20 Ways to Eliminate Garden Pests - Safely and Inexpensively

20 Ways to Eliminate Garden Pests - Safely and Inexpensively

Insects, slugs, birds, rabbits and deer are just a few creatures that can threaten the well-being of your garden's plants. But, you don't need to use expensive and potentially dangerous chemicals to protect your garden from the pests that threaten to destroy it. Instead, you can use common household items and ingredients to do the job.

\"Chicken Wire Fence\"

1.       Keep insects away from your cucumbers and other tasty vegetables, mix small scraps of aluminum foil into your mulch. An added benefit is that the foil will help reflect light back onto your plants.
2.       Deter moles by pouring used cat litter down their tunnels and they'll be looking for a new home.
3.       Scare away the furry and feathered fruit bandits by hanging pairs of pie tins in your fruit trees. The reflection and the noise the pans make when the hit each other will help scare the pests away.
4.       Keep cutworms, slugs & snails at bay . Just scatter the ashes from your fireplace or campfire around your garden - the ash will stick to their bodies and draw the moisture out of them. 
5.       Discourage aphids from moving into your garden by burying cut up pieces of banana peel 1-2 inches below the surface of aphid-prone plants.
6.       Get rid of slugs and snails. In the evening, bury a shallow container so the top is level with the soil and fill with warm, flat beer. In the morning, you'll have a drunk- tank full of dead slugs.
7.       Protect new seedlings from furry pests, but still allow light and water in. Place inverted baskets over the seedlings and be sure to anchor them firmly in place.
8.       Protect the trunks of your young fruit trees from nibbling rodents by wrapping the trunk in a double layer of aluminum foil in late autumn. Don't forget to remove the foil when spring comes.
9.       Trap pesky yellow jackets, wasps and moths so they don't bug you. Use an empty 2-liter soda bottle or other plastic bottle and fill it with water sweetened with sugar. Cut a small hole near the top of the bottle and hang it where the bugs seem to hang out. When the trap is full, throw it out and replace with a new one.
10.   Keep moles out of your garden and yard with castor oil. Mix ½ cup castor oil and 2 gallons (7.5 liters) water and poor on the mole hill. While it won't kill the moles, it will send them packing.
11.   Repel ants & slugs with powdered chalk scattered around garden plants.
12.   Keep mosquitoes, gnats and even ticks at bay by putting chest rub on your arms and legs.
13.   Protect the fruit in your trees from the birds that always seem to get first pick by hanging strips of aluminum foil from the branches using fishing line or something similar. 
14.   Keep deer out of your garden by staking chicken wire flat on the ground around the perimeter of the garden bed. Deer don't like to walk on it and it's not ugly to look at like chicken wire fence.
15.   Use plants as a natural pest control for moles. There are certain plants that moles just don't like. The most common are daffodils and alliums.
16.   Keep the neighborhood cats from using your garden as a litter box. Spread a mixture of orange peels and coffee grounds around your plants. The pungent odor should keep the cats away and you have the added benefit of a great soil enhancer.
17.   Stop bugs from eating your plants. Just sprinkle a mixture of black pepper with flour around your plants and the bugs will find a different place to dine.
18.   Get rid of nematode worms. This microscopic parasite pierces the roots of plants and causes knots. Create an unfriendly environment for these pests by mixing 5 pounds (2 kg) of sugar for every 250 square feet (25 square meters) of garden. The microorganisms that feed on the sugar increase the organic matter in the soil, which will eliminate the nematodes.
19.   Protect your plants from rabbits, chipmunks and woodchucks. Chop up a super hot pepper (habanero for example) and mix it with 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper and ½ gallon (2 l.) of water. Boil the mixture for 15-20 minutes, cool, and strain through cheesecloth. Pour into a spray bottle along with 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Spray plants well once a week or sooner if it rains. The soap helps the mixture stick to the plant and the hot flavors will send the little plant munchers looking for another place to snack. 
20. Let your garden's plants protect each other. The practice of companion planting has been used for centuries to repel insect pests. Some to try include heavily scented plants like basil, tansy, marigolds and sage are reputed to keep insects away.

20 Ways to Eliminate Garden Pests - Safely and Inexpensively
20 Ways to Eliminate Garden Pests - Safely and Inexpensively

Lisa Greene has been gardening for more than 25 years and has focused on edible garden landscapes for the last 12. Her website, [http://www.ediblegardenlandscaping.com] provides information and resources to people who want to use more of their available growing space for beautiful trees, shrubs and plants that also provide a delicious, nutritious and economical food supply to the home gardener.