Some of us spend hours every week toiling away in our gardens only to have a few pesky insects working hard against you to destroy it! Whether you’re concerned about your kids, pets, native wildlife or fruit and veg safety, there are many reasons why you may not feel comfortable hitting the local big box hardware for a nuclear bomb pest control treatment of commercial pesticide. The great news is, you most probably already own a number of fantastic natural treatments stored in your pantry!
PEST CONTROL: COFFEE GROUNDS
Need a coffee every morning to get out the door? Well don’t just discard your coffee ground waste. It turns out coffee is not only a human requirement but it’s also an insect repellant. Coffee has a very strong odour which many insects and animals do not like. In addition, it’s been suggested that mosquitoes, ants, slugs and maggots all dislike the acidity of coffee and will stay away from areas where there is high concentration of acidic soil. The other great news is coffee ground are a great compost additive, so it’s a win win for your garden!
PEST CONTROL: EUCALYPTUS OIL
Nobody likes a mozzie and they are undisputed as the most frustrating and irritating of all garden pests. Now although mosquitoes are not harmful to your garden flora they can make a stint in the garden or outdoor entertaining a bit more difficult. Eucalyptus oil is a natural mosquito repellent. Dab some on before you head into the garden.
Another use for Eucalyptus oil is as a popular garden spray. Mix 5mL of Eucalyptus oil with 20mL of Canola Oil, 2mL of dishwashing detergent and 1L of water. It’s great for repelling aphids, white flies, mites and is ideal for earwigs, slugs, snails and slaters. Spray thoroughly when insects first appear and apply two sprays 3 – 5 days apart and repeat as often as required. This can be applied to all types of plants including roses, azalea and fruit and veg.
PEST CONTROL: GARLIC
A simple garlic spray is an effective deterrent for most insects in your garden. Simply spray a garlic and water concoction over the base and stem of your plants: the smell stunts the insects’ ability to smell the plants natural odour (which is how they find plants to invade and destroy in the first place). Mix three crushed garlic cloves with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and soak overnight. Strain out the solids and combine with 1 litre of water in a spray bottle. Garlic is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, but it is its insect repellent qualities that most gardeners will love.
PEST CONTROL:CUCUMBER AND MINT
Cucumber and mint can help combat the two of the most annoying pests in the garden – ants and flies. Ants hate cucumbers, and flies hate mint. If you’ve got the neighbours coming around for BBQ dinner then make sure you have these ingredients on hand – the smell of alone is usually enough to deter them.
Ants are appalled by cucumbers; so it work best when cucumber slices are placed near cracks or other areas where ants may enter the home. You can keep crushed mint leaves in shallow bowl, to keep flies away. If you want, you can also fill few muslin teabags with dried crushed mint leaves and keep them in the infested areas.