Five Homemade Solutions Gets Rid of Unwanted Bugs without Chemicals
It’s Spring time again, which means three things for any gardener.
- It’s time to get plants and seeds into the ground.
- The garden area needs weeding
- Get prepared for unwanted pests.
Remember, not all insects and bugs in your garden are unwanted. Just the ones that are eating your food before you can. There are many solutions available to combat bugs in your garden without chemicals.
The key to natural pest management includes preventative measures, being mindful of new pests, and staying ahead of the destruction. Never wait until you have a pest problem. And never think they’ll go away on their own while you’re growing in your garden.
The following homemade garden pest solutions won’t harm you, your garden, your animals, or your wallet.
1. Use Epsom Salt in Your Garden
No, you’re not taking a bath in your garden, though on a nice sunny day this is a refreshing idea. Instead, you’ll use Epsom Salt to help combat bugs while adding minerals to your plants and soils.
Epsom Salt comes from hydrated magnesium sulfate in the form of a white crystalline salt substance. It comprises the minerals, magnesium and sulfate which your plants need for healthy growth. Magnesium helps the leaves and stems of your plants to be optimal. Which allows for better photosynthesis and more growth of the plant and fruit.
Epsom Salt is water soluble which flushes out of your plant and soil with time and watering. Depending on how much rain or watering your plant receives depends on how often you’ll need to treat with Epsom Salt.
Be mindful when using Epsom Salt because too much can hinder your plants from absorbing the correct amount of calcium.
Epsom Salt Use and Directions for Bugs:
Most Effective: Gets rid of slugs, snail, aphids, and other soft body pests on or around your plants.
Foliage Spray (onto the leaves of your plant):
Mix one-fourth cup Epsom salt with one gallon of warm water until the solution is completely mixed; then pour into a spray bottle. Spray lightly on the affected plants, include the leaves, stems and around the base of the plant.
Epsom salt granules:
Lightly sprinkle Epsom Salt around the base of affected plants. Do not let the Epsom Salt granules touch your plants, it could burn them. This stops crawling bugs from going up the stalk of your plant.
You can also sprinkle the Epsom Salt granules on a perimeter of the affected plants, creating a barrier for new pests to crawl into the growing area.
Apply every few weeks as needed or as a preventative measure.
2. Create a Beer or Salt Ditch Around Areas in your Garden
Adding beer or salt to your garden may seem a little baffling. If you live in a damp area where slugs and snails are the easiest thing to grow in your garden, consider this method.
Slugs and snails are slimy pests with the reputation of being slow movers. However, in your garden, they are quick to destroy all your plants one by one. These pests eat through large leaves, destroy small leaves, seedlings, and produce. Plus, snails and slugs don’t come one by one to your garden. They invite all their friends for a feast.
There is an easy way to get rid of garden snails and slugs that doesn’t include a flashlight and salt shaker each night.
Beer or Salt Ditch Use and Directions:
You can make a slug and snail ditch trap around your garden using salt, beer or a beer substitute.
Effective: Gets rid of snails, slugs, and some crawling non-water beetles.
Supplies: A means to dig a small trench, ground plastic to fill the trench or something that will hold the liquid or salt. You do not want salt directly into your soil or on the plants, for it may destroy the soil and plants. Choose one of the following for your deterrent: salt, beer, or a beer substitute.
Beer substitute: Mix one cup of warm water; one teaspoon sugar; one teaspoon flour; a half teaspoon dry yeast. Stir, dissolving all ingredients together.
Slugs are attracted to the smell of yeast and sugar, drawing them to the ditch for a drink. They either drown in the liquid when drinking or move away from the ditch. They won’t go through the ditch to your garden. Salt will kill any slugs or snails that try to go through the barrier.
Directions: Create a ditch around your garden area about three inches deep and 2 inches wide. Place plastic liner in the ditch so it won’t fly away or roll. Make sure whatever you’re using will not allow the liquid or salt to leach into the soil. Add your preferred method for killing the bugs.
