How to fight off garden bugs with plants — Woman — s Weekly

Woman’s Weekly

Woman’s Weekly

How to fight off garden bugs with plants

Instead of chemicals, why not use plants’ neighbours to help you beat the bad bugs this summer, says Adrienne Wild

Even though the good weather means plants are growing fast and strong now, they can still be prone to pest attack by garden bugs.

Keeping them healthy by regular watering, feeding and grooming will improve their ability to fight off pests before they incur major damage. For vulnerable plants like roses and veggies, you may need to take other precautions. Natural predators, like ladybirds, hoverflies and lacewings, as well as tapping into the power of plants, could be the answer.

Best bugs

Good bugs like these will gobble up bad garden bugs and can be encouraged by growing plants, such as Californian poppies, poached egg plants or limnanthes, French marigolds, cosmos, fennel and dill. Pot marigolds or calendulas are especially packed with animal magnetism – their bright orange colour attracts predators, such as hoverflies, and draws in bees and other pollinators, which ultimately means better yields.

The female insects feed on calendulas’ protein-rich pollen before laying eggs around colonies of aphids, which provide a ready food source when the larvae hatch.

Planting strongly scented herbs, such as mint, rosemary, oregano and alliums, and especially chives and garlic, in-between crops amazingly act as repellents, confusing insects with strong odours, masking the scent of the intended host plants.

Bane of the garden

Aphids, which are the bane of the garden, can be green, pink, black or grey and attack most plants – indoors and out. They debilitate plants by literally sucking the life out them – drinking the sap, causing flowers to become distorted and new buds to die. While doing this they spread viruses and diseases, which ultimately destroy plants.

You’ll find them on the soft new shoot tips and buds as well as sometimes feeding on roots and leaves. While doing this, they produce a sticky secretion, which on plant foliage becomes a hotbed for sooty mould fungus to grow. Aphids also attract ants, that farm them for their sweet honeydew, and can also become a nuisance on lawns and patio pots.

Wormwood, artemisia absinthium has a particularly strong scent and acts as a deterrent, so plant it liberally to prevent aphids from attacking neighbouring plants, along with thyme, which is a useful companion for roses.

Mint is effective if you have also have a follow-up ant infestation – even in the kitchen you can scatter a few sprigs of mint around the place and watch them disappear!

Create a diversion

This diversion tactic works best on a sheltered site, so the wind doesn’t carry the strong smell away. Some plants like nasturtiums, which are a magnet to pests, can also be used as sacrificial plants to distract pests from attacking your best plants. Use it to lure aphids from your runner and French beans.

The herb summer savory can also be employed to protect broad beans from black bean aphids, and planting broad beans and potatoes together also discourages the pests that attack the other, keeping them healthy as well as improving yields.

Sunflowers will also trap aphids and keep surrounding plants relatively clean without themselves coming to much harm! You might also like to try planting marigolds as a barrier around your salad patch and put a few pots next to your tomatoes – it really does work. Nettles, too, will attract aphids. Slugs have a penchant for chervil, and French marigolds and radish are said to attract root fly from cabbages,
so give these lures a try, as well.

When your trap crop becomes overrun with your pest problem, don’t forget to remove it and dispose of it on the compost heap. As the pest population increases so should their predators, but if you see a decline you may need to buy some in. Surprisingly, you can buy beneficial insects like ladybirds and lacewing larvae online (, which are much more effective than resorting to chemicals.

Plant power

The scent of marigolds is disliked by most pests and will nurse ailing plants. It also enhances the growth and flavour of most crops grown with it, and the roots produce a chemical which repels nematodes and other pests for up to three years, making it a great companion for root crops. Don’t plant marigolds too close to beans and brassicas, though, as they may hamper their growth.

Companion-planting seems an obvious way forward when it comes to protecting your plants, and things will only improve if you grow a mixture of plants as it makes it far less likely that any pest will settle on
the main crop.


The key to success is observation and, while there are well- known, tried and tested partnerships, recording your own plant combinations and results from year to year will be invaluable in your battle against bugs.

