Naturally, I learned a lot about garden pests this season. Every day we encountered some sort of aphid or mealy bug or beetle eating away and sucking the nutrients out of our precious flowers. And the deer and slugs munching away at the hosta leaves until only little stubs were left. It’s hard to stay calm and remember that all those buggers need to eat and don’t know that they are wrecking your diligently kept garden as they fill their bellies. However, I am a firm believer that harmful pesticides won’t ever solve a problem without creating an even bigger, more serious one. So, it is useful to learn some practical, safe ways to deter garden pests.
Here are a few suggestions:
For aphids: Mix up a spray bottle of soapy water and give the plant a good bath
Find some lady bugs and place them on the plant (they eat the aphids right up!)
For mealy bugs: Spray leaves with cedar oil
Place banana peels near the plant so they will be enticed by the sweet snack
Pour your old coffee grinds around the base of the plant
For deer: Spray predator urine around the garden (cougar or fox scents)
Place a sculpture or cutout of a fox inside the garden
Tie pieces of soap to varying spots on your plants
For gophers: Sprinkle cayenne pepper around the base of your plants
Put some pinwheels around to scare them away
For beetles: When you see them, pull them off and place them in a jar of water
* And use Have-A-Heart traps if nothing else is working! If you don’t want to buy one, put an add up on Craigslist requesting to borrow someones for a while until you catch your culprit!