Outside The Home / Hobbies
Insect BitesTo prevent insect bites, avoid wearing perfume, bright colors and flowery print clothes or bright jewelry.
- The pain can be soothed by a thick paste of baking soda and water.
- Half an onion applied to a bee (or wasp) sting helps to stop the pain.
ChiggersTo ease the pain and itching of chigger bites, rub with a moist aspirin tablet.
MosquitosSoak bites in salt water or apply a paste of salt mixed into lard or cold cream.
- To treat insect bites, rub on apple cider vinegar to relieve the itching.
- A paste made of baking soda also helps.
Poison Oak / Ivy ReliefPlace a hot (the hotter, the better) compress sprinkled with salt over the affected area. When cool, remove the compress and allow the salt to remain until dry.
- Pull weeds instead of using herbicides.
- Cover garden with plastic in fall to prevent weed germination.
- To kill unwanted grass growing between sidewalk cracks, pour full-strength vinegar or salt on it.
- Caution: Use adequate ventilation and exercise caution. Never put brushes in mouth.
- Soften hard paint brushes in hot vinegar.
- To clean hands of paint or grease, massage with a few drops of baby oil, margarine or butter. Wipe dry and wash with soap and water.
Natural Pest Control
- Plant onions near beds to repel ants.
- On lawns, use hormonal controls now available.
- Band sticky, adhesive materials (some brand names are "Stickum" and Tanglefoot) around base of plants and trees to deter ants, which can carry and colonize aphids. Ants like the sweet secretion of aphids and protect them from natural enemies.
- Border gardens with bone meal.
- Put cucumber peels on an ant route, and they will go away.
- Some soap sprays are effective insecticides. It must be sprayed directly on the insect in order to penetrate its body. Mix one teaspoon of liquid soap (not detergent) in a gallon of water. Try different soaps. Some may be more effective than others. Use on aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, earwigs and some scales.
- Crush colonies on plant tips, or prune them off.
- Introduce ladybugs or lacewings, natural enemies of aphids.
- Plant garlic, chives, petunias, and nasturtiums to repel aphids; but be aware that some plants (garlic, for instance) may inhibit the growth of certain vegetable plants.
Beetles, Bugs & Caterpillars
- Pick large insects off plants; drop in a can of soapy water.
- Use biological control containing bacillus thuriengenosis (bt).
- Use "stickum" made from one and one half cups of rosin (from athletic store.)
- Brush a mixture of one cup linseed oil and one tablespoon melted paraffin around tree trunks.
- For Japanese beetles: Open a can of fruit cocktail and put it in the sun, but out of the rain, to ferment for about a week. Put the can on a stack of bricks inside a yellow colored pail or dish pan. Place the pail or pan about 25 feet away from the plants to be protected, and fill it with water to a level that's just below the fruit cocktail can. The beetles will feast on the fruit and then drown in the water. If rain dilutes their "beetle buffet", you'll have to replace it because beetles like it potent.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water.
- Rub citronella oil on exposed skin areas, or burn citronella candles.
- Do not eliminate such natural predators as dragon flies or the praying mantis.
- Other natural repellents are penny royal, mint rubbed on the skin or tansy planted near a door. Basil plants also repel mosquitoes.