Finally, another natural way to keep your patch pest-free is to make your own remedies. Tomato leaves, for example, have toxic compounds called alkaloids in their leaves. The chopped leaves can be soaked in water overnight and made into a homemade aphid spray. It works by attracting the good bugs, which follow the smell while looking for prey.

Herbal ‘tea’

Herbal sprays can also be effective against leaf-eating pests. A traditional method is to make a simple ‘tea’ by mashing leaves of catnip, chives, feverfew or marigolds in a couple of cups of boiling water, let them steep until cool before diluting with several more cups of water. Adding a squirt of washing-up liquid to your spray will help them stick to leaves and spread better.

Some old-time gardeners recommend using hot dusts, made from chilli peppers or dill, which are dried and ground up. Sprinkled along seeded rows of onions, cabbage or carrot, in a band at least 15cm in diameter, it’s said to protect plants from ants and reduce the number of onion maggot eggs.

Organic gardeners also swear by garlic. To make a spray to stop aphids in their tracks, mince three or four cloves and mix with 2tsp of liquid paraffin. Let the mixture sit for a couple of days then strain and add to 500ml water. Just 2tsp of this, added to 1 pint of water, will, I’m assured, make a knockout spray!

How to keep bugs from eating my vegetable garden

Using homemade spray you can keep bugs, pests, insects, and diseases away from your garden. And luckily you can keep bugs out of the garden with inexpensive, simple spray which is non-toxic and doesn’t harm your plants, your children, pets even you. If you know the best way of how to keep bugs from eating my vegetable garden then you’ll become a successful gardener and you’ll be an owner of a beautiful garden. Before going to remedies first test on a plant leaf and this is a good idea.

Pests can destroy, invade both gardener and garden also. But don’t use harsh chemicals. There are many natural and true organic remedies. To keep your garden healthy, safely and naturally you can use the organic method to pests out of your garden. The best idea is to try to prevent to keep bugs away from your garden.

How to keep bugs from eating my vegetable garden

Know the beneficial insects: You have many reasons to introduce beneficial bugs though sometimes it’s really tough to identify who are the really good guys. Keep in mind that each insect doesn’t come into your garden for chow down your plant’s leafs. Some of them are carnivores who will quickly reduce any bugs population by eating harmful bugs and you don’t need pesticides spray. So, you’ll have to gain knowledge [for other site references] to know what they look like. They are more effective and safer than using any chemicals for the long term. It’s a better option to allow some lettuce, herb and cole plants to accomplish. Beneficial insects need nectar and pollen and protein from other insects. You need always healthy habitant from good insects to save your garden from bugs attack.

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Allow your plants room enough air: It’s important that your garden needs good breeze and enough sunlight and air on a regular basis. But there are many peoples who trying to squeeze many plants to make enough space. But this is not a right way, in this way you get a temporary sense of abundance but it can lead a trouble for the long term. The density of plants may invite vegetable garden bugs because they can enjoy there both food and shelter and quickly they’ll try to raise their family starting to eat your vegetable garden.

Oil spray insecticide: Oil spray homemade insecticides made from vegetable oil with mild soap and this is the best natural ways to keep bugs out of the garden and this mixer will be devastating on some harmful insects such as thrips, aphids, and mites etc. Take one tablespoon of mild soap and one cup of vegetable oil and when the basic oil spray insecticides are ready to apply add two teaspoons of this oil mixed with one quart of water then shake well and which plants are affected by little bugs, spray directly on that plants. This mixture suffocates and greases the insect body and insect can’t breathe because mixture blocks the pores of the insects.

Watering: If you really curious to know how to keep bugs from eating my vegetable garden then you can try this method by your own hand and see the result. But it is easier to say than to do. Try watering your plants every morning if it is possible to you. This method has two advantages. Firstly, when the day will be very hot at that time your plant will be well hydrated. This makes bugs less attractive to prey the plants. And the second advantage is you plants leaves will get enough time to dry before evening. Dump plants are frequently affected by snails, earwigs, slugs and many other pests. As a regular basis, you can water deeply at least one or two times of a week. A little rain is always welcome but too much causes trouble in your plants so, wait for that time until the garden completely dries out.

