Chasing down indoor pests safely

The manufacture of all household pesticides creates massive quantities of toxic and potentially carcinogenic chemicals that can end up in our air and water supply.  Once in your home, these products can cause even more concern.

No point of entry

Your first line of defense is to stop pests from getting in your house:

If the pests still make it inside your home, try the least toxic solution your can find -- boric acid, silica aerogel or diatomaceous earth.  Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of tiny sea creatures called diatoms.  All three substances are effective against indoor crawling insects like roaches, ants, silverfish and termites and can be found at most lawn and garden centers.   You can also see, "Herbs provide safe substitute for toxics".

Other easy pest remedies





Insects on houseplants:

Especially for pets:

With more than 100 million dogs and cats in America, is it any wonder 50 million flea collars are thrown away every year?  That a solid- as well as a toxic-waste problem.

Some side effects of three common flea-collar compounds -- piperomylbutoxide, dichlorvos (or DDVP) and carbaryl -- include potential nerve and liver damage, cancer, mutations and birth defects in animals.

The pet absorbs the chemical until it reeks of the toxin, and that, in turn, paralyzes the bug.  Try these alternatives instead:

For more information

The National Pesticide Telecommunications Network is a toll-free, 24-hour information service available by calling 800-858-7378.

Operators can provide a wide range of information about health effects of pesticides and assistance in dealing with pesticide-related emergencies.

SOURCE:  The Earth Works Group.  50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth.  Berkeley, Earth Works Press, 1989.