Articles in the Pests, Insects Category
by Annie Bond of http://www.care2.com/
These sachets are lovely to tuck into sweater drawers and hang in closets. Most health food stores sell bulk dried herbs.
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Blend. Make sachets by choosing a 4 x 4 inch piece of natural fiber with a tight weave, such as silk. Sew three sides together, then fill with the herbs and sew the fourth side shut.
You can adapt this pattern to any size you want (2 x 2 is the traditional size for the undergarments drawer, for example). A good idea for small sachets is to fill cotton teabags sold for making your own tea (these are often sold in health food stores). If you are really in a rush, just tie the herbs up in a cotton bandana or handkerchief; place the herbs in the middle, gather the edges together, and tie with a ribbon.
This is approximately a 5 % dilution. For a 10 % dilution add 120 drops of citronella. Witch hazel extract is non-drying and medicinally soothing to insect bites. You may use olive oil, rubbing alcohol, vodka, or prepare a lotion in place of the witch hazel.
Avoid mothballs and flakes. Clean garments thoroughly before storing them in a sealed closet, bag, trunk or other container - moths are attracted to dirt on clothes.
Vacuum the closet regularly to get rid of moths food sources. Cedar (hangers, lining, shavings, oil) or lavender (dried, sachets, oil) act as deterrents. Moth eggs can be destroyed by running the items through a hot dryer - be careful of shrinkage). For pantry moths keep all grain and sugared products in tightly sealed containers or in the refrigerator or freezer.
A lotion is an emulsification of water and oil. To prepare: Put water into a deep mixing bowl. Begin to drizzle in the oil slowly and beat vigorously with a wire whisk. By the time all the oil is added you should have a nice creamy white lotion. Stir in the citronella oil. Pour into a lotion bottle and label.
Roll herbs lightly with a rolling pin and pack into a clean jar. Cover with oil, seal jar and place in a cool, dark cupboard for two weeks. Strain into a clean jar, seal and refrigerate. To use, rub on exposed skin.
One word of caution — before applying large quantities of any herbal repellent solution, patch-test yourself for any allergy to the herbs by applying a small amount to your forearm for a couple of days; if there is no skin rash, redness or other reaction, you're probably safe to use the herbs on a larger area of skin.
Avoid all insecticides except those with the active ingredient de-limonine gas which is derived from citrus extracts (dips, flea collars, and flea prescriptions as they all can cause harm to the animal). Add brewer's yeast and garlic to the pet's food. For fleas on the pet, wash with warm soapy water and use a flea comb to remove fleas. Drown the fleas you remove from the animal. After toweling down your pet, put 1/2 cup fresh or dried rosemary in 1 quart of boiling water.
Steep 20 minutes, strain and cool. Spray or sponge evenly onto pet and allow to dry. Do not towel dry. Flea comb the pet regularly and reapply rosemary solution as needed. For fleas in the home, vacuum daily for 2 weeks and weekly thereafter. Make sure to periodically vacuum under sofa and chair cushions, move furniture and vacuum between mattress and box spring. Throw the bag away outside the house or freeze it after each use. If the problem continues, steam the rug and upholstery. As a last resort, work borax into the carpet with your fingers - use a dust mask and plastic gloves for this (under furniture, sofa cushions, mattress, etc) and don't vacuum for 24-48 hours minimum.