Using neem oil insecticides: Do you know how to get rid of bugs in my garden? Use neem oil which is extracted from the neem seeds and it’s a very powerful insecticide which is 100 natural and doesn’t do any harm to you and your plants. This insecticide is capable of destroying the life circle of all types and all stages of insects such as egg, larva and adult rugs. It is nontoxic and environmentally friendly and doesn’t any harm to wildlife, fish, birds, and pets. You can found it in local markets or garden stores. Follow the instructions of the bottle or take two spoons of neem oil with one teaspoon of mild soap mixed with one quart of water and shaken thoroughly. If your plants have the possibility to affect by insects then you can also use preventatively by spraying plants and leaves before affected by rugs.

Hot peppers: Do you know hot pepper is a natural remedy to get rid of rugs, so, if you growing hot peppers in your garden you’ve already done this work half. Take some amount of hot peppers and chop this then keep it in a pot of water and boil it. When handling the pepper please wear the gloves. If you don’t have fresh pepper then you can use ground cayenne. Chopping an onion and one bulb of garlic and add one tablespoon of cayenne pepper. And then take a quart of water and adding the mixture with this and keep it for one hour then add liquid soap to a tablespoon. If your pepper plants are affected by bugs then spray them with a mixture of liquid soap and water.

Insect remedies plants: There are some plants that keep bugs away from the garden. I hope you feel comfortable when you know the details about insect-repelling plants. Essential oil of these plants worked as a bug repellent and insects avoid them. Now we know some of them:

  • Basil: You know that basil is delicious in salads and you may plant basils in pot or containers by your house indoor and outdoor areas where you like to relax. Take 4 ounce of boiling water and some basil leaves, squeeze them then keep the mixture in refrigerator.
  • Lavender: Lavender is used for sweet fragrance at home. Though human love this fragrance but flies, mosquito, fleas and unwanted insects hate it. Plant this in sunny areas.
  • Lemongrass: Lemongrass repels mosquito away. Maybe you know that citronella candles keep mosquitoes away but you don’t know it’s a natural oil which is found in lemongrass.

No one can guarantee you that you won’t have to face the bug’s problem but after reading this article I hope now you can say I know how to keep bugs from eating my vegetable garden. Now, you know some effective way to reduce the bugs population. If you follow all those tips you can get a healthy, insects and problem-free garden.

How to Keep Bugs Out of Garden

How to Keep Bugs Out of Garden

If you have unwanted pests or bugs in your garden then naturally you would want to get rid of them. First consider that all insects have a role to play in nature and the environment, and extermination may not always be the best option, such as with bees and wasps that pollinate flowers and crops, which is essential for the production of food.

Some may think it wise to purchase chemical products that are manufactured to keep bugs out of your garden. It should be said, however, that such chemical products can actually cause more harm than good, and can sink deep into the ground and possibly contaminate the tap water running into your home when used consistently. Thankfully there are numerous organic methods of pest control to keep bugs out of garden safely and effectively.

How to Keep Bugs Out of Garden

Spray with Soap

If the pests within your garden are causing such a problem that extermination seams to be the only solution, you do not need to use harsh chemicals. Simply spray some soap over the bugs you wish to exterminate. Soap contains fatty acids naturally within it, which work to dissolve the protective shell that most insects have and eventually lead to their demise.


Add around one teaspoon of natural dish soap, or you can use liquid castile soap alternatively, into a quart-sized spray bottle and fill the bottle with water.

Shake the bottle to mix the water and the soap, and then spray the resulting solution onto the invading bugs. This is effective at exterminating various pests, including mites, aphids, thrips, and scale.

Add Some Pepper and Garlic

Extra exterminating power can be added to the method detailed above by including hot pepper and garlic. Both of these natural ingredients can work to repel any further infestation by making the flavor and aroma of the plants unfavorable to bugs/pests.

What you need: Six cloves of garlic (or one small bulb), one small hot pepper (or one teaspoon of hot sauce), and the natural dish soap/liquid castile soap.

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First, dice the hot pepper and the garlic and then place them into a blender.

