When you have a successful garden that is replete with attractive flowers, fruits, or vegetables, the last thing you want is for them to get plagued by pests. When harmful insects make a home in your garden, you can kiss all those hours spent in the dirt goodbye. That is, unless you catch them in the early stages.
No home gardener wants to rip out all of their plants that took months to grow. At the same time, spraying chemical pesticides on plants is not the ideal method of pest control. You don’t have to contaminate your plants and soil with chemicals because there are natural ingredients that keep pests away.
This spice is good for more than kicking your food up a notch. In addition to the pain-relieving properties, cayenne pepper can keep bugs and animals out of your garden and house. Cayenne pepper has a potent scent that bugs, cats, rodents, and dogs do not like. According to Geoff Zhender, an entomologist at Auburn University, cayenne pepper is great at keeping bugs away from cabbage plants.
Peppermint Essential Oil:
Peppermint is a natural insecticide, and it works to repel fleas, spiders, flies, beetles, ants, and mosquitos. Did you know that the stick bug actually emits a substance that fills the air with the scent of peppermint? It does this to fight off other insect predators because they don’t like the scent. In order for it to be effective, make sure that you purchase 100% pure peppermint essential oil that is free of additives.
If you have an aphid problem, garlic is your go-to repellent. Aphids are small insects that adhere to the leaves of plants, creating small holes. Now you know that it wasn’t a caterpillar that ate holes in your leaves! As you know, garlic has a potent smell, which is off-putting to aphids and other insects. You can use it without harming your plants until your pest problem is no longer a problem.
Home gardeners don’t typically have the luxury or space to plant flowers, fruits, vegetables, or herbs in different locations. People typically plant various plants in the same garden box. To prevent pests from destroying all of the plants, people use companion planting. This is the practice of grouping different plants, some of which work to control pests. Onions are very effective at repelling insects, which is why they are commonly used in companion planting. They are most effective when planted near beets, cabbage, parsnips, chamomile, lettuce, and carrots.
DIY Pest Control Spray
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 cups mint leaves (or 20 drops peppermint essential oil)
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
- Finely chop the onion, garlic, and peppermint leaves (unless you are using peppermint oil) and add it all to a blender or food processor with cayenne pepper. Blend until completely pulverized.
- Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, pressing all the juice out.
- Add the blended mixture to a one-gallon container, along with the castile soap. Fill the rest of the container with water.
- Screw the top on the container and give it a good shake. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on any plants that are being attacked by bugs.
- Spray on your plants one to two times a week, or after it rains.