Ever thought that removing pests from the garden naturally and safely is nearly impossible? Well, think again! Here are ten natural, non-toxic and safe ways to remove those pesky lil' critters.
Gardening with children can be such a rewarding experience – I know I love spending time together with them learning about science, life, and patience. But I do not want to have to worry about the pesticides (like RoundUp) I've sprayed all over my plants and how it would affect my kids, or me and the food we're growing, for that matter. (Read here about why Roundup is SO dangerous).
With that in mind, here are ten safe options to remove garden pests from your home garden.
1. Sawdust, Ashes or Wood Chips
Sprinkle sawdust, ashes, or wood chips around your garden to deter certain pests. Slugs will not cross this barrier so to keep them out of your garden, lay this stuff along the edges and you'll avoid those pests without having to mess with any materials which will be unsafe for your children to touch.
Spray grasshoppers with molasses. The sweetness attracts them, but it blocks their nasal passages and causes them to suffocate. You can easily eradicate an entire crop of grasshoppers by just spraying the grasshoppers with molasses whenever you see them.
Garlic is not just for vampires. Planting garlic in your garden or just spraying it with garlic will deter many unwanted insects. Plant the garlic sporadically amongst your garden to keep those pests at bay.
4. Know Your Bugs
Know the helpful bugs from the destructive bugs. Keeping bugs like praying mantis, ladybugs, beetles, Japanese Beetles, aphids, slugs, and spiders in your yard will be a huge help. They will eat all of those pests which do damage to your crops.
5. Ducks and Chickens
Keep ducks and chickens in your yard. They will eat these destructive insects. Your kids will love having these new pets as well. They can't just be on a diet of insects, though, so be prepared to feed them seed as well. Keep them protected in a coop at night so other animals that prey on them don't get them while you sleep.
Having bats in the yard is not such a bad thing. Have your kids help you create bat houses to attract bats because they'll come out at night and gobble up all of those nasty bugs you don't want around.
7. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil gets rid of spiders, mice and garden aphids, also known as plant lice. Add a few drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle of water and spray plants to kill aphids. Do the same for mice and spiders and spray on baseboards or in corners. (where to buy the highest quality essential oils)
8. Chili Powder
For larger pests, use chili powder around your garden. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili powder which will deter things like raccoons, skunks, and opossums. It won't affect birds or other wanted critters in your yard, just mammals. You can even use chili powder in your bird seed to keep other animals from eating the seed.
9. Fans, Radios and Balloons
Fans, radios, and balloons will deter wildlife. The movement and noise from these things will frighten this unwanted wildlife from your garden.
10. Plant Native Plants
Have plants that are native to your area. This will deter pests in your yard. To find out what is native in your area, click here to visit wildflower.org.
When gardening with your kids there's nothing more important than making sure they are safe out there. So avoiding toxic chemicals and using these more natural methods for pest control is the way to go!