Summer has its challenges here. But, it seems the longer we are here, the more we are overrun with bugs each summer. Our cabin is full of them. A few species of which I am not welcome to sharing my house with. We have the following inside... some sort of gnat, moths, wasps, ants (of the rather large and biting variety), lady bugs, spiders (which I don't mind as much as the rest), and the newest addition - fleas! Other than the fleas and gnats, I don't associate any of these bugs with nasty. So, I'm thankful there are no roaches and such as that. Yet, this is growing ever more uncomfortable... especially the fleas. I'm doing everything I know to do to combat them. We have no animals inside during the warm months. Dishes are washed, surfaces wiped.... Yikes! Our cabin is very old and there is no way to fill in all the gaps to nature without some major construction which isn't possible for us right now. I do not want to set off bombs. That just creeps me out, and I'm afraid having two small girls running around. Handwashing all the dishes afterwards once again would be a huge task. Our cabin is also very small, and we are filled up in here with no closets. I've decluttered again and again, but with a family of 4 there is a bit of stuff required or enjoyed. Not sure where to go with this next. Would you set off bug bombs?
Our cabin is overrun with bugs! Help!
I just created a thread about fleas in our chicken coop -- I read all the time that DE will work but I can assure you that even after pounds of it mixed around and put right on top of things all over the place in there and in their dust bath places it hasn't touched our fleas. One way I've prevented them coming in the house is to do a flea check -- also I encourage my boys to deposit their dirty cothes OUTside next to whatever door they come in. We also have no shoes in the house. So far, (knock on wood) no fleas in our house despite the really massive issue we're having in the coop. The other insect you listed that I have to deal with every summer are ants -- one trick I came up with to keep from having to wash every.single.dish immediately (because if I don't they are ALL OVER IT) was to fill the sink with water and just let them stack up in there, it only takes an inch or so -- and just make the dishes be an island because if even one little bit of anything touches the side of the sink they will make a highway of it!
Good luck on the rest, I've never had to deal with the rest of those IN my house. WE do get yellowjackets and wasps but that is outsided and I go looking for their nests and destroy them which does help a ton with their sheer numbers! After 8 years here I think I've pretty much erradicated most of them as I haven't seen any yet this year. Our frist year here (raw land) we couldn't keep up with it (and we didn't have kids back then!)
I have tried every imaginable natural remedy for fleas and battled with them for years. I don't use any chemicals in my home and even make my own soap but I eventually set off a couple of bombs in our basement about three years ago and have not had any fleas since. We set them off and immediately left for a few hours and then stopped back by to open windows and left again. I mopped, wiped down exposed surfaces with vinegar water and made sure that all our piles of dirty laundry were washed when we came home.
Something to note about fleas is that their eggs are air born so they float around your house and get into every corner and crevice, all through your bookshelves and behind cabinets. It is really hard to get each and every egg without some sort of air born treatment that will coat the same places.
Thanks for helping me out with this. I wish I could ease things with a caulk gun. It's just a bigger issue than that. We've done that and sealed up as much as is possible. I've been spraying down all the crevices with a mixture of thymol and tea tree oil that seems to be helping with the fleas. I've washed every stitch of clothes in the house and did some deep cleaning in the bathroom where we do our laundry. I've sprayed our bed down, and it is drying now. Hopefully this will help some. Really aside from the aggravating gnat things, the fleas are something I cannot tolerate. The rest, aren't so big of a deal. We don't have a dishwasher and most of our dishes aren't inside cabinets. I wonder if I bombed if covering them with bath towels would keep me from having to wash them all? I can't get diacotemous earth around here. I haven't gotten the best reviews from people on it either, so I don't know if it'd be worth the travelling to get it or ordering it.
No help with the fleas, but I read an interesting tip for wasps and flies. Apparently you take a ziploc bag and fill it up halfway with water and then drop around 4 shiny pennies inside. Zip up the bag and tape it up to the ceiling. Something about the light reflecting off the pennies and the water makes them dizzy and it deters them. You can google it and a couple hits come up. I'm going to try it in our chicken coop because I'm worried about wasps making nests in there. I freaking hate wasps!
If you put the dishes in sealed Tupperware containers they would'nt have to be re-washed. I'd buy the Tupperware new though, those huge bins are'nt much at big box stores, and that way as long as you kept them sealed inside except when putting in the dishes, or just left them outside until you needed them you would'nt have to worry about them becoming bug homes either. I second the ''you are probably going to have to use a bomb'' comment. I have lived in a lot of places and battled alot of bugs that the previous owners had left, and have found that for fleas, bedbugs, roaches there is really no cure but chemicals. I am sorry, it's a tough decision to make.
we're super diy-ers.. but i would probably be inclined to pay an exterminator to come out. you can probably get it cheaper through whomever you have termite service with (everybody pretty much has to have termite service, right? is that just in the south? here you can't get a loan or buy a house or sell one that hasn't been inspected).. they can use fewer chemicals and maybe less harsh options. plus it won't float around.
at my old house i paid for a visit once and never did the inside after that one visit, the person just sprayed the outside perimeter of the house. i have heard that there are reduced-chemical exterminators that are "safe" for kids & pets (but i am a skeptic) but either way, they will guarantee their work and come back if you have more bugs. goodness knows how many times you'd have to bomb.
koalamom.. de is an irritant to your lungs but it won't cause real damage if you use food grade DE. or so i've read.
You could try cedarcidestore.com they sell natural pest control products. I haven't tried them (but have been thinking of ordering some things to have on hand, just in case), but, we do put cedar essential oil (and a few other essential oils) in our "anti-bug" spray and lightly spray our dog before she goes outside and we haven't had any flea or tick problems with her at all.
I can't quite remember the name of the product we used, but it was something for washing and disinfecting barns and stables, and it did a very good job of getting rid of the flea problem, too. At the time we had unfinished wood beam flooring. I know from my daughter's riding instructor that horse stables are very conscientious of using any sort of chemical around the horses, so I'd try a farming supply store or ask a stable if they know of a good solution for getting rid of the fleas. And s a previous poster said, keep the shoes and outdoor clothing outdoors, even if you have to take stuff off outside, especially stuff worn while handling the animals.