Garden pests are a problem for all gardeners, farmers and lawn enthusiasts on the planet. Many — and especially the inexperienced — growers take to using pesticides and insecticides to deter these insects and animals from getting a free buffet. However, there are a number of natural remedies to combat destructive visitors which will not be as harsh as the use of pesticides and are generally safer for those household animals we love.
- Keeping Critters Out of Your Garden
- If you have a fenced-in garden, put up 1” mesh by 24” high chicken wire all around the perimeter of the garden, including the fence.
- If you only have raised beds, line the raised bed with the mesh, using posts placed every 2’ (sticks, stakes, bamboo or branches). If you use fresh branches, make sure the bottom 6” to 8” are stripped bare of the bark (the branch could start to grow if placed in the wet ground). It is high enough the keep out the critters and low enough to reach over the top to garden.
- Raccoons are another category unto themselves. The only real way to keep these crafty critters out is to use lime around the perimeter (which they hate) or to completely enclose your garden with a mesh type of wire fence. Plant dense, low growing shrubs around the outside of the garden and use these to put the lime on. This way these scrubs will be the first line of defense before the raccoons and other critters get to the garden.
- DIY Repellents
- You can create a DIY all-purpose insecticidal soap spray simply by adding two teaspoons of liquid detergent to warm water. Put your concoction into a spray bottle and apply wherever you have aphids or other sap sucking insects.
- Alternatively, buy a bag of Ladybug or Praying Mantis eggs that will hatch out in a few weeks.
- These beneficial bugs are hungry for aphids, scales, white fly and cabbage moth eggs, larva and adult insects. They will hang around your garden for a few years, so you only have to buy them every 2 to 3 years.
- Attracting Beneficial Birds
- Birds love eating insects. In at least this sense, they act as a gardener’s companion. You can lure these birds into your garden with a well maintained, fresh water birdbath. Adding a bird feeder nearby will help solidify the guarantee of regular bird visits. Only fill the bird-feeder from late autumn into spring. The birds will get used to eating in your backyard and will plow through insects they find all summer. You can also ensure there are homes for nesting and berry bushes in abundance around the yard.
- Natural Repellents
- Cayenne pepper is a great ant repellent. Sprinkle some of the spice on top of soil, mulch and compost to keep not only ants, but also cats and dogs. The dogs and cats will not be harmed by placing cayenne pepper, but may get a slight burning sensation if they get too close to all of your hard work. (It will wash away with water, so you will have to reapply cayenne after watering).
- Slugs, Snails and Caterpillars
- The most commons ways to repel these guys is through bait traps or repellents. Beer in a bowl or a broken clay pot can do the trick. Beer can be seriously toxic to insects like snails and slugs. Slugs seek out dark and moist areas and they are attracted to the yeast in the beer, where they quickly drown. Check your trap once each morning and refresh the beer as needed.
- The other way to keep out the snails and slugs is to place Pumice or Red Cinder Rock (we carry both items) with a 12” to 18” wide by 2” deep perimeter around the entire garden. If you have raised beds, you can also place it in all the walkways around the garden. The jagged rock will scratch and cut the tender undersides of the snails and slugs and turns them away from the garden. You can also use a 3” wide copper strip around the perimeter of the garden. When the snails and slugs venture over the metal, it generates a small electrical charge.
- Caterpillars and Moth eggs can be controlled by hand picking or using the pressure from the hose to spray them off. Our employee, Brook, patrols her cabbage and broccoli plants by searching under each leaf for their eggs or small caterpillars and scraping and squashing them off the leaves. It’s an arduous task, but sort of fun too!
- Not So Nice Method of Doing Away with Worms
- Self-rising flour is an interesting insecticide. Sprinkle some on your cabbage leaves and after the worms eat some and hit direct sunlight, they will literally explode!
- Decoy Crops
- You can bury potatoes a few inches deep in your garden to lure root crop-eating insects there as opposed to the roots of your edible creations. If you put skewers in your potatoes before burying them, you can pick them up after a few weeks and remove all the bugs that would otherwise have been eating your root crops.
- Citrus to Deter Spiders
- Using orange rinds, or citrus peels and sprinkling them around your garden will deter spiders. Or these peels could also be crushed and made into a spray. Citrus peels also make for a fantastic, natural wood polish.
One thought on “8 Incredible Ways to Naturally Remove Garden Pests”
I’m always looking for new ways to control the pests in my yard. Great tips, thanks for sharing!
Comments are closed.