The tiny bugs we see in nature are a source of learning and wonder, but when they end up in our living room, we're not so enthusiastic. How can you get rid of them without using pesticides that are harmful to your own health and that of your family?
Here are a few environmental tips and tricks for getting rid of these tiny – but oh so irritating – invaders.
In the face of this new modern scourge, you may be tempted to use pesticides, but it certainly would not be the most effective way of containing an outbreak of bed bugs.
What to do if you have an infestation?
In case of an infestation of bed bugs, follow these recommendations from the Quebec government:
- Wash textiles at a temperature of at least 60°C;
- If your clothes cannot withstand the high heat, place them in the freezer at -20°C for 2 to 5 days;
- Wash clothing using hot steam (between 110°C and 180°C).
Although it may be somewhat awkward, you need to let your neighbours know so that they can take the same protective measures to prevent the infestation from spreading further.
How can the spread be contained?
🐕 Not sure if you have an infestation?
Call in a local pest control company with a sniffer dog. They can help determine whether or not your home is infested and where to focus your efforts, so that you don’t need to take any unnecessary actions.
Tip: The upsurge in bedbugs could be due to their resistance to chemicals. This is one of the reasons why it's important to consider other environmentally friendly options when dealing with a bedbug infestation in your home. This way, you'll be doing your neighbours and the environment a favour.
The best way to keep mice out of your home is to make sure that all cracks and holes have been sealed and caulked. Mice are attracted to your food and they can squeeze through a hole the width of a dime. They can be a danger to your health, safety and comfort.
How to get rid of them?
For extra precautions
- Do not leave your pet's food or water outside during the day or at night. Once used, wash the dishes;
- Keep a lid on your garbage cans and compost. Use bungee cords if necessary;
- Store any extra bedding in plastic storage bins.
Tip: As with any pests, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Asian Lady Beetles
This species of ladybug, which is native to Asia, was imported into North America for use against aphids that were infesting trees. Imported en masse into Europe and the United States, it has adapted to its environment and now outnumbers the native ladybug species.
It appears that no two Asian lady beetles are identical. Their colour varies from yellow to orange to red. Some have black spots, others are lighter. Some have a large number of spots, others none at all. If you have a ladybug infestation where there are no two alike, then you'll know what you're dealing with!
How can you avoid them and how do you get rid of them?
🐞The one single thing you should not do!
Crushing or stressing an Asian lady beetle can cause it to discharge a sticky, foul-smelling substance that leaves a stain. Instead, we recommend vacuuming them up and releasing them outside, even if it's cold.
Good to know: The best way to protect yourself against an invasion of Asian lady beetles is to take precautions by caulking all the entry points to your home. This will also help improve your home's energy efficiency.
What about ants?Find out more here
Five of grandma's tried and true remedies for getting rid of bugs
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth along the pathways where insects enter and where they hide;
- Place cat litter near walls, doors and windows to repel mice;
- Place cloves in the bedroom to keep bedbugs and other insects away;
- Spray essential oils around the house (mint for mice, cloves, citronella and peppermint for bedbugs, and camphor for lady bugs);
- Sprinkle pepper (with lemon, where mice enter, and cayenne, in places where insects like to gather).
Good luck with these alternative solutions!