For most insects, you can mix a half cup of Tabasco sauce with one onion and a half dozen cloves of garlic in a blender with two cups of water. Blend the material and let it stand for 24 hours. Then add two more cups of water and a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap. You can also kill any bug in your house with a mixture of water (40 percent), alcohol (40 percent) and dish soap (20 percent). No need to ever use pesticides inside your home or business.

There are good baits available for controlling cockroaches. You can put equal amounts of baking soda and sugar out in flat containers and they will take it. You can also make a roach dough by combining a half cup powdered sugar and a fourth cup shortening or bacon drippings. Add a half cup onions, half cup flour and 8 oz. baking soda. Add enough water to make a dough-like consistency. Make balls of bait and put them wherever you see roaches.

You can also control roaches by putting down some duct tape, sticky side up. They will be attracted to the glue and get stuck. If you have roaches outside, put out some pie pans filled with beer. They will go in the pans and drown and they don’t check IDs. Don’t use Lite beer. They prefer good beer.

You can repel ants with a wide variety of products, including cinnamon, baking, cedar oil, talcum powder, chalk, coffee grounds, borax, garlic, broken eggshells, bone meal, black or red pepper, peppermint, paprika, chili powder and mint leaves.

Here is a recipe for effective, homemade ant baits/traps that use borax. It attracts ants looking for either moisture or food. You will need: three cups water, one cup sugar, 1 tsp. borax or 2 tsp. food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE), six small screw-top jars with lids, such as jelly jars covered with masking tape, which will enable the ants to climb up the side. Mix the sugar, water and borax (or food-grade DE) in a bowl.

Loosely half-fill the jars with cotton balls or pieces of sponge or wadded paper towels. Pour up to ½ cup of the sugary mixture over the cotton balls, saturating them. Make several small holes in the lid. Screw the lids on the jars tightly.

Most ants can also be controlled using a bait made from two tablespoons each of peanut butter and jelly mixed with one tablespoon of boric acid or borax. Place the bait where you see the ants foraging.

There is no reason to expose yourself to toxic pesticides. If you have any pest questions, you can contact me at [email protected].