Organic pest control is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, for keeping chemicals off of your plants, and away from your pets and children, and second, because of us softies who don’t want to kill the little pests. We’ve compiled a short list of our favourite pest control tips. Some of them work better than others, and some we haven’t yet tried, so let us know what you think.
1. Recruit your own army with an insect hotel. Insect hotels can help encourage ladybirds, lacewings, and solitary bees. Among others, ladybirds and green lacewings will happily munch on aphids, thrips, mealybugs, and whiteflies.
2. If you’re trying to avoid bees and wasps visiting your garden, blow up a few brown paper bags, tie them off, and hang on the washing line. Many insects will be fooled, and think that they are the hives of a different colony.
3. Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water. So get rid of those empty plant pots, wheelbarrow’s and old children’s toys. Change birdbath water frequently to prevent it from stagnating.
4. A mixture of water and distilled white vinegar can help to destroy the scent trails that ants use to get around your house, your garden, and their home. Keep confusing them and they’ll soon find somewhere else to live.
5. Spray plants with water, or with a light soap solution to help repel bugs like ants and flies.
6. Scatter coffee grounds on the soil surrounding plants to deter slugs.
7. Placing straw around plants will also help to deter slugs. It’s a lot of effort for their soft bodies to manoeuvre.
8. Citronella has been used for many years to keep bugs away. Lemongrass citronella can be planted in the garden where the climate or conditions allow, and you can burn citronella candles when you’re in the garden in the evening.
9. Try companion planting. Tasty plants can be disguised with plants that are less appealing to the bugs. Garlic, onions, mint, marigolds, and catnip and among a range of natural repellents.
Have you tried any of our natural pest control tips? Let us know how they worked for you, or tell us what you do to keep the bugs at bay.