Kiss Pests Goodbye by Grabbing One Simple Thing at Illinois Orchards This Fall
Many people swear by the pest control magic of hedge apples, and other people just think it's a myth. Well, I'm here to tell you the hedge apple power is 100 percent real.
Safely Control Pests In Your Home
I don't know how things are around your home right now, but mine is a mess of flies, bees, and spider webs. The amount of flies getting inside and cobwebs showing up is getting so bad that I can't keep up with getting rid of them. We do not have problems like this at other times during the year, so what's the problem? Yes, it is prime insect season in Illinois, but I believe there is one other thing causing all my pest problems...we're out of hedge apples!
Do Hedge Apples Really Repel Pests?
A couple of years ago I read about how placing hedge apples, (also called Osage oranges), around the foundation of your home, both outside and inside, can do wonders for keeping pests away, so I decided to give it a try.
I bought a small bag full of hedge apples at a local orchard and placed them in the "problem" areas around my home, i.e., by my basement windows and back doors, and discovered 2 things very quickly;
- They helped greatly decrease the amount of spiders and other annoying insects in my home.
- I needed WAY more hedge apples.
A study from Iowa State University found that "chemicals extracted from the fruit (hedge apple) can be repellant to tested insects (German cockroaches, mosquitoes, and houseflies). In addition, sliced hedge apples placed in enclosed, small spaces did repel insects."
The Iowa State University study could not fully prove that whole hedge apples repel pests as well as sliced hedge apples, but I have never cut my hedge apples and they work amazingly for me!
How to Use Hedge Apples for Pest Control
Hedge apples work best for repelling spiders, (but mice, roaches, flies, and boxelders hate their smell too), and experts say that slicing them up provides the fastest results.
You can place the cut slices directly on the ground outside around your home's foundation, but if you're going to use them inside, make sure they are in some kind of dish so you don't have a gross juicy mess to deal with as they begin to rot.
Garden Guides says;
Cut the fruit in half or crush it with a hammer to get quicker results. Opening the fruit immediately exposes pests to the milk of the fruit. Place the exposed pieces in a dish. Set the dish in the area where you most often see spiders.
Dispose of hedge apples once the majority of the green skin has disappeared. Hedge apples will last two to three months in a cool room or area.
Where Can You Buy Hedge Apples?
I've seen hedge apples available for purchase at several markets, orchards, and farms in the Rockford area, you can even buy them on Amazon! Just remember you need to replace them every couple of months, so make sure you get a lot of them so you can keep pests at bay long into the winter months.
Now, the only question left is, can you freeze hedge apples until you're ready to use them? I've never tried it, and haven't been able to find a direct answer if freezing them will work. Have you frozen hedge apples before? Send us an app message and let me know if it worked, please!
5 Perfect for Fall Apple Orchards in Northern Illinois to Visit
Quiz: Do you know your state insect?