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10 Eco-Friendly Tips for a Greener Living Space

Scientific studies and reports have shown us the undeniable and devastating effects of climate change, prompting everyone to observe greener measures and practices to help protect the environment. As a result, living a greener and eco-friendly lifestyle has become the new norm for some people. Here are 10 tips that you can try to make your home greener, more sustainable and more equipped in the fight against climate change.

1. Conserve water

To live a greener and more sustainable life means that conservation must be observed at all times. One way to live by this rule is by saving water at home. How? By installing a good water fixture system. Make sure to get faucets, showerheads, toilets and other fixtures that are specially designed to promote water efficiency and conservation. Alternatively, you can also be mindful of your water consumption at home — by turning off the faucet when not in use or making sure each showerhead is shut tightly to prevent any leaking. Doing all of this can greatly reduce your water bill, letting you save more money while saving the environment in the process.

2. Turn to solar panels to power your home

Instead of relying on electricity to power your home, you can explore an alternative in the form of solar panels. These panels can provide your home with 100% clean energy and electricity from the sun. They are also a good long-term investment and can even take up to 20 years before they fully break down. But apart from being a good monetary investment, solar panels are a good way to help save energy.

3. Use natural and organic cleaning products

Using harmful chemical cleaners for your home is not only detrimental to your health, but it also poses a handful of negative effects to the environment. When you wash these cleaning solutions away, they go straight into the water drainage and supply. Although there are systems in place to filter and purify this water discharge, it can take a long time, thus requiring more effort and energy. That’s why for most day-to-day cleaning tasks, consider switching to natural ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar and citrus fruits. This also applies if you’re going to hire a home and bedroom cleaning service; make sure to ask cleaners to only use organic cleaning products.

4. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Waste is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to pollution and climate change. You can do your part by recycling different items to reduce the amount of waste that gets produced at home. This includes reusing discarded plastic bottles and cans as plant holders; old newspapers and office papers as mats; and glass bottles and jars as accessories.

5. Practice making compost

Instead of throwing away your scraps and leftovers from the kitchen, turn them into compost. Simply create a compost bin in your garden and fill it with food waste on a daily basis. You’ll be surprised at how effective composting is in growing your plants.

6. Save electricity

Another easy way of helping the environment is by conserving electricity consumption at home. You can do this by switching off or unplugging appliances and other energy-consuming objects at home when not in use. Another tip is to also refrain from using the air conditioner as much as possible to help prevent extreme power consumption. You can work around this by using an electric fan instead, especially in cooler days and nights.

7. Use energy efficient light fixtures

If you’re ready to make the switch to a greener home, consider replacing your standard light bulbs with energy efficient light fixtures. These eco-friendly fixtures are better alternatives because they use less energy and are also proven to help lower energy consumption and electricity bills.

8. Downsize your living space

Downsizing may seem like an unusual way to be more eco-friendly, but it’s a proven way to help reduce energy and power consumption. If you have a large home with few occupants, then it might be the perfect time to consider downsizing to a smaller space. This will not only let you save more money on upkeep and maintenance costs, but it is also a perfect opportunity to help the environment. By settling into a space that is just right for a specific number of occupants, you will also lessen the square footage required for cooling and heating.

9. Ditch plastic packaging

Going for a grocery run? Make sure to choose products that are packaged in biodegradable and recyclable materials such as paper, glass, card and even metal. Avoid buying plastic-packaged products as much as possible to reduce harmful waste. Additionally, bring an eco bag with you to do away with plastic bags that can harm the environment.

10. Buy recycled materials

Another way to promote a greener living space is by buying items for your home that have been recycled or repurposed. This will not only help you save money, but it will also extend the life of these items and reduce the waste footprint of newly bought items.

Food Quality and Safety From Common Household Pests

Household pests like cockroaches, ants, rats, fleas, bed bugs, etc. are common problems, especially in autumn, summer, and monsoon, as they like to hibernate in winter. In most cases, we ignore their presence as they don’t directly annoy us, though it's not entirely true. Getting rid of these pests is a real problem if you don’t know how to do and what to do.

Hiring pest control services can be a costly affair; rather, you can maintain some healthy habits on a regular basis to keep the creepy crawlers at bay. If you live with children and pets keep a strict eye on your food, don’t let them eat contaminated food as their digestive system is much more sensitive than adults.

If you ignore pests like rats and cockroaches, it may cost you a lot in terms of health and wealth. Rats roam around some of the nastiest places, that is why their body is always greasy. If you have a rat infestation in your home, you may find signs of greasiness along their path. Food safety must be your top priority as the health of your family members is directly related to the quality of food cooked from your kitchen.

Pests carry pathogens

Household pests are not at all innocent, so compromising with them cannot be an option. They can attack and contaminate food, damage your property, and spread many diseases. Some of which are maybe fatal for humans. Wherever these pests move, they leave faces; if those got mixed with your food, your health might deteriorate. So, quality control is must for cooked food.

Rats carry many diseases, some of which are-

  • Salmonella
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
  • Tularemia
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV)

Among the above-mentioned diseases, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) is an infectious rat borne disease that may be transmitted through urine and saliva of rats. Victims may experience long term effects of this disease with enormous discomfort. Another worth mentioned rat borne disease is bubonic plague, which is also termed as Black Plague it occurs when fleas from rat’s bite humans. They are also potential sources of allergens. It affects most of those who are suffering from asthma. Their dropping and other micro-body parts may result in sneezing, rashes, and itching in humans. Those diseases may result from direct biting.

Similarly, cockroaches also carry pathogens of harmful diseases, some of them are-

  • Typhoid
  • Salmonella Typhi
  • Poliomyelitis (causes Polio)
  • Dysentery

The main causes of cockroach diseases are their faces and body parts. If these somehow got mixed with your food, you may experience any of the above-mentioned diseases. Cockroaches are easier to detect than rats, though they like to hide, but they are not pro in this. Their crave for food forces them to be seen in your kitchen.

If you have pets like dogs, cats, birds, etc. you may face a flea problem. Flea bites are extremely itchy and poisonous to humans. Flea borne diseases are not as common as rat and cockroach borne diseases.

Some of the serious flea diseases are-

  • Bubonic plague
  • Murine typhus
  • Tungiasis
  • Tularemia
  • Allergies (from flea bites
cats

Fleas are known to transmit tapeworm that primarily attacks pets. Keep your pets safe from fleas, use flea proof products recommended by your doctors. Change their bedding material once a week. Wash them regularly with shampoo, and don’t forget to apply anti-fungal powder.

Another annoying household pest is mosquito. Females mosquitoes bite to perform their special biological phases (reproduction), male mosquitoes generally do not bite, but in case unavailability of their food (sap), they may bite you. Not only their bites are painful, but they also transmit harmful diseases like:

  • Malaria
  • Dengue
  • Yellow fever
  • Zika fever
  • Rose River fever
 These diseases can be fatal if not treated in time. So, if you have mosquitoes remove them immediately before its too late. Children are more sensitive to mosquito bites than adults.
harmful diseases

Warning signs

Look out for signs of infestation regularly. It only takes a couple of weeks to spread an infestation, which may be cockroach, rat, bed bugs, or any other infestation. Cockroaches and rodents are quite shy in nature; they don’t prefer to be seen in the daylight. So, if you want to look for them, night is the ideal time.

Common infestation signs are:

  • Presence of scattered droppings in your kitchen.
  • Presence of large droppings with a stinky smell.
  • Small holes in furniture.
  • Increased cracks and crevices in your kitchen.
  • Gnawed goods or packaging.
  • Greasy animal footprints
  • Musty smell
  • Urine stains and smells
  • Seeing live cockroaches and rats around your kitchen.