Warning: Salt can kill plants if too much leaks into the ground. If the temperature gets hot the beer mixture may smell.
3. Use Apple Cider Vinegar on Your Garden Plants
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is used as a deterrent or a trap for bugs in your garden. ACV either attracts the bugs to a trap or the smell of ACV keeps the bugs and pests away from your garden.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Garden Use and Directions:
Effective: On flying and crawling bugs
As a foliage spray:
In a spray bottle, mix a half a cup of ACV with one and a half cups water, and one teaspoon unscented organic dish soap. Do not use dish soap with color, for it adds dyes into your plants. Spray onto affected plant’s leaves, stems and around the plants. Use as a preventative at the beginning of the season. Water and rain will wash this solution off of plants. Repeat as needed.
As animal deterrent: Soak rags in undiluted ACV. Place the soaked rags around the perimeter and throughout your garden. Repeat when the rags no longer smell like vinegar. Keep rags from directly touching plants to prevent plant damage.
As a fruit fly trap:
In a clean tin can or other container, mix the following ingredients. A half a cup of ACV, a fourth cup of sugar (you may substitute honey or maple syrup), one tablespoon of molasses and one cup of warm water. Hang several can mixtures in each fruit tree. The mixture attracts and kills fruit flies, preventing them from reproducing and laying eggs in your tree and on your fruit.
4. Insect Spray for Indoor and Outdoor Plants.
Nature creates its own type of bug repellent in order for species to survive. Different scents, textures, and tastes of plants keep bugs away. You can harness nature’s plant survival scents for your indoor and outdoor plants.
Make sure you start with organic ingredients for the most natural insect sprays.
Nature’s Garden Sprays Use and Directions:
Effective: Solution controls mildew, mold, aphids, worms, spider mites and whiteflies.
These are all foliage sprays. Be sure you spray in the cool morning or evening to prevent plant burning.
Basic soap spray: Helps control aphids, spider mites and whiteflies.
Mix one tablespoon of organic unscented liquid soap with a quart of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray mixture onto your plants.
Onion garlic cayenne paper spray: Helps control cabbage worms, aphids and other insects.
Combine a quart of warm water with one minced garlic clove and one diced medium size onion. When mixture cools, stir in one teaspoon cayenne pepper and one tablespoon organic unscented liquid soap. Pour into spray bottle. Spray affected plants in your garden or home.
Baking soda spray: Helps control mildews and fungus.
Mix one gallon of warm water with three tablespoons baking soda without aluminum and one teaspoon unscented organic liquid soap. Pour into a spray bottle and spray affected leaves.
Citrus spray: Helps repel white flies.
Combine two cups of orange and/or lemon peels in four cups of water. Bring water to a boil, then let steep until cool. Pour liquid into a spray bottle. Spray on affected plants.
5. Trap for flying bugs around your plants
Have you ever walked into a room to admire your plants to see little bugs flying around them? Your first reaction may be to throw the plant out or get it outside. Instead of removing the plant from inside, get rid of the flying bugs with a sticky trap.
Sticky Trap Use and Directions:
Effective for flying bugs – including house flies.
There are two methods to do this.
Buy a flat or on a roll fly trap from the stores. Do not use fly traps that pull out of a container and spiral down. Cut small flat pieces of the flypaper and stick them on Popsicle sticks at the base of the plant. If you have several plants in one area and see flies buzzing from plant to plant, you can also put a trap between them.
If you don’t want to buy a fly trap, take honey and thinly spread it onto thick paper, card stock, cardboard etc. and place at the base of the plants.
The bugs fly to the paper and get stuck. If you’re using the honey method, beware your dogs and cats will like them too.
Remember, pests belong in nature, but you don’t want the kind in your garden that destroys it. By creating and using natural pest deterrents, you’re creating a healthier place for you and your plants.
Go plant something, watch it grow and be prepared for unwanted guests.