Are garden pests, such as squirrels, rats and rabbits, eating your vegetables and fruits? Do you have aphids on your roses?
Before going to your local garden center, consider the following DIY pest remedies, which you can probably make from ingredients you may already have in your cupboard.
Remedy: Hot pepper spray.
Deters: mammals, such as rats, squirrels and rabbits, from eating fruit or vegetables
To deter pests from eating immature fruits, fruits with inedible skins, or certain vegetables, organic gardeners can easily make a pest repellent from hot peppers with particularly high levels of capsaicin, such as serrano peppers or habanero peppers.
The capsaicin in the pepper spray deters mammals, such as squirrels, rats and rabbits, from eating fruits and vegetables, yet the hot pepper spray will not harm the animals.
Remedy: Cut rose stems with thorns
Deters: Mammals from entering garden beds
Once the blooms on your rose stems have lost their luster, dry the petals for potpourri and place the thorny stems around your vegetable garden bed. The stems serve as a barricade; they will deter mammals who step on the thorns from entering your garden beds.
Drowns: Slugs and snails.
This barricade-type remedy prevents slugs and snails from eating your garden greens. Place a series of small cups filled with beer around the edge of your garden; snails and slugs are attracted to the beer and will fall into the cups–and drown before eating your harvest. Use this remedy with caution if you have household pets who may be tempted to drink the beer, such as cats and dogs; beer can be toxic to these family members.
Remedy: Water from garden hose
Removes: Aphids from rose bushes
Use a strong stream of water from your garden hose to remove aphids. Light to moderate infestations of aphids on rose bushes in the spring is usually not harmful to rose bushes; however, most gardeners prefer to remove the aphids. Direct strong streams of water from the hose to dislodge the aphids from rose stems and buds; the water will not harm the rose blossoms and plants. For complete instructions for growing roses in your area, go to GardenZeus and enter your zip code.
Remedy: Boric acid solution
Often aphid problems coincide with Argentinian ant infestations because ants move aphids to uninfected leaves and protect aphids from predatory insects. Use a boric-acid ant bait to control ants. Add 8 teaspoons sugar to 1 cup of water and mix; then add 1 teaspoon of boric acid to the mixed solution. Saturate the solution with cotton balls and place in containers where ants are located. The boric acid solution attracts the ants and the ants carry the solution back to the ant colony where it will kill many ants over a several week period. After the ants die off, aphid problems will diminish.
For more gardening tips and for complete gardening information by plant and zip code, go to GardenZeus.