How To: Get Rid of Plant-Eating Pests Using 100% Natural Solutions from Your Home and Garden

Get Rid of Plant-Eating Pests Using 100% Natural Solutions from Your Home and Garden

How to Get Rid of Plant-Eating Pests Using 100% Natural Solutions from Your Home and Garden

Navigating through row after row of plants, my tiny fingers would reach into the leaves to pluck all the vile little creatures from their homes and deposit them into a can of gasoline. Potato bug duty, my least favorite gardening chore.

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Growing up, my family had a small garden every year. And every year, I was recruited to help plant, maintain, and eventually harvest the vegetables from it. There were some tasks I didn't mind, but the ones I hated most usually involved bugs (have you ever seen a tomato worm?).

My dad used a few mild pesticides, but being a conservationist, he never liked to use anything with harsh chemicals that would kill more than just the intended target.

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There are actually tons of natural remedies that use things you have in your home, or growing in your garden itself, to keep out pests. If only my ten-year-old self had known about a few of these...

Hot Peppers

If you're growing hot peppers in your garden, you already have most of what you need for this remedy. Redditor halfbaked04 chops a handful of peppers and boils them in a pot of water, then strains it into a spray bottle to use on other plants. It's best to wear gloves while handling the peppers, and be extra cautious when straining the water so the vapors don't get in your eyes.

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Don't have any fresh peppers? Use ground cayenne instead. A recipe by Organic Gardening suggests chopping one bulb of garlic and an onion and adding a teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper. Steep the mixture in a quart of water for about an hour, then drain and add a tablespoon of liquid soap.

If you're having the opposite problem and bugs are eating your pepper plants, try spraying them with a solution of liquid soap and water. If slugs are the culprit, spread coffee ground or oatmeal around the base of the plants.

Turmeric

It may taste delicious in food and smoothies, but ants and other pests absolutely despise turmeric. Sprinkle the powdered kind around the base and leaves of your plants, or steep fresh turmeric in water and use it as a spray.

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Companion Planting

Probably the most natural and harmless remedy for garden pests is companion planting. There are certain plants that will deter insects from eating your crops if you plant them close by. Chrysanthemums contain organic pesticides and can be grown in your garden with your other crops or around the border.

Lavender keeps out fleas, moths and mosquitoes, and the roots of a marigold produce a chemical that's toxic to roundworms.

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If you don't want to plant flowers in your garden, there are plenty of edible vegetables and herbs that also work. Garlic, onions and shallots are a natural deterrent for aphids, fleas and Japanese beetles, and they're super easy to grow. Basil keeps out flies and mosquitoes, and rosemary and sage repel bugs that destroy your cabbages and carrots.

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This is just the tip of the iceberg. You can find a more complete list of companion plants and the critters they repel here.

Eggshells

For unwanted slimy guests like slugs and snails, eggshells could do the trick. Just crush them up and sprinkle them on top of the soil either around the perimeter of your garden or just the plants that are being affected.

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Banana and Orange Peels

Next time you eat a banana, don't throw out the peel. Instead, cut it up and bury the pieces one to two inches deep around plants that are infested with ants or aphids. Orange peels can be spread around on top of the soil or boiled to make a spray.

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Diatomaceous Earth

For a ready-made solution you can pick up at the store, try diatomaceous earth. It's a soft sedimentary rock that's crumbled into a fine, white powder and can be sprinkled on the soil to kill ants, slugs and snails, fleas, cockroaches, and many other pests. It's best to use it when you aren't expecting rain for at least a few days, and you'll need to reapply it after rainfall.

Photo by Lakenvelder, e_monk, Bill Bumgarner, Howard Walfish, B D T, Wade Morgen Adam Fagen, Dave James, Kerry Lannert

12 Comments

We placed our new home into a pasture area and are fighting grasshoppers like never before! They have eaten everything except the Vinca that I have planted this year. Does anyone have any advice how to do battle against these hungry, horrible grasshoppers!? I am about to give up as there is not much left and it is too expensive to keep re-planting to just have them eat it all up again.

A lot of people recommend dusting your plants with plain old all-purpose flour to keep grasshoppers away. Apparently the texture makes it difficult for them to eat, and as long as you rinse it off in a couple of days it won't damage your plants. There's more information here—let us know if it works for you!

Chickens love grasshoppers. My mom always kept half a dozen bantams just to eat grasshoppers and slugs, they did a good job. If they eat a lot of slugs you probably don't want to eat the eggs, they won't taste good.

depending on what you are growing you can plant marigolds near the crops. They repel grasshoppers and invite a bunch of beneficial pollinators

What to do about stink bugs?

I have them figured out, they get into the dirt and eat the roots. They killed a Meyers Lemon that I had babied for over 20 years. I need to know how to just get rid of them and keep them out of my plants and my house.

unfortunately you have a boxelder tree by you. You have to cut that down for them to go away. They stay in that tree in the winter and mate whenever it starts getting warm out. BUt fortunately I have found a way to kill them for now. You can use laundry soap mixed with water. Any kind will do. Spray the mix on them and they will die within a couple a seconds, and itll make your house smell good on the outside for a day. Make the mix a little bit thicker, youll be just fine.

Any thoughts on how to save my ant infested and white fuzzy spot plagued sage plant?

have wood roaches eating my baby pumpkin? ? what can I do to keep them away from it? ? I've actually sat outside close to it and scared away many coming for my plant but they are roaches! and just keep coming back... this is my first time planting pumpkins. :)

I'm on my third year on my baby bell pepper plant. I started growing this plant with seeds when I dried them out to plant. Saves money. This year after the plant bloomed and started flowering I got a few beautiful little green and yellow bells. But yesterday I went out to prune some discolored leaves, I looked down and saw a night mare of tiny white worms in my potted baby bell pepper plant soil. I am trying to find out if these worms are harmful or not. And if they are, do I dispose of the plant or is their a natural remedy for these worms. What kind of worms are they? Please help me. I'm a believer in keeping a vegetable plant until it no longer produces it's fruits. Will they affect my potted jalapeno plants or my newly planted ?? tomato plants from seed. The best plants I've planted in years. All of my vegetable plants are planted in pots. As my arthritis does no longer allow me to get on my hands and knees for a ground cover garden. Please and thank you for any information you may have on how to get rid of the skinny white worms. They are what looks like 3/4 to a inch long.

I've found black small eggs on the upper leaves of my plants, then I found this one inch length whitish caterpillar gnawing the leaves, when I pressed it , a green juice emerged. I don't know what is this, please suggest a treatment.

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