Go Barefoot without Bothersome Bugs!
My family has some hippie tendencies. For example, my son loves to go barefoot whenever possible. He only wears shoes when required, and he has strongly designated our garden as a zone of non-compliance.
Unfortunately, the bugs living in our lawn don’t always appreciate a 4-year-old stomping through their turf. But with pets and a kid, we want to avoid the more traditional poisonous chemical methods for pest control.
In an effort to have our cake and eat it too, here are three natural solutions to help you get rid of bugs from your yard and make it feet-friendly.
1) Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a pet-friendly (unless you have an ant farm) floury substance that works by slicing through the soft parts of the bugs in your lawn. It’s even safe for you to eat (though I see no reason to do so).
DE only works when dry, so avoid applying it to your hard when it is scheduled to rain, and you’ll want to reapply it after the inevitable spring storms. Also, DE is indiscriminate in what it attacks, so if you are a big fan of other bugs or arachnids in your garden, you may want to consider another option.
Please note: DE is NOT bait. To get rid of bugs with diatomaceous earth, you will either have to spread it evenly throughout the lawn, or select a specific area where you wish to keep critter-free. And it also works on fleas!
Yes, you read that right! Most ants hate cinnamon. I was doubtful when I first tried this option, but it actually works. Cinnamon is a fantastic addition to your outdoor sandpit, play equipment, around windows, or in other spots where ants enter your home uninvited.
After raiding the pantry, feel free to dust the stuff anywhere you want to get rid of bugs. To apply cinnamon on a vertical surface, first spray the area with water, and then sprinkle away! This method requires periodic reapplication as the cinnamon loses potency. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to keep away solicitors, so I’ll have to find another solution for that pest problem.
Be forewarned: if you use too much inside, you’ll end up with a fairly strong craving for cookies.
3) Boiling Water
While cinnamon and DE work well on surface critters, there is one common pest in my Texas lawn that requires a little more oomph: fire ants. To rid yourself of fire ants, you have to kill the queen, who is buried and protected, and this can be a delicate process.
- Creep up to the ant pile early in the morning and pour the boiling water slowly and evenly into the mound.
- Don’t anger the mound prior to pouring the water, and don’t pour it quickly with lots of splashing.
- If the ants feel they are under threat, they will move the queen to a safer location.
- You have the highest chance of success if they are unaware of their impending doom.
This method to get rid of bugs works best if you have only a few mounds in your lawn. But if your yard has a dozen or more popping up at one time, you may want to seek some stronger solutions in order to keep your family safe. This is especially true if someone has an allergy to fire ants.
Here’s to barefoot summers! May your children be happy and the biting bugs be gone!