How to keep your food safe?

  • When it comes to food safety, you must clean the kitchen regularly with a disinfectant.
  • Close the lid of your containers.
  • Seal all the cracks and crevices
  • Don’t lave spills.
  • Close the dustbin
  • Leave no gaps between the doors

Removing the attraction

  • Clean the food storage area regularly
  • Examine all the food, both raw and cooked before eating processing
  • Clean all the spillages with a disinfectant
  • Do not store foods on the store
  • Before opening, check the packaging of the food.
  • Secure the bin before leaving the kitchen
  • Don’t leave food and drink overnight
  • Do not accumulate cardboard or other discarded material as the pests may hide within them.
  • Clean your dustbin every day
  • Fix leakage in the water supplying pipe
  • Remove all stagnant water sources like a container that may house mosquitoes.

How to remove those pests?

It is difficult to keep all the pests away in spite of taking various measures. After an infestation, it is necessary to check it ASAP so that it may not spread further. There are two major ways to remove pests. One is a natural way, and another is a chemical way. Natural ways are safe, effective, but time taking whereas chemical ways, i.e. insecticides are faster but sometimes harmful to health.

#1 Natural ways 

There are various natural ingredients that repel different pests as effectively as insecticides; these are known as a natural insect repellent. Here we have listed some of the most effective natural insect repellents.

a. Citronella oil

Citronella oil repels insects, specially mosquitoes and ants. They don’t like the strong smell of it. If you sprinkle a little amount of citronella oil in your curtains and bedding material, mosquitoes won’t come near you. This is a completely natural product, does not possess any harm to human health.

Natural ways

b. Lavender oil 

You can add 30 to 50 drops of lavender essential oil into 500 ml water, mix it well and sprinkle it near the target area to keep mosquitoes and fleas away. You can directly apply it to your skin as it is natural and doesn’t contain any chemicals.

Citronella oil

c. Lemongrass oil 

Lemongrass oil is a wonderful ant repellent. Sprinkle it around the cracks and crevices from where an ant colony is crawling, leave it overnight. The ants will change their course as they don’t like the strong smell of lemongrass oil. It can be mixed with rosemary oil that creates a strong smell which keeps mosquitoes at bay. It also repels water bugs and cockroaches.

Lavender oil

d. Clove oil 

Clove oil is very effective against cockroaches and mosquitoes. You can sprinkle it the same way as citronella oil. It is believed to work best among the natural insect repellents.

Lemongrass oil

e. Mint oil 

If you want to repel your ant colony, naturally purchase mint oil. It required a small amount to work. You can apply it directly to the cloths as it does not have any staining property. You can sprinkle it on your kitchen floor, keep it overnight, and get rid of the painful mosquito bites.


Clove oil

f. Thyme oil 

Thyme oil is very effective in repelling mosquitoes and cockroaches. Sprinkle it around your dustbin and kitchen floor to get the best results.

Mint oil

g. Neem oil 

Neem oil repels mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches, and rats. Instead of using costly insecticides, you can apply a small amount of neem oil to keep these pests at bay.

Thyme oil

h. Vinegar 

Another natural pest repellent is vinegar; in most cases, it is used as bait to kill pests like cockroaches, ants, and rats.

Neem oil

#2 Chemical control 

There are four major types of chemical control, those are-

a. Spray 

Which can be directly applied to the pests to kill them. Sometimes these sprays are harmful to humans, specially those with asthma or other respiratory illness. Sprays are considered as one of the fastest pests killing methods. Sprays are effective in case of large infestation. But in case of rat infestation, sprays won't work, whereas it works like magic in cockroach and mosquito infestation.

Chemical control

b.Powder 

Powders are less effective than sprays. It contains diatomaceous earth and other poisonous materials. It needs to sprinkle on the target area from where you wish to remove the pests.

Spray

c. Bait 

Baits are effective in removing cockroaches and rats, but it won't work in case of mosquito infestation. Baits are available in different forms like powder, tablet, gel, liquid, etc. Baits are also efficient in removing ant colonies.

d. Trap

Traps are effective and free from harmful chemicals as these are specially designed to catch those target pests either alive or dead. Traps are useful for catching rats, cockroaches, bed bugs, and mosquitoes, but those are not effective in catching ants.

Foods are the main attraction and reason for infestation. Keep your foods secure, out of the reach of these pests. Do not apply any insecticides directly on your food as they contain poisonous chemicals specially designed to kill the pests. In case of a large infestation, hire an exterminator to tackle the situation. Do not apply insecticides on your own without proper information.

Artificial Grass for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Artificial turf or artificial grass is a natural grass-like surface that is made of synthetic fibers. It is usually used in sports arenas, but are now growing in demand for both commercial applications and residential lawns.

In this post, you'll learn everything about artificial grass for dogs to help you make the best decision when buying one for your furry friends.

How Artificial Grass Works

Synthetic grass is made by melting the material, like how a polymer, and ribbons are created, until the grass is ready for tufting. The artificial grass is tufted to a fabric backing. The adhesive used is polyurethane for a polypropylene material. After completing the tufting manufacturing process, artificial grass is ready for installation.

During the installation of the artificial grass, a generous layer of infill or small granules (made from silica dust, crushed rubber, sand, or a combination of these materials) is scattered throughout the surface to provide cushioning and support. In that way, the artificial turf can withstand traffic and will last for many years. The infill keeps the artificial grass blades upright and beautiful.

Features and Benefits of Artificial Grass

As a dog owner, you only want the best for your pet, so you provide your hundred percent tender loving care at all times. You want your dogs to enjoy playing while they help you become physically active and boost your confidence and passion in taking care of them and the people you love.

One of the best ways to show how much you care and love your fur babies is by installing an artificial turf for dogs in your home. Artificial grass has a lot of advantages for your furry friends. Here are some examples:

  • Safety Feature: Artificial turf is created soft and warm. It's generally safe for your dogs to play on it and it’s very inviting, most especially in the sun, giving your total dog relaxation and pure enjoyment in warm weather.
  • Stays Lush and Green: Homeowners don't need to feed or weed an artificial lawn. With little maintenance, you'll keep your artificial grass lush and green for many years to come. You don't have to water it and no need to worry about drying out or dying grass anymore, unlike natural grass.
  • Durable: Artificial grass is made of durable materials like nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene material that can withstand aggressive dogs.
  • Dog-friendly: Artificial turf is increasingly becoming popular in backyards, front yards, dog runs, and play areas because dogs love it just like real grass.

Common Concerns About Artificial Grass for Dogs

Common Concerns About Artificial Grass for Dogs

Because artificial grass is made of synthetic material, a lot of homeowners have concerns when it comes to maintenance and cleanliness. These might be your concerns as well, so it's worth discussing these things in this post.

Here are some of the issues or major source of concerns when using artificial grass:

  • Melting or Overheating: Because modern artificial grasses were made using melted polymers with UV protection, overheating, or melting due to the heat of the sun is not a major cause of concern. Synthetic turf can withstand extreme temperatures because it is not made from cheap plastic materials.
  • Dog Poo and Pee: Many homeowners are skeptical about using artificial grass because of the possibility of urine and fecal material from their furry friends damaging a fake lawn. Artificial turf won't die, unlike real grass, even if your dog poo or pee on it. Also, you don't need to be stressed about urine spills because it drains away, and you can simply scoop the feces and clean up the mess using a water hose to remove residual dirt and stains.
  • Nasty Odors: You can naturally and permanently eliminate nasty odors lingering from your dog and fake grass by applying some baking soda and vinegar over the area.