Add around one cup of water and blend until a smooth texture appears.

Once you have allowed the mixture to steep for around an hour or so, strain it so as to remove any solid bit from the solution. If these small, solid bits are not removed then they may clog the dispenser on the spray bottle.

The resulting mixture can then be added to the spray bottle along with the soap, then fill the bottle with water, mix, and spray on unwanted pests.

Try Horticultural Oil

Horticultural oil, a refined version of paraffinic oil, once mixed with water within a spray bottle, it can be sprayed onto plants in your garden. Horticultural oil works by essentially suffocating the insects and their eggs when it is coated upon them. And you can use it in any seasons, either dormant or growing, which makes it a great option in terms of how to keep bugs out of garden.

Use Turmeric

Turmeric has numerous benefits for an individual when consumed, and it can also work to repel pests when sprinkled in the garden. To do this, simply acquire some powdered turmeric and sprinkle it around the base of your plants as well as on the leaves. You can also steep fresh turmeric with water and apply the mixture with a spray bottle.

Make Use of Your Eggshells

If you find that your garden is infested with slimy slugs and snails, then eggshells may work as a good repellent. Simply crush up a load of used egg shells and sprinkle them in the soil in your garden.

Try Banana and Orange Peels

When it comes to how to keep bugs out of garden, some fruit peels, such as banana and orange peels may prove helpful. With banana peels, first cut them up then bury the pieces around your garden around two-three inches deep in the soil, wherever aphids or ants have infested. For orange peels, you can either boil them and make a spray from the resulting solution, or simply spread them on top of infested soil.

Go for Coffee Grounds

Spreading coffee grounds around in your garden can have numerous beneficial effects, including warding off unwanted pests. Numerous creatures are repelled by coffee grounds, including slugs, cats, and sometimes even deer. This method will work with most coffee grounds, although instant coffee granules may not be effective.

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

This mixture can work to repel pests like snails, who are troubled by the microscopically sharp mixture. It also works to absorb oils and fats from insects shells, causing them to rapidly dehydrate.

Make Use of Companion Planting

Companion planting essentially means planting different plants next to each other to benefit growth and ward off pests. Some examples of plants that are effective at this include:

Basil – When planted with tomatoes, basil is known to improve their flavor and overall production. They can also be beneficial when planted with peppers, helping to ward off mosquitos.

Borage – Borage can help numerous different plants when planted close by. For tomatoes, it can repel pests like the horn worm, and for cabbage it can fend off cabbage moths.

Chamomile – This can have numerous beneficial effects when planted with any brassica, onion and cucumber, helping to attract the right insects that are beneficial to the plants’ prosperity.

Dill – Dill can be planted with numerous plants, including lettuce, cabbage, and cucumber. It helps to repel unwanted pests, as well as improve flavor.

Catnip – When planted near cucumbers or squash, catnip can work to repel squash pests and aphids.

Radishes, when planted near cucumbers, can help to ward off cucumber beetles.

Marigolds can be planted throughout your garden and are beneficial in repelling pests and nematodes.

Nasturtiums can be highly beneficial when planted near plants such as tomatoes, cabbage, and cucumber, nasturtiums.

Onions can work well when planted near plants such as cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, and peppers. Companion planting these plants together can help significantly when learning how to keep bugs out of garden.

Sunflowers not only look lovely when they are grown, they can also work as wonderful trap crop for pests such as aphids. In companion planting, they’re typically planted near vining plants such as beans and cucumbers, providing them with a trellis with which to grow up.

How to Grow Broccoli

The Best Cancer Fighting Crucifer

There is something about broccoli, picked fresh right out of the garden. Even those kids that profess to hate broccoli will gobble it up, and come back for more when they can eat it raw with dip, or gently steamed.

Learning how to grow broccoli organically will mean that you will no longer have a fight getting your kids to eat it, you’ll fight them to get your share!

Broccoli, like all cruciferous vegetables, requires an alkaline, or sweet soil.

If you’ve added lots of compost to your organic garden, the balance will most likely be slightly on the acid side; prevent clubroot and other issues by adding a handful or two of dolomite lime to the planting row and stir it in. Wood ashes will do in a pinch, to sweeten the soil, or my preference, Dolomite Lime.

