How to Keep Insects and Animals Out of Your Garden

Is something eating your plants? Put a stop to it for good with these all-natural ways to get rid of ants, aphids, slugs, cats, racoons, deer, and every other pest that's destroying your garden.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read


To get rid of ants for good, sprinkle cornmeal near ant hills. They’ll eat it, but they can’t digest it, which will cause them to die out. Wait a couple of weeks and your ant problem will improve.

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For aphids, chop up an onion, place it in a cup of water, and puree it until it’s liquid. Pour the concoction into a plastic spray bottle and use it to mist the plants aphids are attracted to. For best results, try it at dawn before the sun starts blazing.

Spider Mites

Spider Mites can be a nightmare for trees. To get rid of spider mites, take a pound of flour, five gallons of water, and a cup of buttermilk, mix it all together in a large bucket, and put it in a plastic spray bottle. Use it on your trees once a week, and that should keep the mite population under control.

Slugs and Snails

Did you know that snails and slugs like beer almost as much as people do? If you’re tired of these slimy pests invading your garden, leave a flat, shallow container—such as a pie tin—in your garden and fill it with a can of beer. Let it sit there for a couple of days, and you’ll probably find it full of drowned slugs.

Magic Bug Spray

If you have a general insect problem, or aren't sure which nasty critter is the one destroying your plants, you can infuse your garden with a garlicky odor that will be unpleasant to insects—we call it our "magic bug spray." Take 1/4 cup garlic and mix it with 2 cups water in a blender, strain it with an old nylon stocking, and scrape the paste into a jar. Add 2 teaspoons mineral oil and several squirts of liquid dish detergent. Carefully replace the lid on the jar and shake well. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and use it on your garden in the early morning hours to keep insects away. It's also great for spraying around your deck to keep away flying insects like flies and mosquitoes!


If deer are getting to your flower garden, throw a few mothballs on the ground. Deer hate the smell of mothballs. (Who doesn’t?)


To get rid of raccoons, try this equivalent of a phony “Beware of Dog” sign: distribute dog hair around your property. You can also try planting cucumbers, which both skunks and raccoons avoid like the plague.

Cats and Squirrels

First mix 1/3 cup flour, 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, and 2 tablespoons powdered mustard. Then use the mixture to sprinkle around the perimeter of your yard. Or, mix it with 4 cups water and 4 cups vinegar to make a spray.

For more all-natural ways to get rid of pests, check out our Bug and Pest Natural Remedies board on Pinterest. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!

The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only.  The Authors and Publisher do not accept liability for damages arising from the use, attempted use, misuse or application of any of the suggestions included on this website.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.