Dealing with pest infestations in your home can be stressful. While there are plenty of exterminators that can use toxic chemicals to rid you of your problem, sometimes you want a less harmful solution. Luckily, there are some DIY, eco-friendly methods and natural products that can effectively keep pests out of your home. Below, we're discussing some easy-to-use, natural pest control options for the most common household pests.
Bed Bugs<p>Bed bugs are among the most prevalent pests to infest homes, and they're among the most stressful for homeowners to manage.</p><p>Luckily, there's a simple DIY solution you can use to kill bed bugs in their tracks. Sprinkle baking soda around the areas you believe to be infected, including around the base of your beds and couches, especially near the legs.</p><p>When bed bugs inevitably try to traverse the powder, the baking soda will naturally dry them out and can kill them before they get to you to feed. Let the powder sit for about a week before vacuuming it up and disposing of the dead bed bugs.</p><p>Pro tip: baking soda is effective against cockroaches as well!</p>
Termites<p>Termites feed on wood and often burrow into the framing of your home to feed, gradually causing damage and potentially compromising the structural stability of your house.</p><p>Many pest control companies use bait stations with potentially harmful chemicals to kill termites, but you can often get a successful treatment using vinegar and lemon juice. The acidity will either deter termites or kill those that are exposed to it.</p><p>Simply mix a cup of white vinegar with the juice from four lemons, and place the mixture in a spray bottle. Apply the solution to areas where you see termite damage or believe the insects may enter your home. Reapply regularly to ensure thorough treatment.</p>
Rodents<p>Whether you live in a rural setting, or an urban sprawl like New York City, mice, rats, and other rodents have an uncanny ability to find a way into your home. However, many of us still feel bad about using poison or rodent traps to kill or capture them. Thankfully, there's a much simpler method for keeping rodents out that won't cause them any harm.</p><p>Mice and rats naturally stay away from certain scents, and peppermint is one of the odors they detest the most. Soak some cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them around your home where you believe the rodents are entering. The smell can help keep them at bay and may make them decide to relocate entirely.</p><p>If you have a major infestation you can't solve on your own, don't hesitate to look for <a href="https://www.peststrategies.com/exterminators/new-york/new-york-city/" target="_blank">eco-friendly pest control companies in cities like New York</a> that use non-toxic solutions and integrated pest management. Their treatments often have better results than homemade repellants while remaining safe for the environment.</p>
Ants<p>It's never pleasant to find ants in your home, and keeping them outside where they belong is often straightforward, even without harmful insecticides.</p><p>Ants leave scent trails to help others locate food sources. Aside from eliminating potential attractions in your home like garbage, crumbs, or unsealed food, destroying the scent trail is an excellent way to ruin their chance of finding a meal in your house.</p><p>The acidity and pungent odor of lemon juice can wipe out a scent trail. Spraying some around areas where you notice ants entering your home can help deter them altogether.</p>
Mosquitoes<p>Mosquitoes are just about the only thing that can ruin a beautiful, sunny day in your yard. Most pest management companies can spray pesticides to keep them at bay, but these can be harmful to you, your family, and other beneficial insects on your property.</p><p>Luckily, there's an eco-friendly solution that can keep mosquitoes away for weeks on end. Mix about two cups of mint-flavored mouthwash, three cups of Epsom salt, and three cans of stale, non-alcoholic beer (yes, really!). Spray the solution around your yard, avoiding only flowers.</p><p>The zero-toxicity repellent can deter mosquitoes entirely, leaving you to enjoy the outdoors in peace.</p>
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According to the UN Environment Program, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used globally each year, and because of the material they're made from, most municipal recycling centers don't accept them (more on this below).
The most sustainable option is to skip the bag altogether. You can also make your own reusable produce bags out of old T-shirts. But if you'd rather purchase them new, here are our recommendations for the best reusable produce bags on the market today.