Natural Grass vs. Artificial Grass: Which is a Better Option?

What are the differences between natural grass and artificial grass? Why should you choose artificial grass over natural grass for your dogs?

There’s no doubt that natural grass reflects the real beauty of nature and gardening brings joy and health benefits for you. But, artificial grass can be highly beneficial if you're trying to care for pets and maintain the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your home at the same time.

Dogs can be playful and overly naughty, so natural grass can easily get damaged and turn out ugly because of muddy footprints with grass fibers scattered around. However, with artificial grass, you have less stress handling gardening problems and pet mess at the same time.

As previously mentioned, artificial turf never withers, and they don't need nutrients and water to remain lush and green.

Here are some other differences between natural grass and artificial turf:

  • Chemical Exposure and Bacterial Buildup: Chemicals are frequently used in natural grass lawns, requiring an abundance of pesticides and herbicides to keep pests away and for them to look their best. It is especially true if you hire a landscaping company to take care of your yard, which makes it difficult to determine if they're using natural products or organic options.
  • On the other hand, artificial grass doesn't require fertilizers, so even if they chew on safe artificial turf, chemicals won't be a major source of concern. Artificial turf also comes with anti-microbial or acrylic-coated infill to avoid bacterial buildup.
  • Maintenance: You need to mow, weed, water, and fertilize natural grass while artificial grass only requires water and vinegar solution to keep it clean and odor-free (more on maintenance discussion below).
  • Overall Safety: Conventional grass usually has uneven surfaces that may pose a safety hazard to your pets and children. The correct level of the ground is usually impossible to see, which can cause tripping accidents. On the other hand, synthetic turf installers know how to work on edges, seams, and the sub-surfaces, so they are level or even for children and pets to play. The infill also provides extra cushion if ever your dog falls down to improve safety.

How Artificial Grass Can Make a Difference

Surely, you now probably have realized how effective and efficient an artificial grass is for you as a pet owner. But, how can artificial grass affect the life of your dogs in general?

Here are the impacts of installing an artificial turf for dogs:

  • Dogs Take It Pretty Quickly: Are you worried that your dog won't love the feel of artificial grass? Don't worry because artificial grass feels and looks similar to natural grass without becoming muddy. Dogs generally love comfort, so installing artificial turf is like re-carpeting their play area with denser and softer material.
  • Small Dogs Love It: Overgrown natural grass can become an intimidating place for small dogs. With artificial grass, you don't need to mow your lawn, and the tidy length may persuade them to go outside more often. By doing so, they tend to get more exercise, get physically active and confident, and help them do their activities with ease.
  • Cope With Your Dogs’ Habits: Dogs love to lie down on certain spots, and the good thing about artificial turf is that it compacts when lying on and spring back after. It is because artificial turf is made of durable plastic so that it won't get damaged even with energetic play. Just wash the area with soapy water to keep your dog's favorite spot sanitary.

How to Maintain Artificial Grass for Dogs

Artificial grass is not totally maintenance-free. Like natural grass, you have to keep it looking at its best, so your dog can use it for many years. Regular cleaning and maintenance are important.

How often do you clean artificial grass? Well, it really depends on the situation. For instance, you'll likely need to clean your artificial lawn more often if you have several outdoor pets, lots of shrubs and trees, and children playing around.

Living in a sandy or dusty area may also require rinsing down your artificial lawn more often. Allow the rain to drain and wash it during rainy days. Due to a wide array of factors involved in cleanliness and maintenance, setting up a maintenance schedule will help you keep your artificial lawn at its best at all times.

Here's a quick guide in maintenance scheduling of artificial grass for dogs:

  • Weekly Synthetic Lawn Maintenance: Lightly rinse your artificial lawn once a week. Use a water hose to spray down the synthetic grass fibers to remove small debris and dust.
  • Monthly Synthetic Lawn Maintenance: You need to do a more thorough artificial grass cleaning every month by removing dirt, dust, and leaves using a stiff brush. Avoid using steel bristles because they could cause undue damaged on the artificial grass. Using a handled brush or a broom is also a good idea to sweep natural grass grain and maintain the grass in an upright position.

How to Clean Pet Waste From Artificial Grass

Artificial grass is a pet-friendly option that only requires minimal maintenance to keep your lawn looking great. Your dog may urinate or defecate in your synthetic turf, but you can address this problem by:

  • Removing solid waste with a pooper scooper or baggie.
  • Cleaning the area by using a water hose in a decent pressure.
  • Making sure to spray or clean areas where your dog frequently urinates at least once or twice a week.
  • Applying a turf deodorizer is a good idea to keep nasty smells away.

Note: You can create a separate bathroom area, like a gravel or dirt patch in your side yard, to make synthetic lawn maintenance a lot easier. Dogs can be easily trained to use separate bathroom areas.

How to Clean Stubborn Stains from Artificial Grass

Stubborn stains could be chewing gum, sticky candies, barbecue sauces, spills, and blood. While many stains can be easily washed away, you can use mild soap and warm water to clean stubborn stains. Also, you can use a water and vinegar solution as a cleansing agent to help remove bacteria or disinfect the area.

Here are some tips when removing stubborn stains:

  • If ever a chewing gum, gummy candy, sticky candy, or caramel chocolate stick on the artificial grass, you can simply pick them up with your hand.
  • Chilling the gum with an ice cube is a good idea to remove chewing gum easily.
  • Also, a plastic putty knife can help remove tough stains.
  • Don't use harsh solvents or chemicals to remove sticky substances or spills from your artificial lawn because they can damage the fibers due to their corrosive properties.

How to Avoid Burns on Artificial Grass

You can repair cigarette burns in your synthetic lawn. Burns are usually caused by lubricant spill, grease, battery acid, and motor oil, that may damage or discolor your artificial grass. Prevent burns by repairing your car or not using garden tools near or on your synthetic lawn.

Also, cigarettes, fireworks, sparks from fire pits, and charcoal spill from grills can cause burns of artificial grass. That's why you have to keep a safe distance when grilling, smoking, or lighting fireworks to avoid burning your artificial grass. You can always contact your artificial lawn provider for repair options.

How to Remove Ice and Snow from Artificial Grass

It's quite easy to remove ice and snow from your synthetic lawn by allowing them to melt and eventually drain away naturally. If you're dealing with a light snow dusting, simply sweep or brush the snow away. For several inches of snow, you can use a snowblower or shovel to remove the top layers, and the bottom layers are best brushed or swept away.

Conclusion

Artificial grass is a great alternative to natural grass if you have dogs around because it is more durable and requires little maintenance. Removing dirt, ice or snow, and stubborn stains are easy with simple tools to use. Also, dogs love synthetic grass-like natural grass because they're much softer and denser, and grasses don't grow at all, which is beneficial for small dogs.

Investing in a synthetic lawn is a wise move because you'll save money with watering, fertilizing, and hiring a landscape company to maintain a conventional lawn. Your dogs are also happier because they can easily get used to the feeling and the looks of an artificial lawn. For pet owners, your life is a lot easier because you don't have to deal with the mess every time so that you can spend more quality time with your family and pets.

Secret of Keeping the House Clean

Are you struggling to keep and maintain an orderly home? Do you want to know how to keep your house clean day in and day out? The secret is doing a little bit of cleaning every day to keep the mess from piling up.

