Whether you’re growing your plants indoors or outdoors there’s no escaping pests and bugs. Dealing with bugs and pests is the bane of many gardeners, and once some have taken hold it can be difficult to remove them. There are a ton of commercial products for this purpose, but many of them have harmful chemicals that many are a bit leary of using. Today we’ll look at some alternatives; some environmentally friendly pest control solutions, most of which you can make with a few simple household items.
One of my personal favorites, soapy water is a great way to deal with a ton of different types of bugs. The soap itself doesn’t hurt the plants, but will be lethal to a wide variety of smaller bugs. The downside of this though is can be difficult to get all of them. For a larger infestation, it might take multiple applications to fully deal with it.
Neem Oil Spray
Neem oil is a natural pesticide made from the seeds of the neem tree. Turned into a spray, it’s great at getting right of pesky bugs. What’s more, it also works as a decent repellant meaning once you spray it you should hopefully have no bugs reappear for some time, and can be used preemptively to stop bugs before they become a problem.
Not just for vampires anymore, bugs are also repelled by garlic. The strong scent that garlic produces is enough to keep many pests away. A small clove of garlic placed by your plants is enough to do it in most cases. You can also plant things like garlic chives, which naturally repel certain kinds of bugs as well.
Just like garlic, mint is also a natural repellant of certain types of pests. Planting mint is a good way to keep away bugs, but you can also blend it up with a bit of soapy water to create a spray. You can even combine garlic and mint into a single spray that’s very versatile.
Used coffee grounds are not only a great fertilizer but can also be used as a natural repellant. Ants in particular do not like coffee grounds at all. Give them a spread around your garden to keep bugs at bay.
This is an extremely simple tip that most people overlook. By simply taking a damp cloth you can carefully wipe off the leaves and remove any bugs. This works best for some of the larger variety of pests, and also before a large infestation has taken hold. If you can catch them early, it’s very easy to simply wipe them off the plants. Note that this won’t prevent them from coming back, so make sure to keep an eye on your plants afterwards.
Hot Pepper Spray
For something a bit more spicy try a hot pepper spray. Simmer a gallon of water, a good pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, and a couple drops of dish soap. This creates a spray that will naturally turn away pests due to the heat of the peppers.
While there’s quite a bit of options above they might not work in all cases. If you have some pests that are stubborn and won’t yield to your efforts it might take a bit more of a targeted approach to get rid of. If you’re in this situation take some time to identify what type of pest you’re dealing with, and then check out our in depth guide on gardening pests and use the specific tips depending on the pest.