Eco Joy<p>If you're making the switch to more sustainable shopping bags and want a variety of products to use, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Sandwich-Biodegradable-Eco-Drawstring/dp/B003PK4W3I/ref=sr_1_36?crid=3TDUCB8ZOM7WI&dchild=1&keywords=produce+bags+grocery+reusable&qid=1613484643&sprefix=produce+bags%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-36" target="_blank">Eco Joy Cotton Reusable Produce Bags</a> set is a great place to start. The set comes with three mesh drawstring bags, three muslin drawstring bags, a large mesh tote and a zippered sandwich-size pouch.</p><p>Each product is made with organic, non-GMO cotton that's ethically sourced in accordance with Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) standards. The cotton comes from India and Turkey, and the bags are hand-assembled in Canada by the owner of Eco Joy, so you can feel good about supporting a small business while reducing your environmental impact.</p><p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 300 Amazon reviews</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Zero-waste; Handmade in Canada; WRAP compliant; Machine washable</p>
Organic Cotton Mart<p>Some shoppers prefer to use mesh bags when shopping for fruits and veggies. We recommend checking out <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Best-Reusable-Produce-Organic-Cotton/dp/B07CK2TJKL/ref=sr_1_16?crid=10A7NM0LQ0B7E&dchild=1&keywords=mesh+produce+bags&qid=1613483897&s=home-garden&sprefix=mesh+pro%2Cgarden%2C162&sr=1-16" target="_blank">Organic Cotton Mart's Reusable Cotton Mesh Produce Bags</a> if you're in this camp, as they're made with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton.</p> <p>Mesh reusable produce bags can make the checkout process easier than muslin bags since you can see what's inside them without having to open them up. Plus, the tare weight (i.e., the weight of the empty bag that should be subtracted from the total weight of your produce to make sure you don't pay extra for using your bag) is printed right on the label of Organic Cotton Mart's bags, making everything that much more convenient.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.6 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,000 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable
Simple Ecology<p>On the other hand, if you just want to purchase muslin bags, we like <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Ecology-Reusable-Organic-Shopping/dp/B004UJ0U0C" target="_blank">Simple Ecology's Reusable Produce Bags</a>, which are also made with GOTS-certified organic cotton. Simple Ecology also has a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6AUMBG/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B01N6AUMBG&pd_rd_w=MA3ZS&pf_rd_p=cbc856ed-1371-4f23-b89d-d3fb30edf66d&pd_rd_wg=hVunQ&pf_rd_r=G6RTQ1Z5DKEY325MAJZ9&pd_rd_r=5d298b3a-1be7-4ebd-a9e1-d5d672a40497&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExMzc4RVAxWjNLOTdCJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTc0NTAwMzBDMjFYOVJPTUpWSCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjYyOTM4M0s4Vk81SVBPS1NFSyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbF90aGVtYXRpYyZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=" target="_blank">starter kit</a> that comes with several reusable grocery bags if you're looking for more variety.</p> <p>The benefit of using muslin reusable produce bags is that, unlike mesh, there are no holes for small items to slip through. This means that in addition to larger produce, you can use them to purchase bulk foods like lentils, beans and rice — or even powders like flour or spices — without worrying about anything leaking. They're also best for keeping leafy greens fresh.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,500 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified packaging when purchased from manufacturer
ECOBAGS<p>Whether you're buying bread, fresh flowers, produce or all of the above, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/ECOBAGS-Market-Collection-Reusable-Natural/dp/B08KFGPGN5" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ECOBAGS Market Collection Reusable Bag Set</a> is ideal for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/farmers-markets-coronavirus-safety-2645581711.html" target="_self">farmers market</a> shopping or large grocery hauls. The netted bags are durable, flexible, and pack down small so they're easy to keep in your car or purse.</p> <p>ECOBAGS is a woman-owned certified B Corp, which means it uses sound social and environmental practices. These bags come in packs of three or five and have a few different handle lengths and color options, but they're all made with GOTS-certified organic cotton.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating: </strong>Not applicable</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Certified B Corp; SA8000 certified for the protection of basic human rights of workers</p>