The powerful chemical ammonia releases harsh scents that clean and disinfect. When working with ammonia, you should leave the windows open and provide more ventilation to the room. Ammonia is also suitable as a method of controlling and killing certain types of bugs including mites. Kill spider mites on plants and mites in your pet's bedding with ammonia.
Dust mites and other types of mites may live in your pet's bedding. The animal acts as a buffet for the bugs, and mites bite and feed off the pets. Wash the bedding in an ammonia solution along with anything your pet touches regularly, including pillows and blankets. Bleach is an effective alternative to ammonia for mites living in bedding.
Ammonia kills mites living in other areas of your home. Wipe down all surfaces with a combination of ammonia and water. Use 1/2 cup of ammonia with 1 gallon of water. Pour the solution in a spray bottle and spray on surfaces, including counters, windows, door frames, pet cages and bookshelves. Wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth to remove any traces of ammonia left behind. When working in enclosed areas without proper ventilation, wear a respirator mask. Breathing in ammonia fumes can make you sick.
Jerry Baker, author of "Jerry Baker's Bug Off!" recommends using ammonia when combating spider mites living in and attacking household plants. Mix 1 tsp. of dishwashing soap with 2 tsp. of ammonia and 2 gallons of water. Pour the mixture into a plastic spray bottle and lightly spray the leaves of your plants. Apply a light coating of the mixture to the plants and let sit overnight. Check plants the following day and apply more solution as needed. Carefully label the spray bottle with the name of the mixture and set in a safe place. If you're using the mixture in the future, shake the bottle gently to mix the ingredients before spraying.
Always test the ammonia solution on a small area before cleaning or wiping down a large portion of your home. The ammonia reacts in different ways to fabric, plastic, wood and other items. It can discolor or deteriorate some surfaces.
Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.