Sunday, November 20, 2011


There are some remedies right from your kitchen that are successful in the war against garden pests.  These remedies are designed to confuse pests in search of their favorite host plants or areas, and are worth a try, used in a hand-held pump spray bottle:

  • HOT TEA :  Used to deter squirrels and rabbits from returning a second time, or for flea beetles.  1 whole garlic bulb, broken into cloves, 3 hot peppers, chopped (or 1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes), and 1 quart hot water. Combine all ingredients and allow to sit it a warm place for a week. Strain through cheesecloth. To use, pour 1/2 cup of the hot tea, 1 pint water and 3 drops dishwashing liquid in a pump spray. 
  • CAT SOLUTION:  To keep cats from digging in containers or newly seeded beds, mix 1 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons chili paste with garlic (sold in Asian markets) with 1 quart water.  Sprinkle the mixture over the area cats frequent, and they will never return.  (This mixture will also deter dogs as well.
  • ROSE BLACKSPOT, POWDERY MILDEW, APHIDS, MEALYBUGS, WHITEFLIES AND MOST TYPES OF SCALE: A triple cocktail punch of  this mixture will have the greatest impact on these diseases and pests if you apply it before the problem becomes widespread.  3 teaspoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons light horticultural oil or vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon insecticidal soap, 1 gallon water.  Mix all ingredients in a pressure sprayer. Apply to plants no more than once a week. If you treat plants repeatedly, watch for signs that oil build up is harming plants. (Normal rainfall or overhead watering between applications usually keeps this from being a problem).
  • ORANGE RIND SNAIL TRAPS: If you have have snail trouble in the garden, place orange rinds on the ground; this will draw snails. Go out early in the morning and collect them by picking up the rinds and discarding the snails in a bucket of soapy water or a Ziploc baggie.
  • CITRUS SPRAY FOR APHIDS:  If you're out of insecticidal soap, try this spray to get rid of aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, or other small sucking insect pests. Grated rind of 2 lemons, and 1 quart of water. Combine the grated rinds with the water and allow the mixture to sit overnight.  Strain through cheesecloth. Dilute the concentrate with equal parts of water before spraying on plants. Add 2 drops of dishwashing detergent per quart to help it spread and stick a little better.
NOTE:  Never apply a liquid of any kind to leaves in the middle of a hot, sunny day.  This can cause the water to heat up and cause brown burn spots on your leaves.  

In addition to these recipes, teas made with mint, tansy, and even tomato will work.  These aromas confuse pests in search of their favorite plants.  Soap is also another choice, but be careful when using household soaps, some contain chemicals that can injure leaves.  (Insecticidal soap, mixed according to directions isn't harmful).  
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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