Winter Pest Removal the Humane Way

The internet has really changed how we view our fellow critters. After all, once you’ve seen a mouse having a tea party or shed real, honest-to-goodness tears over the story of these battle-scarred ants, you just can’t really treat them as hostile foes any more.

Of course, you can’t exactly invite them into your home for dinner, either. Mice, for instance, can chew holes through cords, wood and insulation—and the sound of those little feet going pitter patter all night will drive you crazy. And insects and other wildlife can spread diseases, create messes, get into your food, and just generally aren’t the best roommates.

But you don’t necessarily want to treat these little invaders with poison—for all the cuteness reasons mentioned above, and because poison is sometimes just as harmful to your family and your pets as it is to the pests it’s targeting. Well, maybe not just as harmful. But some evidence shows that using indoor pesticides can affect your health. On the more benign side of the equation, it can cause dizziness, headaches, or cause asthma flare ups. In more extreme cases? Kidney damage, liver problems, and issues with the endocrine and nervous systems! Yikes!

Those findings make an awful strong case for humane, pesticide-free treatments. Presented below are some of the safest remedies—so you won’t have to feel guilty next time you enjoy an adorable meme like this.

a mouse nibbling on peanuts

Mice and Rats

Mice and rats don’t appear out of thin air. They get in through holes in your walls and foundation. So the first order of business is seeking out their entryways and sealing them up. Then you need to take care of any rodents that are still stuck in your house. Use a non-lethal plastic or metal box trap to catch and release any stragglers. Or just do the easy thing and get a really aggressive house cat!

Ants

Everybody’s kitchen gets a little messy every now and then. The first way to approach ant control is to clean up your kitchen, pantry, and anywhere else there might be loose food hanging around. If that doesn’t fix the issue, try sprinkling cream of tartar, cinnamon, coffee grinds, chili pepper, paprika, cloves, or dried peppermint leaves near the ants’ entryway. You’ll get them right at the source!

Roaches

Finding even a single cockroach in your home is enough to give you a serious case of the creepy crawlies. And besides being gross, a roach infestation can be a frustrating uphill battle—especially if you want to go the humane route. However, there are some things you can try before calling the exterminator. For instance, clean your kitchen, cabinets, stove and pantry and make sure all food sources are eliminated. Put loose food bags and boxes in airtight plastic containers, and treat any pipe leaks that may be attracting the roaches. Just remember: you can beat those roaches at their game!

Fruit Flies

Okay, we know flies don’t live that long anyway, but in case you don’t want any fruit fly blood on your hands, you can make a humane fly trap by cutting a small hole in a plastic container and placing a straw through the top. Place a slice of fruit inside the container and put the lid on. The flies will be lured into the container by the smell of the fruit, but won’t be able to get out afterwards. Then you can just take them outside and let them out. No fruit flies harmed in the process!

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