Monday, October 10, 2011

Frugal Tip of the Day - Hedge Apples / Osage Orange - PEST CONTROL!

Nothing says "ick" like spiders, roaches or mice in your house.. unless it's having to use toxic chemicals and traps to get rid of them. Even if you try chemicals, odds are good the spiders won't budge unless...

You do like I do and use Hedge Apples. This time of year we can find the fruit of the Osage Orange tree cluttering up sidewalks and bothering land owners. My boys like to "bowl" using them, and squirrels seem to like the seeds buried deep inside.

Not everything likes Hedge Apples though.. Spiders, for example, and even mice seem to hate them.

A friend of mine has a horse stable with a grain room where she keeps 20 or more sacks of grains at all times. Before discovering Hedge Apples, she always had mice.. ALWAYS, not to mention bugs in general. Nowadays, she throws several Hedge Apples under the grain room and puts a couple more on the beams inside every fall, and she won't see a single mouse all year round.

I haven't had quite that long of an effect, but for at least three months after putting them out, we don't see a spider or other bug (including ants), and the mice that always seem to invade my basement in the winter don't show their faces until the Hedge Apples are blackened and totally dry... even then, the spiders don't really come out in force til I eventually get sick of seeing the dry Hedge Balls and pitch them.

How I do it..
Take 2 Hedge Apples per room.. put one "out" and one in a closet. I set them on top of a wide disposable cup or bowl in case they get gooey (sometimes, although they usually just dry up). Forget about them and enjoy a non-toxic reduction of pests.

I like the way the fresh Hedge Apples look too. You can probably find them laying in a neighbors yard or in a park, but lacking that.. there are enterprising folks selling them on Amazon (see above/below). Your variety of pests might not be as impressed by Hedge Apples as mine are.. but it's worth a shot. I have used them for 10 years and am always amazed again at how immediate the results are, and how long it lasts.