Once you get into the habit of tending to your home, your house will look clean at all times. Some of the duties don’t amount to complete house cleaning, but they do help. It doesn’t have to take a whole weekend to keep your house clean. It involves creating habits that will help to create a clean and tidy living environment. The more you make these habits, the easier it gets. If, at first, the tasks seem overwhelming, pick two to three and add more as you get things done. Cleaning your home daily also helps you find if there is a fault in your floor, wall, roof, etc - Also your house is a complete mess you can always hire a professional and insured company offering one-time deep stamford cleaning servicesthis will make the job a lot easier. "

Always start your day by making your bed

Some people think making a bed is a waste of time; it makes a significant difference in how tidy a room is. It takes a couple of minutes to make the bed and climbing into a neat bed at the end of the day is exciting. Make it easier by simplifying your bedding as much as possible. You can also minimize the number of pillows on your bed. Make sure you use a duvet or large comforter that won’t require you to tuck sheets.

An unmade bed makes the whole room look untidy.

Empty the dishwasher

Emptying your dishwasher takes less than five minutes. You can leave your dishwasher while the coffee brews or while you prepare the kids for school. An empty dishwasher will prevent dirty dishes from piling up in the sink. Having a kitchen look tidy means having an empty dishwasher at all times. Empty dishwashers also prevent the emergence of house pests.

Clean up after each meal

Dirty countertops will always make the room look untidy. After emptying the dishwasher, load the dishes after each meal and wipe down your counters. You don’t have to move everything, but make sure to put food away. Spray and wipe around to leave your countertops looking fresh.

Do laundry daily

Once you develop a daily laundry habit, this will leave be a significant game-changer. Pop a load of laundry before heading to work and transfer to the dryer when you get home. The most important aspect of laundry is folding once the buzzer goes off. You need to keep clean clothes away.

Make sure to wipe your faucets and sinks

Hairs in the bathroom sink, as well as toothpaste splatters, look nasty. Make sure you have a homemade disinfecting wipe and clean the faucet and sink. Wiping faucets and sinks every day will take mere seconds, and you will ensure the mess never gets out of control.

Get picky with your carpet

Make sure to vacuum high-traffic areas once every three to four days. Pick up small messes such as cat hair and scraps of paper if you don’t have much time to vacuum. Bending over and picking little messes can be counted as light exercise.

Sweep your kitchen at night

Using brooms and dustpans are a hassle. Make sure you have your kids clean the kitchen as part of their evening routine.

Sort out and recycle paper

Are papers piling up in your kitchen and dining table? Make sure to run junk mail through the shredder and put bills and letters in a mailbox.

Using floor mats

Keep most of the dirt out by placing floor mats on the inside and outside of each exterior door. Make sure to use the best steam mops to clean floor mats every few days.

Keep basic cleaning supplies close

Make sure your bathroom has necessary cleaning supplies. These include microfiber cloths, polishing cloth, toilet scrub brush, spray bottle, vinegar, among others. It makes it easier and quicker to give your bathroom a quick swipe. You can easily clean gross toothpaste spit with the help of available cleaning supplies.

Attack one room at a time

You can quickly get distracted when cleaning. You can get things accomplished if you focus on one place at a time. By cleaning one room at a time, you get a few spaces completely clean within a short period.

Secrets from owners of clean homes

They know how to make space by getting rid of stuff they don’t need. The more things you have, the more cleaning you will need. It takes time to clean all the items in your home, so why not donate those materials?

Declutter

Decluttering needs planned execution over time. Having a spot for everything makes it easier to clean your home. Placing fewer items on the counters and surface spots will cut down on dusting, making cleaning quicker.

Never leave a room empty

Try to scan the room and see whether there’s any material that doesn’t belong. It could be a couple of dishes left in an office room or laundry that needs cleaning. 

Get the family involved

Spend the time to teach your children to do age-appropriate chores. Do your kids know how to clean for themselves? Show them how to put their coats and shoes away when they come into the house. You will be amazed at how much overall tidiness of the house by involving everyone.

The 15 Minute night cleanup

Make it a habit to do a family 15 minute nightly clean up. It makes perfect sense for everyone to clean up with the rest of the family members. Kids can be cleaning their rooms while you finish with your kitchen cleaning duties. Make sure to start with the things that are making the biggest mess.

Empty the dustbin every day, preferably after your evening meals. It ensures the dustbin is always ready during the day.

Make cleaning feel less like a chore

Is it tough to put a fun spin on cleaning? There are ways of completing cleaning duties while distracting your mind. How about listening to your favorite podcast?

Performing these daily house cleaning chores will take a few minutes of your time. These tips will keep your home looking clean no matter your busy schedule.

Resources - Clean and Scentsible, Heart of Deborah, Housewife how tos,

13 Amazing Tools to Make Your Gardening Easy and Fun

Spring is coming, and so is the thought of gardening. Although having a well-groomed jazzy garden is pleasing, it is also pretty time-consuming!

And if you are not fit enough, it will be tiring, too!

To keep it cool and comfortable, here is a list of crackerjack tools that can conclusively create your convenience.

1. Gloves with Digging Claws

Gardening gloves not only protect your hands from broken fingernails, aching fingertips, and other injuries due to sharp objects, but also keep your hands clean, neat, and stainless.

But these gloves with attached claws are much more than that. They make you work like a pro! Wearing them, you can easily dig, plant, and rake your garden in full pace, while they provide your hand every comfort you expect from a pair of quality gloves.

2. Wheeled Gardening Cart

Running back to the shed over and over again to get your tools is stressful and eats up your time, too! Take all of them in a wheeled cart and carry it along while you are gardening.

Make sure that it is much lighter than those old barrows and moves smoothly over your grassy ground. Look for those with some bonus utilities. Such as, with raised baskets or built-in seats with a garden tool organizer underneath to get things handy and stay relaxed while gardening.

3. Garden Kneeler

Knee pain is often involved with gardening. Using these garden kneelers combined with cushions help you avoid stress on your knees, and can also be used as a stool.

A preferable garden kneeler is light, but can hold the weight of as much as 250 pounds! They are foldable to fit in your storage easily and some also come with a lifetime warranty.

4. Hori Hori

If you are tired of your trowel since it binds and breaks easily under pressure and is only suitable for digging in loose soil, take hori hori as your savior. Unlike a trowel, it is capable of digging up tenacious weeds, roots, and rocks.

Hori hori is a strong single steel made dagger looking tool that is not sharp and has slim pieces of wood covering its handle end to make sure your hand doesn’t get hurt.

5. Hula Hoe

When it comes to weeding around your delicate plants, there is usually a possibility of damaging them. But hula hoe enables you to cut those weeds to their roots without harming your plants.

While using this tool, you have to push and pull it like those back and forth dance moves, which have possibly inspired its super cool name.

6. Flame Weeder

This tool holds a torch in it that safely flames the weeds without harming your feet. Flame weeders are designed to clean weeds from places where you don’t want any living things to grow.

So, it is ideal to get rid of the weeds that grow in the cracks of your driveway or those that you need to clean from the bed before you start planting. But since it produces flame, be conscious while using it; store and apply carefully.

7. Retractable Hose Reel

You cannot just leave your gardening hose lying across the ground instead of packing it up again for storage. It can not only cause an accident but also get damaged by the sun.

Get a retractable hose reel to end this pain safely and comfortably forever. It makes organizing and storing your hose pretty handy and keeps it knot and gas free.

8. Garden Hose Wand

Water your garden with a hose wand for less stress, which is a good alternative to nozzles which from time to time make you climb a step-stool or ladder or to grip in painful ways.

