As with all things in nature, there is a balance. Organic garden pest control doesn’t upset that balance. You will have some advantage in managing garden pests if you are gardening organically as you will be encouraging natural biological control. Still it’s wise to be prepared for action should your plants come under attack.
Every garden, big or small, requires the managing of insects and other pests. Good planning, healthy plants and good combination planting are the first lines of defense against undesired pests. When you are faced with an incoming pest problem, sometimes you just need to SPRAY!
There are many variations of this floating around in print and on the web, but here is our version of a good all around recipe for repelling bugs. The Heirloom Organics Super Bug Repellent Concentrate:
- 1/4 cup liquid dish soap (or Murphy’s Oil Soap or baby shampoo)
- 1 cup tobacco tea (3 fingers of chewing tobacco in a nylon stocking and soak it in a gallon of hot water until the mixture is dark in color)
- 1 cup antiseptic mouthwash
- 1/4 cup of Tabasco Sauce (or substitute chopped hot peppers)
Mix 1 cup of this liquid to 1 Gallon of water and spray thoroughly once a week until the bugs get fed up and leave.
Pest Spraying Tips
Never use spray on plants during hot sunny weather as it may cause the leaves to burn. Natural soap is tolerated by plants better than detergent (which may have other ingredients such as surfactants, enzymes and softeners added).
Decide what you need to do and do no more. For example, do you want to kill the wretched caterpillars that are making a mess of your cabbages? Right, get the biggies by hand and/or make up a strong killer mix and stop them in their munchy tracks!
From then on you should be able to keep an eye out and use only a mixture that deters or repels the butterflies or moths from landing to lay eggs.
Always remember you want a garden teeming with life with the many insects and creatures keeping each other in check without you rocking the boat too much.
Yes you want wonderful vegetables, flowers and trees to eat and enjoy; so practice diversity and don’t aim for perfection and neatness. Even when using natural sprays, do as little harm as possible and don’t try to outgun nature.
Get other natural pest repellents from our Natural Pest Control Guide.