of them. You can find plenty of natural alternatives to get rid of them. Many herbs drive insects away, and lemon juice on the counters of your kitchen will keep away ants. Many insects are beneficial, so try and move them outside your home, where they can work their magic outside.

The importance of insects can not be forgotten. Remember, if humans were to disappear, most of the life on the planet would benefit. However, if ants disappeared, within a few weeks, every land eco-system on Earth will have collapsed.

Although insects can be pests, they are an important part of our ecosystem. Using natural and more humane ways to deal with these pests can decrease the amount of toxins going into the environment and into your skin.