Garden hose wands are very light and can be operated by using only your thumb. They also give a very gentle shower that makes it easily controllable.

9. Smart Watering Controller

If you do not want to worry about watering your plants at all, use this smart watering controller. The best thing about this device is that it can work with your existing watering system on its own while saving your water.

10. Pole Pruners

To maintain the health of your garden trees, it is very important to prune it once in a year. But it is a difficult task if you want to do it on your own. Hiring a professional to do this will also cost you money.

Make your task easy with pole pruners. There are different types of pole pruners available on the market, including telescopic models.

So, it is better to spend $50-$150 at a time over them and cut those branches that have been standing on your yard for years.

11. Berry Comb

This is an easy-breezy way to harvest your blueberries. All you have to do is to run the tool across the shrubbery and that’s it! Berry combs have prongs in them that pluck the berries from their branches and place them inside the tool.

With this tool you can also harvest huckleberries, some types of blackberries and other small fruits.

12. Telescopic Fruit Pickers

This tool is ideal to pick your desirable fruit from the tree. For its telescopic ability you can determine its length according to the distance, which makes plucking fruits easier for you and enables you to grab the fruit you want.

It also has a cage below its claw-like tines that plucks the fruit. So, when plucked, the fruit gets deposited inside the cage, keeping it fresh and unharmed.

13. Power booster Blower

Cleaning your lawn is a tiring job to do and takes hours to get it done. But with a power booster blower it becomes easy like anything. Thankfully, it is designed in such a way that it clears away even the most stubborn debris from your yard.

Conclusion

What is spring without charming gardens around our homes! So, use these amazing tools and enjoy your gardening while you decorate.

Let Your Garden Bee Friendly

If you’re planning on planting a garden, then don’t forget about the bees. There is nothing like the sound of bees flitting about a garden to make it feel like it is alive and well. One thing all bees have in common is that they like flowers, especially certain types of flowers. When you plant them, they are sure to get noticed by the bees, and the bees will do the rest. However, it's not only about the bees. When bees arrive in your garden, the chances of increasing fruit and vegetable production go up. In fact, fruits and vegetables like pumpkins, cucumbers, cherries, apples, blueberries, etc. depend on bees for reproduction. The following are some plants that not only help attract bees but will look good in the garden.

Lilacs: with their purple color and great fragrance, lilacs will enhance the beauty of a garden, as well as attract bees. Lilacs generally grow in bunches on a stem, resembling a bouquet. This is what gives them their amazing eye-catching appeal. When planting them, choose a spot where the plant will get plenty of sun, and the soil drains well.  Also, remember not to plant anything close to the plant since they tend to grow into bushes, over time.

Honeysuckle: Honeysuckles are well-known plants and do not need much introduction. The flowers resemble certain types of orchids and have a powerful fragrance. There are two different varieties of honeysuckle plants, shrubs and vines. If you want to plant a few in one area, then go for the shrubs, if you want a climber to drape the house or an archway, then go with vine variety.

Herbs: Have you been thinking about planting an herb garden? The good news is that certain herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and sage attract bees. The best thing to do is to grow them in a pot, especially oregano since it tends to spread out and take over your garden space. Herbs tend to like a lot of sunlight and well-drained soil.

Herbs

Herbs

Lavender: lavender come in several varieties, and they are a big hit with the bees as well. These beautiful plants with their small purple flowers can be grown in several different ways, depending on the space you have to work with. You can grow them in pots, flowerbeds or just about anywhere in your garden. If you are thinking about attracting bees, then go for more prominent bushier varieties. Like many other smaller plants, lavender does not like soil that stays wet for long periods.

Hyacinth: If you want to turn your garden into instant eye candy, not only for bees but for humans as well, then go for the hyacinth. If the flowers look a bit familiar to you, then it’s not a coincidence. That is because hyacinths belong in the Lilly/onion family. The reason for their eye-catching presence is that the plant will have a vertical stem producing many flowers on it. Hyacinths are also available in different colors such as purple, pink, and white.

Hyacinth

Hyacinth

Bee Balm: The name says it all and if you want to attract bees to your garden, but want to keep things simple, then you need to plant bee balm. Once you plant bee balm and it starts flowering, you will understand why this plant was named for bees. These plants are not picky when it comes to the type of soil it has been planted on.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Attracting bees to your garden is not only about planting the right flowers. It is also about the environment. The following are some of the main things to do to help attract your winged friends.

  • Make water available for them. You can even provide a float in the water, such as a piece of wood for them to land on.
  • Bees prefer patches of flowers as opposed to a single or a few flowers. Plant the flowering plants in three by three-foot patterns at a minimum
  • Keep pesticides to a minimum. If you have to use it, then try and use less toxic, organic pesticides
  • As much as possible plant flowering plants that bloom at different times of the year. This will attract many different varieties of bees

The fact is, growing a bee-friendly garden is not very difficult. The plants will be happy and so will you and anyone who takes a look at your garden. You will also get a garden that seriously enhances its face value, and make some honey on the side, to boot.

24 Organic Pest Control that Will Make Your Garden Healthy and Pest-Free Right Now

Starting up a new garden is easy.

But, just like anything else, the maintenance part is the most trivial one. Sooner or later, you will encounter challenges.

One of the most common problems in a garden would be pests; but worry not because I have created the best organic pest control list for you.​

​Although there are so many choices for pest control available on the market these days, I would like to acknowledge that not all products out there are relatively safe for your plants. Having a list of natural home pest control is essential.

Trust me on this; it will not only be for your vegetation. It will also safeguard the health of your family or those people and animals that will eat your produce. Now tell me, would you want to have a pest-free garden that grows poisonous fruits and vegetables? I bet not.

Trust me on this; it will not only be for your vegetation. It will also safeguard the health of your family or those people and animals that will eat your produce. Now tell me, would you want to have a pest-free garden that grows poisonous fruits and vegetables? I bet not.

The Top 4 Organic Pest Control

The first four are specifically exceptional because they are considered power foods by people who are highly health conscious. Can you just imagine sharing your food with your plants? These four edible items will not only help you achieve the body and wellness you desire, it can also safeguard your garden.

On top of that, when I suggested these four items to friends and colleagues, they would often feel surprised.

#1. Squeeze the Leaves of Papaya to Get Rid of Small Pests

Papaya is a popular fruit when it comes to cleaning your digestive system. But did you know that the extracts of the papaya leaves are a perfect natural pest control for gardens?

A study on Carica Papaya’s Leaves shows that the substances it contains such as Vitamins A, B1, C, Charcoal hydrate, calcium, phosphorus, iron, papayotin kautsyuk, and the likes can combat caterpillars. The specific active ingredient in the papaya leaves known as Papain makes it super effective.

The solution can not only shoo caterpillars, it can also prevent the presence of aphids, termites, and other small insects.

But that is not all; it can also serve as a collector of crop pests. They can successfully trap other pests like russet mites by attracting them after which, you could just easily remove them from your garden.​

How to Specifically Use it:

  • Prepare 1 kg of papaya leaves, 10 liters of water, 2 tbsp kerosene, 30 g detergent, and soft cloth for filtering
  • Mash the leaves until it is smooth
  • Add and mix the remaining products to the mashed leaves and let it sit overnight
  • Using the soft cloth, strain the solution to separate the leaves from the liquid
  • Put the extract to a pump sprayer

This is the first in our list because aside from acting as a pesticide, the extract weakens eggs, larvae and pupae development. It gets better because it can also prevent bacteria and other pathogens from growing. This protects your plants from certain diseases.