I’ve had great success growing broccoli by direct seeding them in March or April, but it’s absolutely essential that they are very thinly sown. If they’re crowded, you might get a few very small heads, not the robust and tender crisp larger ones.

These are not excessively heavy feeders, but they do require a nutritious and porous soil.

Even more important is an even supply of moisture; a few days of hot and dry weather, and these plants will bolt – charging right past harvestable into inedible in a matter of hours.

These are what is known as ‘cool season’ vegetables; they are happiest in cool soil and air temperatures; utilize this and plant them early in the spring so they have time to produce for you before the heat of the summer.

Alternatively, plant a late summer crop, and enjoy them well into fall. The heads can withstand a surprising amount of cold, even frost, and even though they look sad at first, as the temperatures warm up to above freezing, they perk up. Frost makes all brassicas sweeter.

There are so many different varieties of broccoli.

Find ones that are suited for your growing season; all seed packages will tell you how long the plants will take to reach maturity based on the seeding time, or from when they’re transplanted.

Err on the side of shorter growing requirement, and you might even get time in your season for a second crop, or to sow some cover crops after the broccoli is harvested. Look for a mix of different types and varieties; these will reach maturity over a long time, sometimes weeks so that you will never have a glut of heads.

I cut the main heads off, and then leave them to produce some smaller equally sweet and delicious side branches. This extends the season even more.

One drawback to growing cruciferous vegetables or brassicas is that they are so attractive to the pesky cabbage white butterfly.

These fluttery insects will start laying their eggs in early summer, just as the broccoli is setting heads, and the green well camouflaged caterpillars will ruin the heads with their chewing and excrement.

There are a couple of things you can do: first of all, completely cover the crop with Reemay row cover, or any other light fabric. Make sure that all edges are blocked, and allow enough extra fabric so the plants can push it up as they grow.

These plants don’t require any pollination by insects, so you can safely keep them isolated – they won’t be attacked by the butterflies, or aphids, their other nemesis.

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If, by chance you do start seeing damage, cut off all the leaves and the top of each plant, and then cover them with the row cover.

Destroy the leaves you’ve cut off in a really hot compost pile to kill off the larvae. You will forgo any early crops, but the later ones will be clean and undamaged, and as an added bonus you will eliminate one whole generation of pests.

Don’t be too eager to clean up your garden in the fall; broccoli is one of those vegetables that’s really hardy, and even sweeter after a frost.

How to Fight Mealy Bugs

by Abbie Carrier

Need to get rid of some mealy bugs and looking for help? At first, little tufts of white may not seem like a big deal when they appear on houseplants, fruit plants, succulents. or ornamentals, but chances are these cottony-looking spots are mealybugs. These bugs are soft-bodied, segmented wingless insects that feed on plants by inserting their stylets, long mouth appendages, and sucking the sap out of the infected plant.

While a small infestation may not cause much damage, if the plant starts to yellow and curl, the infestation has begun to weaken the plant. Feeding sites can also become sticky, leading to sooty molds. While a mealybug infestation will take a long time to kill the infected plant, it is easiest to get rid of the bugs when they are found in smaller amounts. When the bugs are not prominent on the plant, it can be more difficult to find a mealybug infestation. Plants that easily fall prey to these fuzzy little critters should be regularly checked so that an infestation does not become harder to deal with.

How to Identify a Mealybug Infestation

Mealybugs affect plants found in warmer growing climates. At first, the infestation may look like mildew or fungus. The female lays its eggs in fluffy white excretions. These eggs hatch after 10 days and then move to different parts of the plant, where they spend the next four to eight weeks developing into the adult form of these bugs.

Mealybugs are white fuzzy things you can see on the stems and leaves. They can also appear cream or brown-colored. These bugs do not fly, so if the bugs fly off when the plant is disturbed, those are most likely whiteflies instead. If the bugs look like little white pieces of fluff and stay put when disturbed, then they are mealybugs.

