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Simple Natural Living: The Best Organic Pest Control For Your Indoor Plants

ohdeardrea natural indoor pest control for indoor plants

Last week we shared a list of plants that are great for improving indoor air quality. Bringing nature indoors can sometimes come along with a few natural (but generally unwelcome) house guests. Most commonly, gnats. These pesky little guys love to make their home in the moist dark soil of overwatered house pants. You can usually get rid of them by cutting back on watering until they've moved on. But, if it seems like they are setting up a permanent residence in your beloved plants, there are a few natural pest control remedies for you to try. 


Garlic:
This is the easiest and more humane way to deal with pests. Simply peel a clove of garlic and push it into the soil of your potted plants. The strong smell acts as a repellant. If the clove starts to sprout, just trim it back. 


Honey Traps:
Find a piece of bright yellow construction paper and cut out some little 1/2 inch squares. Tape one on the end of a toothpick. Using a paintbrush or q-tip, coat each side of the square with a layer of honey. Now, just stick it into the soil of your plant and wait. Once it becomes covered with bugs, toss it out and replace it with a new one. 


Apple Cider Vinger Mixture:
Mix 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar with 3 1/2 cups water in a spray bottle. Give your plants a light misting. This should be used as a last resort because while the vinegar is highly effective at getting rid of pests, it can also kill your plant. I only use this method if the infestation is so bad that I'm worried about it spreading to my other plants. 


Have you tried any other natural pest control methods? We'd love to hear about them. Happy growing!

-Emily 

note from drea: we just left emily's house yesterday evening. we're all a bit sad in the ohdeardrea household. we miss you Em& co. can't wait to look through the pictures. please move back to florida anytime. K? A blue floral couch awaits you. Also, as Emily mentioned, vinegar can kill your plants. We use it is a weedkiller (more on that later), if your bugs are mostly in the soil, spray there and avoid the leaves. Hooray! 

Author & Illustrations by Emily De Nicolais exclusively for ohdeardrea. To see more of Emily's work, click HERE

Pictures Of Recently Enjoyed Things


morning naps

organizing, always

a photo from my dad

sunset flights

pre-departure anxiety drinks and cuddles

my mom and her plants

tiny churches

animal friends

twins

we had a quiet week between travel.

we've had a lot of car time. Luckily we're good at road trips. 

the wild flowers up north are top notch.
the potted things too. 




As you can probably tell, there's a pretty random collection of photos here :) back and forth travel will do that! We're in New York today, having a blast catching up with old friends :) hooray! I had a giveaway planned, but it'll wait. A kid one and an adult one coming your way soon :) 
Happy tuesday, friends! 

Ice Skating! (In South Florida)


These photos have been in my draft box for quite some time now-- and every time I go to post them--- a million better quality photos/posts pop up. I hate to be a perfectionist about these sorts of things but when it comes to bad lighting and grainy photos, I'm on the constant fence between sharing our fun moments and not. But let's be real here. Ice skating rinks have the worst lighting EVER. And me bringing an actual nice camera on to the rink would be nothing short of a disaster and similar to playing a drunk joke on yourself. Do people do that? (drunk jokes) Who knows.

I started off this day thinking, "what the hell did I sign up for?"--- I hadn't ice skated since about 7th grade. If you couldn't tell, I'm not much into winter sports ;) Okay, okay, or any sports. Does drunk bowling count as a sport? (Can you tell I have booze on the mind? I'm dead sober though.) Drunk jokes and grainy photos aside, this day was a blast.
 

a photo from her first time.....

We hope to make ice skating a regular thing after this busy summer. And by "we", I mean Alex and Marlowe--- and I'll join them occasionally. For now, we're in Massachusetts-- and Alex and I are actually road tripping to Vermont tomorrow morning-- so posting these pictures of us in jeans in hats, seemed most appropriate given our location ;) 

I SO needed this "chilly" break! (It was actually 30 degrees colder than home yesterday!) I hope everyone has a perfect weathered, summer weekend! :) I'll be back monday with a load more of much better quality photos :) And I have  few giveaways lined up too :) 

A Natural Living Bathroom Tour/Guide - An Easy List Of Natural &Vegan Bathroom Essentials


I've had this post idea in my head for a while now-- and the pictures in a folder for a while too-- but I'm happy to finally be putting it together. I've already shared with you guys a bit of my favorite bath products and my favorite make-up (oh and toddler products too)--- but the list has changed a bit from the older post. Believe it or much of it has gotten even simpler. I plan on doing a hair post in the near future--- after trying a bunch of different hair products and even no-poo, I finally feel like I've conquered my hard water like a boss. But for now, check out some of my favorite products HERE and scroll down for the post!

Our 'master' bathroom, if you can call it that, is small. I can pretty much reach from one end or the other. But other than wishing I could lay in a magical tub to drink wine in, our bathroom does the job. We have a slim vanity near the door too (unseen), but thats mostly filled with towels, back up supplies of our favorite products (you have to stock up when they go on sale!), and things like sunscreen that we use often, but not everyday.

on the windowsill (left): 
a have a long row or essential oils. ideally, it'd be nice to store these away somewhere, but I grab them often, so they sit on the sill. I add some in my coconut oil to scent a moisturizer (for my face and some for my body), some for my headaches (which have gotten tremendously better by the way), some for homemade bug-spray, and some I like to use to splash a few drops in the shower--- it gives my shower and extra boost ;) 

essential oils in the shower:
for morning showers I like to add a bit of sweet orange and/or eucalyptus 
for evening showers I like to use lavender 
and for pms-y showers I like to use rose absolute (I really enjoy to add this to my face moisturizer too). The real stuff is pricey, but there is a blend option too. But know, I haven't tried the blend though--- so it may or may not be good!

