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How to deal with domestic parasites without killing them?
A few ecological - and effective - measures to take against mice, cockroaches, flies or moths.
They can be frightening - and even pretty disgusting. Yet mice, rats, cockroaches and moths are not only living beings but essential links in the biodiversity chain. The problem is that no one wants them in their home! Raising in turn questions as to how to get rid of them without being violent or generating pollution.
Mice or rats
The first thing to do with rodents is to stop using poison, a cruel, dangerous and often ineffective method. The best solution is to identify the source of the problem, namely how the intruder is coming inside. Their entry points can be as small as 2 centimeters in diameter. The idea here is to trace backwards from whatever food the mouse has been eating, following its droppings and inspecting the points where pipes fit into walls and floors and/or underneath doors. Once the hole has been identified, it suffices that it be plugged with steel wool or that the door bottom be sealed. Non-lethal traps are also useful. The bait can be comprised of whatever food the rodents were seeking inside the house or indeed of any kind of food spread. The trap should be checked every day and once the mouse or rat has been caught, it can be released near a stream, alongside railroad tracks or in a forest.
The little butterflies that people see twirling around their homes are sometimes nothing more than moths. The holes they leave in clothes - textile moths - or the little worms they leave feasting in food jars - food moths – make them very unwelcome visitors, however. Having said that, there are many ways to keep them out of household cupboards, ranging from a few drops of essential thyme, lavender or eucalyptus oils to dry laurel leaves or lemon skins, white vinegar sprays, cedar wood chips and Marseilles or Aleppo soap shavings – all solutions that have the added benefit of making the house smell lovely.
Of all the different kinds of domestic invaders, cockroaches (also known as bugs or creepy-crawlies) probably have the worst reputation. And for good reason. Cockroaches never travel alone and can spread at lightning speed, especially across kitchens whenever they smell tasty food – something they can do even in the dark. Because cockroaches are increasingly resistant to insecticides, it can be very difficult to remove them from the home environment but this famous sense of smell might also offer a humane solution to the problem. The fact is that cockroaches hate white vinegar and eucalyptus essential oil. Leaving a few drops of these liquids in cupboards and room corners should therefore do the trick of keeping the bugs away - as does a clean kitchen, one where no dirty dishes or crumbs have been left on the counters or floor.
Flies hate the smell of basil, mint, eucalyptus and geranium. Growing plenty of these plants on windowsills and balconies should therefore do the trick of keeping them away. White vinegar or baking soda mixed in water are also a natural, safe and inexpensive repellent that can be sprayed onto doors and windows to keep flies away. Essential oils - geranium rozanne, basil, lemongrass, peppermint, eucalyptus - are other allies. It suffices to pour a few drops into cups of water that can then be sprayed throughout the house.