Repel Pests, Keep Friends


Even the best-planned healthiest garden will attract pests. Bugs, slugs, and other creepy – crawlies like the tasty lettuce leaf or tomato just as much as humans do. But if you are gardening to provide food for your table, you won’t want to use toxic chemicals to deter invaders. There are lots of nontoxic and organic alternatives that are safe for use around people, pets and such beneficial critters as birds, toads, lizards and even beneficial insects such as ladybird beetles, mantises and certain wasps that prey on the bad guys.

Common remedies used by organic gardeners include insecticidal soaps, oil sprays, sticky traps pheromone traps, sprays using specific types of the bacterium bacillus thuringiensis, and physical barriers such as row covers. Using readily available ingredients, you can concoct a homemade spray that can be used to prevent or treat insect infestations.

Homemade Garden Pest Spray

1 garlic bulb
1 small onion
1 tsp powered cayenne pepper
1 quart water
1 Tbsp liquid dish soap

• Chop, grind or liquefy the garlic and onion. Add cayenne and mix a quart of water. Steep mix for one hour.
• Strain mixture through cheesecloth, the add soap to strained liquid. Mix well.
• Place liquid in clean spray bottle and spray plants thoroughly, including the undersides of leaves. The spray may be stored (and labeled) container in the refrigerator.

Even the least toxic remedy should be used sparingly to avoid damage to beneficial creatures and plants.

Again, consulting the experts and doing some research will help you keep a garden that’s as pest-free and bountiful as possible