For an avid gardener, there’s nothing like seeing a new bud for the first time, or setting eyes on a patch of area that’s alive with colorful blooms. If you love to garden and your plants are truly part of your every day existence, then you’re also aware of the many challenges related to your hobby. One of the problems that often trouble gardeners is the presence of garden pests.
Taking care of plants requires time, effort and lots and lots of patience. So, when you see a bud or a seedling that you’ve carefully nurtured all eaten away by pesky bugs, then you can’t help feeling murderous of those flying, slithering or crawling insects. But before you grab a can of Raid and begin spraying your garden with it, you should actually plan your counter-attack carefully. Make sure that your plan is intended for the specific kind of pest that’s bugging you and your plants. This is more effective and efficient compared with randomly spraying areas with insect repellent, which may not be effective in several ways. For one, the chemical spray that you may be using isn’t meant for the pest that you want to eradicate. Also, using sprays outdoors will greatly dissipate the chemicals; thus, making it quite ineffective.
1. Set Traps for Wasps and Bees
Bees and wasps are actually very helpful to plants, particularly in pollination. However, if there is a huge number of wasps and bees in your area, there’s an increased risk that you or your kids can get stung, especially if the creatures have decided to create their nests very close to your home or on it. Being stung by such insects is painful, but this isn’t life-threatening to most. There are others, however, who experience serious allergic reactions to stings. Kids or adults who are very allergic to stings could die if not given immediate medical attention. So, if you or a family member is allergic to stings, it’s a must for you to remove these animals from your property.
An ordinary bottle can be used to create a trap for stinging insects, like bees or wasps. For bees, simply put a small amount of soda, juice or any sweet fluid inside the bottle. Lay this far from your home. This will attract the bees and encourage them to gather near the bottle instead of your house. If you want to get rid of wasps, get a plastic bottle. Cut the cone-shaped portion and then place this again inside the hole you made, making sure that it’s inverted. Tape or glue the inverted cone on top. Fill the bottle with water that’s been mixed with some liquid detergent. Slather some jam or jelly inside the neck of the bottle. The wasps will want to get the sweet sticky food, but they will slide downwards into the water-detergent mixture.
2. Use Essential Oil Blends to Deter Flying and Crawling Insects
So many kinds of essential oils ward off many insects, like ants, ticks, mosquitoes, spiders and other irritating garden bugs. The rule of thumb is to use 1 part essential oil to 10 parts (up to 20 parts) carrier oil.
Insect Repellent Essential Oils
A few examples of essential oils that can ward off creepy crawlies are peppermint, eucalyptus, citronella, lemon, rose-geranium, pennyroyal, and cinnamon. These stronger oils can be mixed with carrier oils, like olive or sunflower oil. Some even use alcohol or Vodka with essential oils. If you want to be cost-effective and efficient, check what sort of bugs are invading your garden. Then, use the internet to find out the type of essential oil that you should use against that pest. In addition to this, carrier oils, including mineral and vegetable oil, can also be sprayed on soft-bodied insects, like aphids, to suffocate them.
- Photo courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Claire Trent writes for Affordable Pest Control Washington DC. She blogs about pest management and provides tips about natural ways to control bad bugs in gardens and homes.