Well the summer months are here and Texas is just a bug haven. So I'm testing out some tried and true methods of keeping the bugs away without relying on chemicals. It's one o'clock in the afternoon and I'm sitting in my backyard with my dogs under the giant oak tree keeping cool in the shade. Some black flies came around to see what I was up to so I lit up some sage and the smoke is keeping them away so I can get a little writing and reading done peacefully.
Now coming from the cooler temps in the north we didn't have such extremes - especially in the suburbs where there's an overwhelming amount of pest management. I always questioned how much of that was environmentally friendly. Austin being a very progressive southern city, I plan to look into what this town does to manage it's peskier critters - but for now, I'm going to manage my backyard, me and my pets.
So what's hopping in the South, you might ask. Well, last night my son and I wrastled up a medium sized wolf spider as the sun went down and it's hunting instinct began to kick in. It was just hanging' by some boxes on the floor not really doing anything when I threw a mason jar over the top of it and after careful examination of the little beast, we just tossed it outside in the yard. Now secretly I am hoping that the ones I haven't caught are doing their job in my walls hunting other creatures I might not really want in the house since we do have a lot of large ants, flies, mosquitos and cockroaches ... Yes, cockroaches. That was the adventure of the night prior - a criminal we didn't manage to catch with the mason jar.
Now typically, it's easy to make a human home unappealing for bugs and arachnids - just keep it clean. Usually if you find one in the house, if it's been kept, it's accidental and they don't really want to be there either. And, yes, wolf spider bites can cause necrosis of the skin, but usually only the bigger ones have the ability to break skin.
The main exception is flies, fleas and mosquitoes. They don't care if your house is clean or dirty or open or closed - they will get right up on you. Let me go through my eco friendly, home grown methods one by one.
Flies: Black flies are the worst - nothing will spoil a BBQ or a relaxing day in the yard like black flies and citronella just doesn't work with this pest.
Fleas: Cloves, Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Tea Tree! Now before living in Texas with dogs I lived in Louisiana with dogs - and a little bit of Illinois in between. I was very proud of the fact that the whole time we lived in New Orleans we were flea and cockroach free. I highly attribute this to my regular usage of eucalyptus oil around the house.
Mosquitoes: Mosquitos love me. The more I dislike them the more they love me. So I load up on the essential oils! There is nothing worse than being itchy all the time, but I don't like chemicals so I will try just about every DEET FREE natural bug spray around and I will also encourage all the bug eating lizards and birds around - even more reason not to use chemicals! So don't use poison - it's just not a good idea. Here are some better, all natural and chemical free options:
Around here we have a lot of wildlife and I want to keep them safe just as much as I want to keep me bug free. It's just that simple.
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