That Burns My Biscuits!

Published 8:23 am Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Hello Elizabethton! I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather we are having right now. Soon it will be so hot we will all be whining about it just like we complain about the cold in winter.

With hot weather comes more and more pests in and around our homes. We have tried since the 1940s to kill off all insects (DDT was the poison) and although it can kill people, the bugs grew immune to it; the little devils get bigger and badder and  just keep on breeding and multiplying. The “new and improved” pesticides used today are never safe for people, especially children. Research shows that many types of cancer including cancer of the muscles, abdomen, heart, nervous system, and blood vessels can be caused by the use of toxic chemicals used in household sprays, flea collars and home extermination. The main ingredients in these are carbaryl and Diazinon poisons. The herbicide 2, 4-D, often used in home pesticides, was one of the ingredients used in Agent Orange, the most dangerous of the chemicals used during the Vietnam War. Most of us know at least one Vietnam Veteran affected by this lethal substance. No-pest strips made of dichlorous are likely the cause of leukemia in children. These can also cause brain tumors and cancer of the lymph nodes (lymphomas). Why then, do companies make and sell these dangerous bug killers, expecting we will use them on or in the presence of our children? It is best to avoid them entirely! If we refuse to purchase these pesticides, companies will be forced to move toward more natural remedies or lose large amounts of money, which we know, is NOT the name of their game!

There are natural ways to repel and kill the pests that plague our families and pets. For pets, flea collars can be made from any mint scented (Pennyroyal is often used) herbs. Wash pet bedding often and comb pets with a flea comb and put the fleas in soapy water to kill them. A bowl of soapy water with a bright light placed over it will attract fleas; they jump in for a swim and poof, they’re dead!

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Citronella candles are sold in stores to burn outside on your porch or patio to control mosquitoes and other outdoor pests. Electronic bug zappers work, but kill all bugs flying around it, including the good ones created to control the bad ones (a future column).

There are methods to control pests and herbs and spices you can plant and/or use around the home to repel and kill the little devils. First of all, keep the house clean; wipe surfaces every time you prepare food. Vinegar can be added to the water to further repel insects. Don’t leave any food out uncovered. Keep your trash can clean by washing regularly. Food scraps must be tightly sealed before tossing them in the can to prevent flies and roaches from getting in and laying eggs. Make sure the lids on trash cans are secure. Rinse out all containers before recycling them. Do not leave dog and cat food out all the time.

Vacuum frequently to get rid of fleas and flies and their eggs in your carpet and upholstery. Shake out bedding and clothing that hasn’t been used in a while. Properly fitted screens and fans will keep pests out of your home. All cracks must be properly sealed to keep them out as well.   

Outside the house, get rid of all standing water ponds, wading pools, barrels, etc. Clean and refill birdbaths regularly. Some plants to plant around your house to repel insects: eucalyptus, pennyroyal (this one is native to our area), mints, marigolds and many others. Some of the spices are tumeric, garlic, hot pepper, and citrus oil. Tiny Game Hunters. Www.the

Boric acid can be sprinkled around the house and sprinkled in the home as well to stop the pests. Another substance to kill the bugs is diatomaceous earth, a soft, crumbly, porous sedimentary deposit formed from the fossil remains of diatoms. The tiny slivers of bone and shell slash the bugs and kill them. It is available online and in most hardware stores and plant specialty stores.

I have presented only a very few of the remedies to use in and out of your home to repel and kill unwanted bugs. For more information check out the website I mentioned above; there are many others to look at as well. Your local library will also have books and articles on the subject.

We must stop killing ourselves, our children and our pets with pesticides. Remember, if you can smell it, it is already in your lungs. Tiny Game Hunting.

I am always open to your ideas and subjects to share with readers. Please send them to me at

You are in my prayers,