Controlling Garden Pests Naturally

garden pest

Controlling Garden Pests Naturally

Garden pests are so common and resilient that they appear insong and rhyme. Although many chemical pesticides have been manufactured toeradicate them, they are still with us. Inexpensive natural pest deterrents haveno lasting environmental impact, and can usually be derived from commonhousehold materials.

Insects are the most common garden pests.To eradicate aphids, mealy bugs and mites, mix a tablespoon of vegetable oil anda teaspoon of mild dish soap into a quart of water. The spray smothers theaphids and keeps newcomers off the leaves. Coffee grounds deter slugs and helpenrich the topsoil, as does spreading a fine copper mesh over the soil.

Insects are also prey to other insects. Pest-eating insectslike ladybugs or praying mantis are available from your local nursery. Ladybugslove aphids, and praying mantises enjoy all insects. Hover-flies and lacewingseat aphids, whiteflies and scale, and can be attracted to your garden with goldenrodor yarrow flowers. Try letting a few carrots or some parsley flower to attractbrachonids, which destroy leaf-eating caterpillars.

Plants themselves are good insect deterrents.Strongly-scented tomato and basil defend against pests. Interspersing marigoldsand catnip throughout your garden beautifies it, keeps your cat happy and keepsaphids away.

You can outsmart bugs with traps. Slugs and aphids can be drownedin beer. Standard flypaper can capture aphids and whiteflies. Pheromone traps arelarge-volume killers, but actually attract pests, so they should be used withcare.

Fungus and disease can be as devastating as insects. Forcommon fungus, mix a tablespoon of baking soda in a quart of water and spraythe affected leaves every few days until the problem is gone. For powderymildew, try a mixture of half milk and half water, applied every week or so.

Mix one egg with ¼ cup of water and spray onto leaves torepel raccoons, rabbits, and deer. The aphid spray deterrent also works well.Try adding a few drops of hot sauce or cayenne for added punch. Animal pestsalso respond to Fox or Coyote urine, a bottle of which will last all season.

Trial and error is your friend when it comes to natural pestcontrol. If you are at your wit’s end there are commercially produced naturalpesticides available at your local nursery or home improvement store. Acombination of technique, patience and diligence will help you derive the beststrategy to keep your garden safe and healthy.