I’m not going to lie to you, the papaya leaves extract works slowly but surely. And it will be more efficient if you spray the solution routinely.

#2. Fungal Infection? Cornmeal Juice to the Rescue!

In the event where you notice your plants to develop signs and symptoms of fungal infection, one efficient thing you can do is to use cornmeal juice.​

A fungus is one of the pests gardener hate with passion. It can destroy the appearance of our plants. This pathogen can weaken them. Fungal infections can cause secondary plant diseases and can eventually kill our plants; wasting all our hard work and time.

Worry not because Cornmeal Juice has been professionally recommended to act as an effective fungicide.

Let me share with you important information I learned from the Complete Handbook of Howard Garrett, where he stated that cornmeal juice can treat different fungal diseases.​

How to Specifically Use it:

If you are growing roses, the presence of fungus can be manifested by dark spots with a yellow halo in the leaves. Spraying compost tea and cornmeal juice can solve this problem.

Sometimes, you can encounter fungal diseases during cold weathers too. St. Augustine grass is most vulnerable to this. It weakens the leaves, making them be easily pulled loose. The grass can grow small to large spots which weaken the turf. On occasions like this, you may apply 20 pounds of cornmeal for every 1,000 sq. ft of your soil.

Edible plants such as peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables can also be infected with fungus. In addition to that, ornamental plants can also develop a fungal infection. Using your best garden sprayer, spraying plants with cornmeal juice, compost tea and using cornmeal products to treat the soil is helpful.​

Using cornmeal juice can also be beneficial if you observe your plants wilting and turning yellow. Aside from that, if you notice your grass developing vertical spots that are grayish in color, use cornmeal as well.

You may also prepare 1 cup of cornmeal, soak it in 5 gallons of water for 1 hour, filter the solids and spray the liquid in the affected area. Some farmers prefer to drench the soil with this solution instead.

#3. Check this out: Milk as Your Next Favorite Garden Treatment

Taking care of cucumbers, crab apples, grapes, lilacs, squashes, roses, and phlox may be challenging because they are highly susceptible to powdery mildew – another fungal infection.

This is caused by Erysiphales fungus. They are airborne and at the same time, insects and water can carry them. They are white spots on the leaves of your plants. Appearing as harmful specks, they can silently chop off the lifeline of the leaf by interfering with photosynthesis.

Believe it or not, this technique has been used for decades already. A practice of making sprays made of 40% and 60% of milk and water respectively has been very successful in managing powdery mildews.

If you are a fan of sulfur and other synthetic chemicals, this concoction can be your alternative vegetable garden pest control.

You might be wondering how milk can be effective, right? Well, most scholars believe that the protein interaction with the rays of the sun turns out to emit certain antiseptic effects. This kills the fungi in the leaves by “burning” them without harming the part of the plant.

How to Specifically Use it:

I highly suggest for you to experiment with the dilution of your mix. Although the 40-60% proportion is widely used, some opt to utilize 10% milk, 90% water or 30% milk and 70% water.

It is a very wise idea to spray on sunny days particularly between 12 noon to 4 in the afternoon. You may spray once every two weeks to once a week.​

According to the article of Ms. Barbara Pleasant, the type of milk (skim, whole, non-fat or low-fat) does not have a big impact since we are after the protein after all.

It would be a very good investment to utilize organic milk for this. Just like for your body, premium nutrients can give you optimum wellness. This is according to another trusted gardener online.

Unfortunately, you have to be prepared for an unusual odor when using this. Some users are complaining about this, but since I do not spray it in shady areas, I do not observe any foul smell.​

#4. Trap that Japanese beetle with… a Banana

It is so common to hear my fellow gardener complain about the presence of Japanese beetles.

These Japanese beetles are so devastating. They multiply so fast and they can be seen everywhere! Such a nuisance! Japanese beetles destroy all types of plants. Hence, they can destroy the appearance of your landscapes too!

They feed on more than 300 plant species according to one informative article about Japanese beetle. These pests eat up leaves up until it is left with the toughest veins. The roots are also one of their food sources. When they target roots, they wreck up golf courses and parks.

How to Specifically Use it:

Using only 1 mashed banana, mix 2 cups water, half cup of sugar, half cup of wine and a half teaspoon of yeast. Let it sit in a covered container. Place it in an area highly exposed to sunlight for one whole day.

The aroma of the mixture will surely attract these dangerous insects. They will gather around and feed themselves and you can just simply

Sounds good right?

But here’s the deal: You have to learn how and where to properly place the trap or else you will suffer. Why? If you do not, you will actually attract and not trap more beetles. This natural pest-controlling method, therefore, needs expertise. But worry not as I will share important tricks.

First, you have to place the traps 1-2 inches away from the soil. Remember not to place them in infested plants. Also, you have to choose an area that is exposed to sun.

As for the maintenance, you have to replace your traps every year. Encourage other community members to use the trap so as to kill as much Japanese beetle as you can.

Let us talk about the most famous downside of using Japanese beetle traps: foul smell. The combination of fermenting banana and dead beetles sometimes discourages gardeners to use this organic pest control.​

Additional 20 Natural Pesticides for Home

These next items are more common ones. They can target numerous kinds of pests. You may notice that one insect or disease can be solved by multiple organic pest control. Please try the solution to a number of plants first and observe for 1 to 2 days before using it to the whole garden.

Also, bear in mind that the effectivity may depend on few conditions such as the characteristic of the soil, type of weather, and even method of application.

Although these may all be natural or organic, you may still need to wear something to protect you especially your eyes.

#1. One Cup of Tea for the Garden!

Recently, I published a blog entry about compost which also tackled the use of a compost tea. I specifically mentioned how you can improve your plants such as mums with it. The main purpose of the tea there is to act as fertilizer.

Compost tea, however, has been proven by many gardeners to successfully eliminate pests. Some of my friends would even attest that it can even solve mold problems. On top of that, it can also help prevent diseases on your foliage.​

To make this, you have to mix your compost with water. Just like the teas you are drinking, you have to undergo the same process of letting it sit and filtering it. After all of the said procedure, you will then have to collect the liquid and use it to spray on your floras.

#2. ​Aphids No More, Thank You Tomato!

It is clever to save some seeds and grow your own fruits. I have discussed in one of my recent blogs as well. This will come handy since you will learn today that you can use the leaves of tomatoes to get rid of pests like aphids.

This is a very easy homemade insecticide. You will just need 2 cups of tomato leaves (chopped), 2 cups of water and a strainer.

Combine the two ingredients and leave it for 24 hours. Separate the solids from the liquid using the strainer. Alternatively, feel free to make use of coffee filter if you do not have one. Put additional 2 cups of water to the extracted fluid.

Now all you have to do is to get your sprayer and target the stems of your plants. Do not forget to spray on the undersides of the leaves since this is where aphids usually hide.

Although this treatment is organic, it is still advisable for you to wash your tomato before eating it.

#3. Vitamin Citrus for Bugs!

If you are fond of eating oranges, you will be happy to know that you do not have to waste the peelings of it. Orange peels can help you get rid of soft-bodied bugs (aphids, fungus gnats, mealy bugs, and slugs). It can also help you do away with ants and roaches.

Check out my other blog to learn how to specifically kill red ants here.

Create your own by using fresh citrus peels or 1.5 teaspoons of dried citrus peels. In a container, pour 2 cups of boiling water on the orange peels. Leave the solution untouched for 24 hours. Pour the solution into a strainer to separate the peels.​

Pour the fluid into a sprayer and then add Castile Soap Drops. Spray directly on pests. You may also spray the solution to affected plants to shoo pests away.