on the windowsill (right):
vinegar! in a jar--- with a cover on it (a cover is key-- keeps the bugs away and prevents your bathroom from smelling like a salad). 

vinegar as conditioner:
crazy, right? I'll be talking a lot more about my hair routine later, but this is what I use for conditioner believe it or not. 1 part apple cider vinegar to about 8 parts water. I'm not super accurate about it--- you don't really need to be-- but in general, hard or soft water, vinegar is an amazing conditioner. it's just about the only thing that guarantees my hair will look great (with my hard water). There are other things that help A LOT, but I can absolutely see the difference if I choose to use a different conditioner and not vinegar. I just open up the jar and twist the end of my hair to dip them in, then pour a little bit on top and underneath. You can rinse it out, but you don't have to. Yes, it smells funky (um, like vinegar), but the smell completely goes away once your hair dries. Be warned, it'll burn newly shaved legs, so shave first or hold your head away from your body!

on the shelf by the sink: 

witch hazel, a toner: 
there is really no reason to splurge on expense toners. witch hazel absolutely does the trick. I've been using it for four or five years now. It helps keep my skin clear and free. After I wash my face, I dab a bit on a cotton ball and deep clean my face. It tingles so good. I buy THIS brand, but you can find THIS one at whole foods. The second option is nice, but it's a bit higher priced because of the scents and aloe (I don't personally need the aloe, but it might be a good idea if you have more sensitive skin). 

homemade moisturizer: yep! I still use it, but I do mostly skip the almond oil now. Me and the almond oil are still friends, but years later, after trying it out a few ways, I felt that it didn't add enough to the mixture to keep it as part of the recipe. When I travel, I do typically opt almond oil though. Find recipe here

homemade deodorant: yep! still have that too. If you look on the top shelf in the top photo you can see a stick too--- I'm still working to get alex away from that old spice (blegh) and into the more natural armpit realm. He ran out of old spice recently though--- and has been using the natural brand without complaints since. Hooray! Nex stop for his pits: the homemade version

on that top shelf: 
we also have our toothpaste, one of my favorite face soaps and alex's daily essentials.. He does use all natural products (shave cream, tooth paste, soap, etc, but he will never lose his hair grease--- he has an afro without it). &He's taller, he gets the tall shelf.

funny story: yesterday I walked into the dentist office and there were 5 kids hanging out in the waiting room. The oldest must have been around 11 or 12. The younger ones ranged from about 5 to 9. The younger ones kept proclaiming, "she's a kid!" While the older one kept trying to explain, "no she's a grown-up". But the little kids weren't having it, they all totally decided that I was not a grown up and I am a child. #shortshelf. 

So this post is a bit longer than I had planned/expected, but hopefully it can give you a little glimpse of a all-natural bathroom---- that yes, is maybe a bit on the crunchy side--- but shows that there is an easy way to be all natural, without being a dirty hippie ;) Hooray! Have any questions? Feel free to ask. A hair post will follow shortly ;) 


oh and the bathroom wall color is a mint from quiet home paints. I actually custom ordered the color last year (they can make you whatever color you want), but it seems that it is now one of their standard options! 

Simple Natural Living: The Best Air-Purifying Plants For Your Home


We love plants. I think that's pretty apparent at this point. And recently, it seems as though more and more people are joining in on our love affair with all things green. A quick visit to Pinterest or Instagram will show that filling your home with indoor plants is definitely becoming a 'thing.' But, aside from the fact that cultivating your own indoor forest is trendy, indoor plants have health benefits as well. 

During pregnancy I started to become hyper-aware of all the potentially harmful things around me. And the most worrisome was the air inside my home. Indoor air is significantly more polluted than outside air. Even in a place like NYC. That is a scary thought considering the amount of time spent in your home. You can cut down on Volatile Organic Compounds (also known as VOCs) by monitoring what you bring into your home. Avoiding harmful chemicals in household cleaners, body care products, paints, varnishes, and other things of that sort is helpful. But you'll still need some assistance combating the VOCs given off by your furniture, electronics, rugs etc. The solution? Indoor plants and lots of them. I personally have 32 potted plants inside my tiny 600 sqft apartment. Which is probably why my partner (lovingly?) refers to me as a "crazy plant lady." 

So, here is a short list of plants that are considered to be highly effective at purifying air. And most of them are pretty easy to care for.

Bamboo Palm:
 - Good for extracting benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air.
 - Low light

Snake Plant:
 - Great for removing formaldehyde
 - Low light and humid conditions

Spider Plant:
- Removes benzene, formaldehyde and xylene from the air
- Low maintenance. (Great options for those lacking a green thumb.)

Golden Pothos:
- Great for removing formaldehyde
- Low light. Will stay green even with very little sunlight. 

Aloe:
- Clears formaldehyde 
- Bright light. Grows quickly.

Red-edged Dracaena:
- Good for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde 
- Grows large

English Ivy:
- Removes formaldehyde and reduces air-born fecal matter. (Good option for the bathroom or near a changing table.)
- Low light

Chinese Evergreen:
- Good for removing formaldehyde. Removes more air pollutants as the plant matures
- Low light

Happy potting! 

-Emily 

Author & Illustrations by Emily De Nicolais exclusively for ohdeardrea. To see more of Emily's work, click HERE
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