Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Banish the Bugs

Every night before I go to bed, I have my little nightly beauty routine. I wash my face, use my herbal toner, my organic face cream that smells like rotten maple syrup and finally, I, uh, well, you know....I drink so much water during the day that if I don't do it right before bed I'll be up all night! Anyway, it was during this last step of the process that I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. I pulled back my shower curtain and beheld 13 crickets communing in the bottom of my bathtub. THIRTEEN. I turned on the shower and washed them all down the drain, satisfied that I had taken care of the situation.

In the morning, I pulled back the shower curtain to draw my bath only to find that several of the nasty little creatures still remained and together with their previously drowned counterparts had left cricket poop all over my bathtub. I washed the remaining offenders down the drain, took out my sponge and wiped their poop from my tub and proceeded with my bath. A one time freak occurrence, I thought. Perhaps we were due for some weather and they were just seeking shelter in my bathroom.

That was over three months ago. It was NOT a one time freak occurrence. Every evening, my bathtub was full of crickets. And every morning, I was on my hands and knees scrubbing my tub. And if you know me, you know that scrubbing my tub is my absolute least favorite chore. But who wants to bathe with little black cricket droppings floating around in your water? You would think this situation would be enough to spur me to investigate pest control companies but it was actually the one and only German cockroach that skittered across my living room that had me running for the computer, desperately seeking professional help.

One of the reasons I waited so long to seek a professional was the thought of all those poisonous chemicals that most companies use to rid us of unwanted pests. I have young children and a beautiful organic garden and I certainly didn't want to endanger my offspring or sully all the hard work my husband and I had put into our vegetables. Crickets aren't dangerous in and of themselves. But they are the preferred choice of food for more dangerous insects, black widows and scorpions being our biggest concern here in the desert. And cockroaches are known carries of salmonella. Ew.

I came across a local company who specializes in organic pest control. TRUE organic pest control. You could actually eat everything they use and no harm will come to you. Bugs, on the other hand, are either repelled or killed . The technicians us things like essential oils from cloves, rosemary and wintergreen, and boric acid (particularly useful in our battle against those blessed carpenter ants who killed my dill plant!) These products actually work better than traditional chemicals so service is only needed every other month instead of monthly so the prices are actually quite competitive, despite the fact that organic pest control products tend to be much more expensive than their poisonous counterparts. 

The spray used around the perimeter of my house did indeed smell of essential oils. My daughter said it smelled "nice" while my husband and I thought it smelled like Ben Gay. Either way, the smells we were smelling weren't harmful and not at all unpleasant. My technician also caulked holes, stuffed steel wool in potential insect openings and taught me how to install weather stripping which will keep bugs out and keep my air conditioning in (BONUS!) And so far, so good. There have been noticeably fewer crickets in my tub and this morning there was NO CRICKET POOP to be scrubbed away. Yeah!! Mother Nature really does know what's best!


  1. So it was worth the wait! Yea!

  2. Oh wow they use essential oils, never heard of that before! What a great idea. I will be searching out some local organic pest control companies in the next few months.

    Thanks for the informative post!