#4. ​Garlic, Peppers, and Onion: Partners for Sauté, Partners for Garden

I believe every house would always have these ingredients. I was so glad the moment I learned about this method. Fighting off pests has never been so personal, I thought.

These natural pesticides for vegetable garden are perfect if you have problems with aphids, grasshoppers, thrips, and other insects that chew and suck your plants. This solution is recommended for roses, azaleas and of course, vegetable garden towers.

You will need 2 pieces of hot peppers, 1 large onion, a whole bulb of garlic, oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Whoops! Let me delete those last two ingredients. I got carried away; I thought I was on a cooking show.

Going back… Using a food processor, blend pepper, onion, and garlic with water until they are fully mashed. Transfer the mixture to another container and add 1 gallon of hot water. Let it sit for 24 hours. Strain and spray on plants.

#5. Apple Cider Vinegar Indeed has so Many Uses

After learning that I can increase my metabolism, speed up the process of weight loss and do lots of wonders for my body (internally and externally), Apple Cider Vinegar has been a part of my grocery list.

The wonders of ACV do not stop there. If you have issues with pests: ants, fruit flies, fungi, snails, and slugs, this next ingredient will probably be your next best friend.

You may use the vinegar purely or you can mix water to dilute it and lessen its acidity. In warding off ants, for example, you just have to spray vinegar and reapply after few days on the trail they made.

As for fruit flies, you will need more ingredients though. A cup of water, half cup of vinegar, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon of molasses to be exact. This time, you are not going to spray them, but put the solution inside a trap.

Fungal diseases? 3 tablespoons of ACV mixed with 4 liters of water is all you need for your roses. Alternatively, for other plants, you may mix 1 tablespoons of white vinegar with 2 liters of compost tea.

To control powdery mildew, aside from using milk, you can also spray a mixture of 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar combined with 2 liters of water to the plant.

Using a ratio of 1:1, mix vinegar with water. Use this solution to clean your gardening tools. All you have to do is to soak them, and the mixture will act as a disinfectant.

#6. Use Soap Spray and Say Goodbye to Insects

You might be wondering why I included this on our list. I am talking about naturally made soaps and not the one with chemical contents, not detergent soap, and not dish soap.

You can deal with problematic aphids, mites, bugs and other thrips with this solution. If you wanted specific ways on how to get rid of russet mites, please see my other blog post.

The scent does not really matter. What we are after is the fatty acid content of your soap. Avoid soaps with degreasers and moisturizers.

To create this natural pest control, add 5 tablespoons of soap in a gallon of water or 1 tablespoon of soap in a quart of water. Shake and spray. Some recommended types of soaps would be Thyme soap bars and Naptha soap.

Please be reminded to be careful in choosing a sprayer to use. Never use a sprayer previously containing herbicides or weed killers.

#7. DE: Diatomaceous Earth, Dehydrate Enemies

Unlike the other items listed on this list, diatomaceous earth does not sound edible but you can actually eat this bug killer.

There are two primary methods how this organic pest control works.

The first one is that it actually dehydrates the pest as it tries to remove the fats from the exoskeleton of the insects. This part helps the insect conserve moisture.​

Another is that when they actually consume the diatomaceous earth and its tiny particles will lodge into their digestive system. It does not only cause clogging, its sharp structure also causes the soft bodies of insects to be sliced as they move.

This insecticide is effective in killing ants, bed bugs, cockroach, fleas and house dust mites.

To use this, you have to simply sprinkle a dash of dry diatomaceous earth on the soil. Please reapply if the surface gets soaked in water (rain or dew). You may also apply DE directly to the newly hatched larvae of beetles and bugs.

#8. Tobacco is bad for Your Pests’ Health …too

The government has tried numerous ways on how to ward people off from using tobacco. I can just imagine insects conducting a meeting to talk about the damaging effects of tobacco on their lives (more like in the movie Ants or A Bugs Life... hahaha!).

Kidding aside, the nicotine, the same harmful content of cigar is the one that will kill the enemies. One who is using this pesticide should take extra precaution as too much spraying can kill beneficial insects in your garden too.

To make the nicotine spray, you must have 100 pieces of cigarette butts and 4 liters of water. Boil the butts in water, strain, and dilute with 2 parts of water. Spray on infected plants.

PS. This should not be an excuse for you to smoke 100 or even 1 stick!

Please take note: this is not advisable for edible parts of crops or any members of potato or tomato family.

Oils, Oils, Oils

There was a time when people only had bad notions about oils. They say they make you fat and it will just give you a heart attack. Good thing, people are now realizing that we should not be avoiding oils as long as it is taken in moderation.

People are also starting to appreciate its benefits and are discovering more and more uses of oil especially in the world of agriculture.

All gardeners should take precaution when using oils in plants for these reasons:

  • ​Not all plants can handle oil in their vascular systems, and
  • During summer, oil treated plants can get damaged as they will burn (much like the sunburn we get but of course, our skin is thicker and well-protected)

#1. Neem Oil Soil Drench Is a Powerful Insecticide and Fungicide

In the previous items, you may have predicted the next step: strain and spray. Neem oil can also be prepared that way but it also has a different tactic to get rid of unwanted insects.Let us talk about the spray first.

In making Neem sprays, you will need 1 teaspoon of high quality, cold pressed neem oil, 1-liter warm water and 1/3 teaspoon of detergent or insecticidal soap.

Mix warm water and soap then apply the oil slowly while vigorously stirring the mixture. You have to shake, shake, and shake and use the solution within eight hours. Spray the solution on leaves. If it is your first time and your garden is suffering from an infestation, feel free to drench all leaves and soil around the plant.

Now since we already talked about drenching, let me explain to you how it works.

Drenching the soil with these natural pesticides for herbs allows the plant to reabsorb it. This may take few days, but what it does is to directly harm the insects that feed on it. It affects the growth of the insects, its reproductive system and causes breathing problems.​

PRO TIP: do not spray at noon or in the evening so as not to kill helpful insects. Preferably, you should spray early mornings and late afternoons.

Check out this YouTube video I found:

​#2. Horticultural Oil Blocks the Airway of your Unwanted Visitors

Well, this seems to be the most challenging oil in the list. A huge populace of the populace is not really aware of what it is.

Horticultural oils are seasoned oils. We are aware that some plants bear flowers and fruits at a specified season only. Certain pests are attracted during a particular cycle of flowering.

This is why farmers started making use of oils for that certain dormant season or when the buds of the flowers are just beginning to flourish. Dormant oil targets to kill aphids, mites, and scales. They also made summer or all season oils which are applied to plants during growing season.

Horticultural oils have two ways to eradicate pests. First of all, it suffocates them. As you spray the oil to the insect, the oil goes to the spiracles (this serves as the mouth and nose). It then causes breathing problems as it blocks the airway.

Before teaching you how to make horticultural oil sprays, let me tell you tips to help your solution become highly effective.

Primarily, never use the oil during extreme temperatures. That would be freezing temperatures and if it is more than 100° F. It is also not recommended for you to use this pest control during high humidity. Do not spray horticultural oil during fall; and lastly, do not spray when the plant has been previously sprayed with insecticides that have Sulfur content. Check out the rationales behind these precautions here.

Now, to the moment you’ve been waiting for. Prepare 1 tablespoon of horticultural oil, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and a gallon of water. Shake and spray.

#3. Eucalyptus Oil

I have heard a number of gardener claims that they consider the Eucalyptus oil as the best insecticide for vegetable garden. I have no reservations for this. I grew up watching my grandparents using eucalyptus oil, my mother did the same, and I am not ashamed to say that I also have it at home!

