Pest-Control Strategies


Fight ‘em with Flowers

Consider that pyrethrin, a compound found in chrysanthemums, is an active ingredient in many commercial insect repellents.

Enjoy ready-to-pick seasonings for your favorite fare and repel pests in the process by growing peppermint, basil, sage, rosemary, lavender, chives, mint, or dill.

Oust ‘em with Oil

Mix 1 cup of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of mild soap, and 1 quart of water in a spray bottle, shake to disperse, and mist onto foliage to kill such garden gobblers as aphids, mites, and thrips.

Destroy ‘em with Diatomaceous Earth

Gardeners can sprinkle it around the base of plants and directly onto foliage to foil snails, slugs, and crawling bugs.

Puree one garlic bulb and one small onion, mix in a teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder, and let steep for an hour, then strain. Add 1 tablespoon of mild liquid soap to help it adhere to leaves and spray on both sides of leaves.

Salvage a plastic liter bottle from the recycling bin, fill it with a small amount of bait (such as honey or ripe fruit), and cut a U-shaped flap in the side.

Hang Homemade Flypaper

Hang flypaper in rooms where flies have entered or perhaps around the patio. Check and change the paper frequently, as it’s likely to get pretty nasty in no time!

To invite birds, your landscape should include nesting options like twiggy shrubs and small trees, a water source for drinking and bathing, and perhaps one feeder (don’t fret—it won’t deter your feathered friends from their prey).

Attract these nocturnal superfriends by planting evening bloomers like dahlia, thyme, and honeysuckle (eschewing cinnamon, eucalyptus, and peppermint, which bother bats).

Don’t Just Stand There

Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. After a rainfall, dump buckets and other receptacles that might have collected water.

Give Slugs a Swig

Bury a few small plastic containers (like yogurt cups) in the ground and add a few inches of brewski. Snails and slugs will crawl toward their beverage of choice—and drown when they fall in.

Blend raw egg, garlic, milk, Tabasco sauce, and a touch of liquid soap. Add just enough water to make the solution sprayable and mist on plants.