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Organic Pest Control: Fact and Fiction

Do grits kill fire ants? Will dryer sheets repel mosquitoes? Find out which DIY tricks really work when it comes to banishing pests.
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Photo: Courtesy of Orkin

Fire Ants: Fact or Fiction?

You can sprinkle grits around fire ant mounds to kill these aggressive, stinging insects.

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Photo: Image courtesy of USDA ARS Photo Unit, USDA Agricultural Research Service,


Fire ants won't really eat dry grits, consume water, and then explode, says Dr. Ron Harrison, entomologist and Orkin Technical Services Advisor. To control them organically, remove outdoor food and moisture sources that may attract them, such as pet bowls or spills. Seal gaps around doors and windows to help keep them out of your home.

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Photo: Image courtesy of Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,

Aphids: Fact or Fiction?

Soapy water can help manage aphids, garden bugs that damage plants by sucking their juices.

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Photo: Courtesy of P. Allen Smith and Jane Colclasure


Spraying plants with two tablespoons of dish soap mixed in a gallon of water will help manage aphids. For bigger pests, such as these harlequin bugs, wear gloves and handpick the pests. Then drop them into a jar of soapy water.

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