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If you’ve ever started a garden before, you’re already aware that surprises can occur. From too little water to not enough sunshine, there are many factors out of your control. Even pests at times may seem overwhelming. However, there is plenty you can do to stop them in their tracks.
Insects are naturally attracted to gardens of all kinds but tend to thrive on plants in fruit and vegetable gardens. Eliminating them can be tricky, since finding what works is a lot of trial and error. However, here are a few solutions for you to get started.
Even with DIY methods, it’s still a good idea to contact an expert if the bugs won’t go away. Contact a pest control contractor today for up to four quotes from pros in your area, for free!
Common Garden Pests
A garden attracts pests of all sizes and colors, however, some may be less harmful than others. For example, bees help fertilize plants and ladybugs prey on bugs that are harmful to your produce. These are the insects you want in your garden! Here are a few insects that are destructive to your garden:
- Aphids: These are small, green bugs that spread disease from plant to plant.
- Caterpillars: They feed on leaves and plants in your garden. Keep in mind that caterpillars turn into butterflies and moths that can help your garden.
- Potato Beetles: They are large bugs identified by their bright orange color with black stripes. Potato beetles feed on potatoes,
- Slugs & Snails: Both feed on leaves of plants, killing them quickly.
Identifying Garden Pests
If your vegetable garden is looking less healthy, it’s time for an inspection. One of the first steps to identifying a garden pest problem is to examine your plants. A sure sign is holes in the leaves or produce. If you notice your plants look unhealthy, check the underside of leaves for signs of bugs; that’s where many like to hide and feast. Also pay attention to the ground around the plants, as some live underground and can attack from the roots.
Once you’ve found the source of the problem and identified the pest, it’s time to get to work eliminating them!
Natural Garden Pest Control
DIY natural pest control remedies are always the route to take when eliminating pests from your garden. Stay away from chemical products, as this is going on fruit and vegetable plants that you and your family will be eating. Here are a few methods that work:
1. Garlic Soap Spray
This is a method that many homeowners swear by. Start with four cups of water and boil it with one head of garlic and one onion, bringing to a boil. When the mixture has cooled, remove the garlic and onion. Add a tablespoon of natural liquid dish soap and stir. Funnel into a spray bottle once it has cooled and spray your plants every few days until the infestation goes away.
2. Plant Pest Repellant Herbs
Believe it or not, there are some herbs that can help repel plants from your garden. So not only are you growing fresh herbs, but you’re helping other produce thrive. Here’s what you can plant to repel pests:
- Fennel: Repels slugs, snails and aphids
- Rosemary: Repels slugs and snails
- Dill: Repels cabbage loopers & potato beetles
- Peppermint: Repels ants & cabbage moths
- Sage: Repels various types of garden insects
4. Hot Pepper Spray
Another spray you can try is a hot pepper spray. Avoid getting the ingredients in eyes or cuts as it can hurt you. Gloves can be helpful here. While there are many spray recipes out there, I recommend this tutorial from DIY Natural.
5. Use Eggshells
Slugs and snails tend to be more stubborn than other pests. However, the number one way to deter them from entering the garden is to make the ground rough. Spread broken eggshell pieces around your plants to keep them from entering. The eggshells are too sharp for the slugs and snails to slither on. As the eggshells break down, they add valuable minerals to the ground for your plants to enjoy.
Coffee grounds are another way you can deter slugs and snails without harming your plants. They can’t crawl over the rough surface coffee grounds create. It can benefit your soil as well.
Garden Pest Control Costs
If you have a pest problem, you’ll know it quickly. Even with at-home methods, you may not be able to deter the bugs from your plants. If you’re at a point where you’ve tried a few solutions but it’s not working, it might be time to contact an insect control pro. They’ll know exactly how to rid your garden of any infestation. The average cost to hire an insect control service is $211, with most homeowners spending between $134 and $198.
Growing a vegetable garden is hard work. You must water and maintain your plants to reap beautiful produce. Insects should not make growing plants more of a challenge! Use a few of these DIY solutions to naturally rid your garden of pests.
Looking for more tips to grow a beautiful garden this year? Read How To Plant & Maintain A Container Garden.