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Remember environment when battling bugs
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I love summer, but something’s really been bugging me — bugs.

In my opinion, there is no good bug, although some people say that there are some. I am sorry, but I really think the world would be far better without them.

Yeah, I know, I know. I would probably be destroying the whole ecosystem or something if that happened, so here are some better ways of dealing with bugs, I hope.

So, what’s the first thing you do when you see one of these creepy little critters?  Most people reach for the nearest can of pesticide spray, but before you blast one of these little creatures to creepy-bug heaven, you may want to reconsider.  These pesticides are full of toxic chemicals and designed to kill living organisms. Do you really think your health isn’t being affected by those chemicals as well?

If you are not so sure, then you may want to check out the fascinating reading on those pest-control labels.  Many of the ingredients contained in bug sprays and other pest-control methods are linked to a vast number of illnesses. Be sure to check out the inert and active ingredients and find out more about them before you let them become a fixture in your home.

One way to gauge the toxicity of a pesticide is to look for the subtle wording: caution, warning or danger. These are not happy words. Here is what they mean, from

• Caution — lowest in toxicity

• Warning — medium toxicity

• Danger — found on the most-toxic products.

If the warning on the label says “danger” or even “warning,” reconsider using it for your home, lawn or garden.

However, there are nontoxic alternatives out there to take care of bugs. has an article that promotes Integrated Pest Management, which combines the most-economical means with the least-possible hazard to people, property and the environment. Here are some ideas from the website:

• Find out where/why the pests are coming in and eliminate the root problem. Leaving food out is one thing that can attract bugs, so store dry food in tightly sealed glass containers, cover your trash and fill any entry holes with a nontoxic caulking.

• Spray the pheromone trail that ants leave with soapy water, vinegar, coffee grounds or jalapeño-pepper spray. Use red-chili powder, paprika or dried peppermint around the point of entry.

• Avoid toxic flea collars. Instead, feed your pet brewers’ yeast.

• For termites, fleas, cockroaches and spiders, mop your floor with a small amount of borax. However, remember that borax can be poisonous if ingested.

• For fleas, ticks and flies, spray garlic in your yard and on plants. Think on the bright side: You also won’t need to worry about vampires. There also are other herbs and spices that can deter pests and are much more pleasant. Check online for other possibilities.

• For cockroaches, sprinkle the area with diatomaceous earth, a nontoxic powder that works great on any insect with an exoskeleton, which means humans are safe.

• For mosquitoes, try out a nontoxic spray and oil that is now available at local stores. Many contain combinations of lemon oil and eucalyptus and other natural ingredients. You also can find homemade concoctions online that you can mix at home, too.

It is possible to debug your life and breathe easy by keeping you and your loved ones safer from those toxic chemicals in pesticides that are just as creepy as the bugs.

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