Eucalyptus oil has been popular for its abundant functions. It serves as antiviral, antibacterial, expectorant, disinfectant, and an effective pain reliever.

Many households have this as a part of their medicinal cabinet. Mothers vouch that it gives significant relief in different health problems. It cleans multiple arrays of household items, it makes the house smells good and of course, and it gets rid of household and garden pests.

Focusing on our dear garden eucalyptus oil serves as an efficient acaricidal, insect repellent, herbicidal, and nematicidal according to one scholarly article. Hence, you should think twice about preparing your string trimmer head or weeder when you are dealing with stubborn growths.

It is so great because we can enjoy all of its functions so easily because eucalyptus oil is everywhere. You can even buy them in your nearest 24-hour convenient store.

When it comes to pest control, we can apply the oil in different ways. Humans may enjoy the scent of eucalyptus; however, this is not the case for ants and gnats. Because of the strong, sharp smell, they consider it to be hazardous.

To create a spray for this purpose, add ¼ teaspoon of eucalyptus oil to 1 cup water. Shake and spray. Reapply every three days.

Eucalyptus can also kill pests directly. This is particularly effective to aphids, earwigs, mites and whiteflies. The recipe for this spray is 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon eucalyptus oil and ½ teaspoon liquid hand dish detergent. Shake and spray directly. You can observe those abovementioned insects killed on contact.

#4. Suffocate those Pests with White Oil Spray

When aphids and mites are becoming very problematic and you do not know what to do, you can make one white oil spray to kill them all.

There’s not shooing here; the aim of this kind of spray is straight to the point: to suffocate and in the long run, kill the insect.

Aphids can cause the leaves of your plants to turn yellow. Aside from that, you can observe that the leaves are becoming deformed. You may also see some black sticky substances on different parts of the foliage. If there is too much presence of aphids, the plant dies.

They do not only feed on the plant, they also secrete honeydew which is a very sticky substance that is highly susceptible to mold formation. This will bring diseases to the plant. Unfortunately, some of the infections do not have a cure.

A cup white mineral oil diluted to a mixture of ¼ cup of detergent and 4 cups of water is what you need to prepare. Simply shake and spray directly on the insects.

How does white oil spray help eradicate pests, you may ask. Well, it is simple, as you spray the solution to soft-bodied insects; the oil will coat them entirely. Acting as a layer of plastic, the insects then cannot get their much-needed supply of oxygen. In turn, they will soon suffocate and die.

Unsure about what kind of pest is in your plant? Click here to identify your tiny white bugs in soil.

#5. Essential Oil Blends will help you Have Mosquito-Free Outdoor Fun

When I hear the term essential oils before, I would always think about meditation, aromatherapy, and massage. But when I started gardening, I think about no other than pesticides. It makes sense because people who love staying outdoors cannot fully relax when they are being frequently bitten by mosquitoes.

There are lots of options to choose from: Basil, Catnip, Cedar, Cedarwood, Cinnamon Oil, Citronella, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lemon Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Thyme.

I believe that parents should give their active children homemade insecticide for mosquitoes. Technically speaking, this solution is not only beneficial for young ones as older people can also acquire mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and the Zika virus.

To create your own concoction, combine 2 ounces of boiled water, 1 ounce of witch hazel or vodka, and 60 drops of essential oils. Shake and then spray.Essential oils are not only for mosquitoes. They are also effective in eliminating fleas and ticks so feel free to spray on your dogs as well. Just make sure that you and your pets are not allergic to your chosen oil to prevent reactions.

Essential oils are not only for mosquitoes. They are also effective in eliminating fleas and ticks so feel free to spray on your dogs as well. Just make sure that you and your pets are not allergic to your chosen oil to prevent reactions.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Home Pest Control

In today’s world, every one of us is expected to work hand in hand to save our mother earth. Using synthetic pesticides can be beneficial to our gardens. But the long-term effect is detrimental to all.

Using natural pest control methods is cheap. It can be made from easily accessible items. The ones you do not eat in vegetables can be turned into something useful just like orange peels. Even cigarette ends have its use here! If you are trying to live frugally, this is the way to go.

It does not cause plant toxicity. Although there are some reported cases in which the use of certain homemade pest control products resulted something bad, it is not as morbid as the effects of synthetic pesticides.

Another good reason is that different organic pesticides will not stimulate pests to develop immunity easily. Since they are natural, most pets would see it as a food source rather than an enemy. Hence, defending themselves from them would not even cross their mind.

In the same light, these insecticides made from natural sources can even attract beneficial insects. In return, it would help you grow a healthy garden by promoting bio-diversity. Special precaution should be taken, however, since some items on the list can also ward off beneficial insects if applied in large amounts.

On the other side, one of the common reasons why gardeners prefer pest control products that are not home-made is because they do not have time to carry out the steps of making natural pesticides. It is indeed time-consuming. You must also follow certain methods and measurements or else it would not be as effective as effective.

Synthetic ones also repel pests in a longer span of time and you do not have to re-apply as often as you do when you use natural insecticides.

Nonetheless, the benefits still outweigh these disadvantages that are why I highly support the use of organic products.

Conclusion

There is, indeed, a huge variety of popular list of organic pesticide. But it would always boil down to one question: which is the most suitable and effective one for me? I acknowledge that some people may vouch on one item’s perfection, but for others it may be completely useless.

Do not forget to follow highlighted tips and precautions so as not to commit detrimental mistakes. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Always test a small amount first so as not to regret in the end. Avoid wasting your effort, money, and time by conducting further research if you are in doubt.

Yes, I do advice for you to try them all and observe the results. This will allow you to understand your pests, plants, and soil better. This will allow you to analyze which homemade organic pest control to use.

However, I understand that not every one of us has the time to do that. Please comment below if you had any experience about any of the above-mentioned natural insect repellent for home. Kindly share with us additional tips as well.

Thank you, as always, for reading my blog. I hope you were able to discover your favorite organic pest control through this. Please do not forget to share the article with your friends and family!


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Soil Building, Soil Amendments, Rain Barrels that will not Make You Sick and Tired of this World

This planet is our one and only home. We have no other choice – we must care for it.

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The world is desperately in need of help. Everything seems to be polluted. Good thing, more and more people are becoming concerned with the environment that they start doing things to rescue the things that are still left.

This is why I came out with this idea of discussing soil building, soil amendments and rain barrels. The aim is to help give readers like you tips on how to maximize the things we have without adding effluence in this polluted world we have pretty much like the compost guide we published recently.

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The Ultimate Compost Guide: Sure Fire Ways to Improve Plant Growth

Vibrant and colorful flowers. Plump and sweet vegetables. Fresh green leaves. Robust and nutrient-filled roots and stems. Healthy seeds that can yield hale and hearty new sprouts. These are the descriptions of a perfect plant, a botanic that even people who do not enjoy planting would appreciate.

Who wouldn’t want the kind that would turn into an impeccable culinary dish in a form of sage salads or garnishing? Who would complain if they receive Instagram-worthy decorations from floral bouquet (well, of course not unless you are allergic to it – but hey, that’s not the point here)? Who would refuse to do business with a farmer who cares for the type of plants that bear fruits and flowers which will turn into lots of profit sooner or later? No one.​

Coming up with the perfect plant is time-consuming and complicated, but I it is not impossible. The secret behind this high-quality package lies behind the soil, literally. Yes, you read that right. One of the major things that you could do is to utilize compost.​

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