Friday, April 4, 2014

Homemade Methods To Keep Bugs Off Your Plants

Ants can be destructive to garden plants.

Although there are many beneficial insects for your garden, when your plants are invaded by pests that damage, quickly take action. Commercial chemical pesticides and insecticides are toxic to plants, animals and humans. Homemade remedies deter pest infestation or to remove existing unwanted bugs is safer and costs less.

Companion Plants

Planting bug-repelling plants next to more pest-sensitive plants deters harmful bugs. Spider mites do not like the oil of geranium flowers, so growing geraniums close to sensitive plants may protect them. In vegetable gardens, growing garlic next to tomatoes and other vegetables repels spider mites and around fruit trees to deter borers. Lavender drives ticks, moths and mosquitoes away, while tansy is an all-purpose companion plant keeping ants, mite, fleas, flies and moths at bay.


Homemade insecticide or pesticide sprays can be quite effective in ridding your plants of bugs while remaining safe. Use 2 to 3 tsp. of cooking or mineral oil, several drops of liquid dish soap mixed with 1 cup of water to spray on plants to suffocate bug eggs. A teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper, minced garlic and minced onion combined with a tablespoon of dish soap in a quart of water makes a spray to repelling aphids, whiteflies, spider mites and many more common pests. Two oz. of table salt mixed with 1 gallon of water sprayed on plants will stop chewing bugs because of the disagreeable taste.


Bug-repelling teas, although applied by spraying, must be brewed first to extract the potent ingredient. Brew the tea by placing the bug-ridding ingredient and water into a clear container with a lid, and then setting it outside in the sun for a day or two. Strain the tea mix. Mixing 1 gallon of water with a package of chewing tobacco makes nicotine bug spray. It is effective for ridding your plants of aphids, ants, mite and whiteflies. Do not be spray it on edible plants because the plant may absorb the nicotine. To prevent infestations of moths, aphids, mites, slugs, snails and even larger pests like moles and gophers, brew a mix of 1/2 lb. chopped wormwood leaves with 2 pt. of water. Boil, then simmer for 1/2 hour and strain the mix. Dilute this mixture by adding water. Spray the mix immediately on the top and underside of your plant leaves.


Instead of spraying, for small infected areas or houseplants, sometimes rubbing the repellent onto the leaves is most effective. A cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol gently rubbed on the top and bottom of leaves will get rid of mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, scales and whiteflies. Wasps, flies and bees will be gone when you rub eucalyptus oil on plant leaves. Squishing bugs like aphids and mites and rubbing the bug remains on an infested area will drive the living bugs away.

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