How to Fight a Mealybug Infestation

Making sure the plants that tend to be targets of mealybug infestations are not overwatered or overfertilized is a key step in making sure the plant is unappealing to these bugs. Mealybugs like plants with high nitrogen levels and soft growth, so avoiding the mealybug-approved environments is important. Mealybugs can also infect the plants around the one currently suffering from a mealybug infestation. If at all possible, the plant that is suffering from the infestation should be separated from other plants that can also fall prey to these bugs.

If the plant that is infested is an outdoor, or greenhouse, plant, then introducing natural predators of the mealybug is an easy way to rid them of the infestation. Some of these insects, such as the ladybug, lacewing, and mealybug destroyer, are commercially available for home gardeners to purchase. Introducing them to the environment would be a way to get rid of the mealybugs without much human intervention. Before doing this, make sure there are no plants in the area you plan to introduce the predatory bugs that would be harmed by their presence. It doesn’t make much sense to introduce an insect to get rid of a pest only to then have to deal with an infestation of the introduced insect instead when it begins to harm another plant.

If introducing predators of mealybugs is not possible, or isn’t effective, these fuzzy bugs should be hosed off the plant with a high-power water stream. Any remaining mealybugs that are visible should be wiped off the plant or dabbed with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. Neem oil can also be applied to active infestations. Treating with neem oil will kill mealybugs on contact at any stage of the life cycle—without harming any beneficial bugs, such as honeybees, that are also in the area.

A drop of the neem oil can be applied directly to the bugs (unfortunately, this method can also have negative impacts on beneficial bugs in the area). As an alternative, you can deliver neem oil via a diluted spray of one ounce oil to for every gallon of water, which can be sprayed on the plant every seven to 14 days. Horticultural oil can be used in a similar way to smother eggs and young or adult mealybugs. These oils can be applied to outside gardens and houseplants alike, making them a good option for dealing with these pests wherever they strike.

Another sprayable option when battling a mealybug infestation is using a soapy spray. Mealybugs are armored by a waxy coating, which can make it difficult for treatments to be effective. (Note, however, that they don’t have this waxy coating to protect them until they’ve graduated from the nymph stage.) The soap solution will erode this protective coating and begin to dehydrate the mealybug population, but those harmful effects can translate to your plants, too, so you may want to test this treatment on a small area of your plants before applying to your whole garden plot. Use a quart of soft tap water—hard water won’t be effective due to the minerals it contains—or you can use distilled water mixed with two teaspoons of liquid dish soap. Don’t be tempted to switch the liquid dish soap for dry dish soap or laundry detergent as the chemicals they contain will be detrimental to your plants.

If the infestation is particularly stubborn, a Beauveria bassiana product may have to be applied. This fungus is used in natural-based insecticides, as the spores only have to touch the intended target before infecting the bug and slowly killing it. The Beauveria bassiana fungus targets pest insects, such as whiteflies, aphids, thrips, grasshoppers, and certain types of beetles, while leaving beneficial bugs alone. If the infected plant is a houseplant, make sure the fungus-based insecticide chosen is approved as safe for indoor use. If it is not possible to find one that can be used safely indoors, the other ways to deal with mealybugs we previously discussed may be a better option.

With their fuzzy white appearance, mealybugs don’t look like much of a threat, and when they appear in small numbers, a plant can survive the mealybug infestation. If the bugs start to become more prominent, the chances of the plant dying due to these bugs increases. In an ideal world, the bugs would be dealt with before the negative impact of these bugs is seen, but it is common for an infestation to be overlooked and go unnoticed until the plant starts to turn yellow, droop, and suffer from leaf curl. Leaf curl is distortion of the plant’s leaves as a result of insects feeding on the liquid instead the plant.

To treat afflicted greenhouse plants, the gardener can simply introduce beneficial bugs or a Beauveria-bassiana-based insecticide to deal with the mealybugs, but an infestation on houseplants can also be dealt with by following the tips and tricks laid out here. Unfortunately, mealybugs can be particularly stubborn. If, after three weeks of treatment, the infected plant is still showing signs of infestation, it might be necessary to get rid of the plant completely to stop the bugs from spreading to other plants in the area.

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