If you are a homemaker, then I bet that one of your frustrations is pest management. You want to get rid of all those annoying creatures but you can’t just spray Raid all over the place whenever you want. Think about your family, pets, and of course yourself. You do not want to inhale all those chemicals when you squirt substances on mosquitoes, ants, spiders or even termites. Sometimes, the sprays you use won’t work too, and you’ll end up getting more annoyed because after you’ve just subjected yourself to noxious fumes, the bugs you want dead are still trudging along like nothing happened.
When you have a pest problem, chances are that you will probably need to use chemicals to knock the bugs dead. But you have many options, and if you choose to go the more eco-friendly way, you might want to try out creating your own pesticide using a very common flower – the chrysanthemum.
Why the Chrysanthemum?
The chrysanthemum plant produces a natural chemical called “pyrethrin” which is usually developed and incorporated in many forms of insecticides. The chrysanthemum species that contain the highest pyrethrin content is the Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium.
Lots of insects just hate the scent of chrysanthemums. So, you can plant them in your garden if you want to reduce the number of creepy-crawlies that are bothering you. The question here, you might wonder, is – “Is it safe for me to plant chrysanthemums?” Since these flowers contain natural pyrethrins, you should ensure that your kids and pets won’t be eating the blooms and leaves. Also, it takes a larger and more potent dosage of pyrethrin before mammals, including us, demonstrate toxic reactions. Still, always be cautious when handling this type of plant.
Creating Organic Chrysanthemum-Based Insecticides
So, how do you make an organic pesticide using chrysanthemum flowers? It’s actually quite easy. Here are two methods that you can try out.
1. Boiling Method
In a liter of very hot water, place 100 grams of dried chrysanthemum flowers. Stir until all blooms are drenched and then let it stand for 1 hour. Strain afterwards. You can put the liquid in a spritzer and spray on insects.
2. Dry Method
Harvest flowers in full bloom. Dry the blossoms and then grind finely. You can sprinkle the powder on pests or apply some on affected plants.
Always use protective gloves when handling the resulting fluid or powder from chrysanthemums. Though small amounts might not be toxic to humans, it is still best to be safe than sorry. The good thing here is that pyrethrins are very fat-soluble, which means that the substance will not accumulate inside your body.
What about the Environment?
One huge benefit of using pyrethrins from the chrysanthemum plant is that these quickly degrade when exposed to sunlight and high temperatures. So, these do not leave residues that are harmful to the environment.
When All Else Fails
Pyrethrins are considered as broad-range pesticides. This means that you can use such substances to kill many kinds of insects. However, if you think that your bug problem is too big for you to handle, it’s better to get in touch with pest control experts.
- License: Creative Commons image source
The article is by Claire Brent, a freelancer and a concerned homemaker, who regularly blogs about organic cleaning agents and pesticides. Learn more about eco-friendly pest management here.