With the onslaught of cooler weather, more activities are moved indoors; which is why making your home the healthiest environment possible is more important than ever.
The type of pest control you use to keep unwelcome critters from coming inside seeking warmth during the fall and winter months are crucial, say the staff at EcoSMART Technologies, which has over 40 patents on green and natural pesticide chemistries and methodologies.
"Outside, synthetic chemicals applied to lawns and gardens pose the greatest threat to safe ground water in the environment. And inside? Just reading the labels on most pesticides is enough to warrant a call to Poison Control," said David Murphy, vice president of product management for EcoSMART Technologies.
According to the Roswell-based company, natural, organic pesticides, made from botanicals, are the only way to go if you don't want to cause longterm damage to both the enviroment and the health of your family.
"The biggest difference is safety," Murphy told Roswell Patch. "EcoSMART’s products use all food grade ingredients and therefore are classified as minimum risk pesticides by the U.S. [Environmental Protection Agency]. The EPA has determined that any product that is classified as minimum risk do not pose any threat to people, pets or the environment."
Still, green-based products, such as EcoSMART, are effective in keeping bugs out of the home because they use plant oils to block octopamine receptors, which causes bugs to die quickly.
"Because mammals do not have these same octopamine receptors, these same plant oils have no adverse impact on them," said Murphy.
Here are a few other common sense tips to keep bugs at bay:
- Remove vegetable, annual flowering plants and leaves. Dead plant material can harbor many insects and disease-causing organisms, such as fungi, during the winter months.
- Look for and seal openings around plumping pipes, electrical and telephone lines, and gaps around windows and doors. Gaps can give bugs easy access to your home. Also check weather stripping around doors and windows to reduce access for bugs and rodents (this also keeps out cold air).
- Store recyclables away from the kitchen in sealed containers. Unsealed recyclables provide food, water and shelter for insects such as cockroaches, ants and flies.
- Clean gutters of excessive debris. Fall is the time to prevent water and ice back ups from damaging your roof and soffit and moisture-damaged wood provides an excellent carpenter ant nesting site in the spring.
- Store firewood as far away from your home as possible. Carpenter ants, termites and other wood-destroying insects love wood piles so be sure to inspect firewood before you bring it into your home. Many insects do not die in late fall or winter, but just go into hibernation. When taking them from the cold wood pile into your warm house, these bugs come to life.
- Check for and repair any leaky plumbing fixtures in the kitchen, bathroom, basement, crawl space and outside spigots. Even a small drip offers an attractive water source for many insects and rodents.
- Erect a natural barrier around your home with an effective and safe perimeter insecticide.
EcoSMART and other "green-based" products can be found at , and other home improvement stores.