Five Non-Toxic Ways to Control Home and Garden Pests

Five Non-Toxic Ways to Control Home
and Garden Pests

Chemical pesticides may be effective at killing household bugs and weeds, but exposure to these products can be very harmful to humans, family pets and the environment.  Keep your home and garden looking great using these five, non-toxic pest control alternatives.

Diatomaceous earth is one of the safest pesticides for ridding homes and gardens of unwanted insects.  This fine, soft powder looks harmless, but under a microscope is actually made up of tiny glass-like shards.  As pests such as ants and cockroaches crawl over the earth, they are injured and eventually dry out and die. Diatomaceous earth is available at most garden centres.

Beer is a natural way to prevent slugs from chewing garden plants.  Pour beer into a shallow plastic container and leave it in your garden overnight. Slugs will be attracted to the beer, fall in and drown.

Dish soap mixed with water and sprayed on plants will help control aphids. Leave the mixture on plants for approximately 30 minutes before washing off.

Boiling water, when poured between the cracks of pavement stones, will help to destroy weeds and ants.

Mint is an effective natural pest deterrent. Plant peppermint in your garden to ward off mice, ants, fleas, flies and moths. Gardeners recommend planting mint in pots and then placing into bedding soil – mint can take over your garden if allowed to grow freely.

Can an investment in your garden and landscaping increase the resale value of your home?  Read our blog on the topic of landscaping and view comments from our readers. 

Cooler Housing Market Heats Up Inventory for Home Buyers

Cooler Housing Market Heats Up Inventory for Home Buyers

Home sales activity declined sharply in May, according to a report by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). May is historically one of the busiest months for real estate sales in Canada.

In the first quarter of 2010, warnings of interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada, the implementation of HST and new mortgage rules all combined to send homebuyers rushing to get into the market, but it appears that the frenzy is coming to an end.

According to Multiple Listing Service® data, seasonally adjusted home sales activity in May was down 9.5 percent from the previous month. Declines in sales in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa skewed the national total.

The Bank of Canada will announce its next interest rate decision on July 20. Many speculate that rates will rise, but by how much isn’t certain. With global economic recovery still unstable, Canada’s central bank is reluctant to announce a sharp hike in its key interest rate, which affects the prime lending rates of Canada’s major banks.

With home sales now cooling and more inventory available, home prices are likely to become more affordable in the coming months. If you are planning to enter the housing market, now might be a good time to consider getting a pre-approved mortgage.

Find out how much home you can afford using a mortgage calculator, and compare what you’re paying now in rent to a monthly mortgage payment. Search your desired neighbourhood at to see what’s available in your price range. 

View the CREA news release

Karen Bertamini

Karen Bertamini

Affiliated Real Estate Agent
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