Put Pest Problems Behind You With These 4 Natural Solutions
Pest issues can affect anyone, but when you’re working hard to develop a flourishing garden, they can be particularly frustrating. It’s enough to make anyone want to turn to harsh pesticides in an attempt to protect their crops. That’s not the best choice for your plants or your family, though, because those chemicals can prove toxic. It’s much better to choose natural pest treatments that are safe for you and for the environment.
If you’re ready to set aside the toxic pest treatments, these 4 natural solutions can help keep your crops infestation free. Many can even be prepared at home with things you already have on hand.
The Great Power Of Garlic
Everyone loves garlic – well, everyone except insects and other plant irritants. If your plants are afflicted with powdery mildew, you may find that garlic oil can eliminate the fungus. Garlic planted in the garden itself or a garlic juice spray also tend to repel insects, while freshly minced garlic placed around tulip bulbs will keep squirrels from chewing at them and killing the blooms before they can grow.
Cinnamon Spice And Everything Nice
Garlic isn’t the only natural fragrance that repels insects. There are many other common scents that drive them away. Spiders, fleas, and ants will run from peppermint oil, while cinnamon oil deters silverfish. What’s more, the scent of cinnamon oil is so powerful that it actually interferes with ants’ ability to communicate with each other, thereby keeping them from swarming. Treatments like those from the Maggie’s Farm line combine natural oils like rosemary, lemongrass, and clove, along with cinnamon and peppermint to keep pests at bay without harmful chemicals.
Explore Your Garden’s Family Tree
If garlic, cinnamon, and peppermint all work well to ward off garden-destroying pests, does that mean bugs are inherently repelled by strong scents? The reality isn’t quite that simple. In a test performed on various brassicas, scientists found that midges will generally avoid plants treated with essential oils. However, given the choice among plants treated with different oils, they are most strongly repelled by essential oils from plants distantly related to the brassicas. Equipped with that knowledge, you can actually deter pests simply by planting the most distantly related crops closest to each other in your garden.
Peels With No Appeal
Aphids are among the most common garden pests that people contend with, and these tiny creatures can be quite destructive. They do, however, have a fairly simple kryptonite: banana peels. Burying banana peels around the plants deters the aphids while simultaneously enriching the soil. You can also place a small amount of tin foil around the base of your plants which can also help eliminate aphids by reflecting light onto the bottom of the plants. You just have to be careful not to use too much foil, as excessive light will burn the undersides of the plants.
Researchers are working hard to develop alternative pest control agents that won’t eliminate beneficial bugs like bees and won’t pollute the soil. New genetic biocontrols are promising, but ultimately, they shouldn’t be necessary. Essential oils, smart planting strategies, and other natural repellents are all you really need for a pest-free garden.