Earth Day, celebrated on April 22 in the United States, is a yearly celebration that reminds us to be responsible stewards of our planet and to raise awareness for managing natural resources wisely for future generations to inherit.
This year, let’s celebrate Earth Day in style. In fact, we don’t just have to celebrate it on April 22. In other countries they celebrate Earth Day either on April 22 or on the first day of spring. But no matter when you celebrate it, your celebration can last all year round!
There are several things you can do to support and promote greener living. Even Aquaman has gotten involved! In 2019, actor Jason Momoa shaved off his beard to support an Earth Day recycling initiative.
Minimizing your use of synthetic chemicals can help. One Cornell University entomologist noted that only about one-tenth of a percent of applied pesticides get to their target pests. The rest flows into our soil and water. One way you can support Earth Day all year round is in the way you manage insect pests in your home and yard.
Sustainable pest control (often referred to as Integrated Pest Management (or IPM) is all about targeting unwanted insect pests without eliminating the beneficial ones. It’s also about doing what you can to prevent chemicals that don’t biodegrade from getting into our soil and water. IPM’s approach only uses pesticides on an as-needed basis, and after you’ve put other physical/environmental preventive measures in place.
Show some love for your Mother Earth, get some quality time in with your family, and try some of these seven sustainable pest control tips:
- Plant a garden. Use quality soil for your garden with a neutral pH/high nutrition balance. This will strengthen and keep your plants healthy, so they are less susceptible to insect predators. Keep vegetation, shrubbery, and mulch at least one foot away from your home’s foundation to help keep insect pests out of your home. Low-till gardening practices help preserve the habitats of centipedes, ground beetles, rove beetles, and other predators who eat other garden insects.
- Plant flowers to not only beautify your yard but also to attract bees and other pollinators. Why? Because through pollination, bees alone sustain up to one-third of our food supply. Check out a list of beneficial bugs here.
- Install bird feeders and a birdbath. Birds are your friends, and will eat insects in your garden and yard, which will cut down on your need to use pesticides to begin with. Even small birds, like chickadees, hunt down over 2,000 insects daily to feed their little ones. Be sure to maintain clean water in your birdbath.
Fix indoor and outdoor water leaks. Several types of bugs are on the constant lookout for moisture. Seal/cover any cracks and openings around the foundation of your home to keep pests out. Keep screens on windows and doors/doorjambs/door seals in good repair. Don’t give insect pests easy access to come inside or to make a habitat outside your home.
- Spring Cleaning! Spring is a perfect time to clean and declutter your home and yard. Discarding, recycling, or donating unnecessary items will make your home and property feel more spacious, and will give pests fewer places to hide out. Start an “everything has its own place” policy for items you keep, ensuring clutter is kept in check, and so you can find things when you need them.
- Essential oils. Many brands of scented candles, deodorizer sprays, and scented plugins actually emit synthetic fragrances. Try using essential oils with a diffuser or humidifier to keep your home more aromatic and inviting. Not only do many essential oils boost your mood, many are unattractive to and help keep unwanted pests away.
- Green Pest Control. Finally, use nature as your first line of defense against pests. Use pest control products that use mineral-derived and mineral-based active ingredients such as borax and food-grade silica to keep insect pests at bay. Many use optimal combinations of essential plant oils to repel pests. Look forward to an enjoyable spring and summer with your family, protect them from itchy bites, and do so with sustainable pest control practices.
In what ways do you celebrate Earth Day all year long? How do you practice sustainable pest control? Leave us a comment below!
For scientifically-tested, effective pest control that is better for the environment, try Maggie’s Farm lawn and garden products. Our promise is that our plant and mineral-based products are developed by scientists and seasoned pest control professionals to be the most effective family of green pest control products on the market.