As homeowners, and even as renters, we all need to find solutions that are effective, but safe for our families, specially children, and our pets. I am always looking for "green" solutions and will be writing about my findings.
Termites – It might not have residual properties, but amazingly we tried vinegar (mixed with soap & water) on termites that we found after cutting a board from our garage. It killed them almost instantly, and the orange based termite spray from the hardware stores, having a mere 6% orange oil, did NOTHING.
We have since then purchased a bottle of what is virtually pure orange oil, by Nature’s Wisdom from Amazon.com. It is NON toxic, you can apply with various sprayers, and few of us mind a lingering orange scent. The oil basically wicks into the wood and stays there for a long time. The testimonials on this product were very favorable and many customers used the product for numerous pests. NOTE!!! Bees like the scent but can die from coming in contact with it, and that is NOT good for our environment. So please use caution when using this outdoors, bees are a critical part of our ecosystem.
Wasps - Use 4 cups water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap in a spray bottle to zap wasps; hit them directly at least 3 times and they’ll usually die in less than a minute. This would probably work on a nest if you could spray high enough to reach it, but watch out for angry wasps coming out!
Weeds - To kill weeds, put about 1-2 teaspoons table salt on them, followed by boiling water. They’ll wilt almost immediately, and die in a few days. Salt poured along edges or breaks in pavement and sidewalks will reduce the chance of weed re-growth. Use caution with salt around plants you do not wish to harm.
Note – in researching orange oil for termite eradication, I found references that many homeowners were mixing that with vinegar and it killed weeds also. I think pure vinegar or a mixture with water could do the same. But beware that it could kill the grass next to the weeds if applied there, so be careful.
Drains - Pour ¼ - ½ box of baking soda in slow drains. Follow with a cup of white vinegar. After the bubbling subsides, pour boiling hot water into the drain to help dislodge the blockage. Repeat as needed. Does not harm pipes.
Ants - If you have ants coming into your home from outside or under your house, along baseboards etc, vacuum them up and then sprinkle some baby powder into crevices, joints etc. It’s an irritant, they don’t like the smell, and I believe it can dehydrate them. Again, I have tried simple vinegar outdoors and it did well. Indoors, I dropped some of the hot (boiling is better of course) hot water from cleaning carpet stains, onto the ants and it stunned or killed them instantly.
MORE TO COME!