Natural Pest Control for Your Garden

Growing healthy vegetables and vigorous flowers and shrubs can be a challenge, especially when battling bugs and weeds. Here are some of my favorite options for battling garden pests.

Amanda Thomas
4-minute read
Episode #116

Now that summer is here, most of us are spending much more time outdoors. Summer flowerbeds and vegetable gardens are on the to-do list for many, but it can be a challenge to battle bugs and weeds. It’s frustrating to grow beautiful tomatoes only to have them chewed up by insects!

For me, commercial pesticides and weed killers just aren't an option. Here are some organic, non-toxic, homemade options for battling those garden dilemmas.

1. Got Slugs?

This surefire method for getting rid of slugs is a tip from generations back. Sink a tuna can or another short container into the ground. Next, fill it with beer to about an inch below the top of the container. Slugs, attracted to the beer because of the yeast, will go for a drink and then drown.  It's important to sink the container into the dirt and keep the beer an inch lower than the soil. You want the slugs to go after the beer and drown. If the beer is near the soil, the slugs can just have a drink and then munch some vegetables when they're done with happy hour.

Another solution that works well with slugs, snails, and earwigs is diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle this over plants and around the edges of your garden beds. The diatom particles are small, sharp, and but only harmful to the exoskeletons of insects, slugs, and snails. Insects cannot become immune because diatomaceous earth is a mechanical killer, not a chemical one.

2. Are Furry and Feathered Friends Eating Your Plants?

If bunnies, deer, mice, squirrels, and birds are chowing down in your garden, mix up a bit of this spray and spritz your plants weekly. Mix 4 tablespoons of Tabasco sauce, or any hot sauce, with 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon of dish soap. The capsaicin in the pepper spray will irritate these unwanted diners and they'll look for less spicy fare elsewhere.