Pest problems on the rise

Pest problems on the rise
Date Published: July 14, 2015
Kristi Meyer

Having pest problems lately? According to local pest companies, business is up by 20 percent for some. There are several reasons why, and the drought and a warm winter are the biggies.
With our warm winters, there wasn’t enough weather to freeze critters like fleas. So now we are seeing more fleas in our homes and on our animals. I went online to see what kind of natural flea repellents I could find.
Eucalyptus leaves came in as a good repellent. Borax was another solution. Sprinkle some Borax on your carpet, let it sit for a couple of days and then vacuum. It was also recommended to sprinkle Borax around the perimeter of your home and fence. Borax can be toxic, so it is important that you vacuum it up before exposing children and pets to it. Cedar chips can be used around your yard, home and pet’s bed as well.
For your pets, try this remedy: 3-5 drops of cedar oil or lavender oil; 1-3 tablespoons of water; bandana or your dog’s collar and an eyedropper (optional). Mix together and apply about 5-10 drops on either side of the bandana. Rub it together and tie that bandana on your pooch’s neck. Re-apply once a week.
There were several other suggestions on natural flea repellents, which are most likely cheaper and hopefully better for you, your family and your pets. Thanks to the internet you can peruse these remedies all day long!
Next are ants. Apparently they need moisture to survive and with our lawns going gold they are moving in closer to the home. Perhaps you have noticed an ant infestation at your home. Try cinnamon. Put ground cinnamon where they are coming in, and you should see instant results.
Some suggested using a mixture of Borax, sugar and water. A paste is created and set out for the ants to bring back to their nest. Again, Borax can be toxic, so be sure it is out of reach of your pets and children.
Diatomaceous earth (DE), (food grade bought at a natural foods store) has also been mentioned as a deterrent for ants and fleas. I am unfamiliar with it, but wanted to mention it in case you know about it.
Alright, so I couldn’t get by without mentioning water. I’ve noticed a lot of trees turning brown and bushes starting to wilt. Please remember to water your trees and shrubs. Set up a drip system, do what you have to, but we need to save our trees!
Lawns are replaceable, but our trees are so important to us. They produce oxygen and provide shade we so desperately need during these hot summer days. I have a couple of camellia plants whose leaves are turning brown. I thought it was the hot weather we had but was told I need to water them more. Guilty! When I water with my recycled water, I totally forget about them so I can see how people are forgetting about their trees.
So here is my plea for the trees. Please, remember to water them. Oaks and other native plants may not need it but if you have planted trees and shrubs that are not native to our area, then please remember to give them some water. You’ll be grateful for it when the drought is over…whenever that is.

Kristi Meyer is a Realtor with Granite Real Estate, located in Downtown Auburn. For questions, comments or tips, contact Meyer at