How To: Naturally Remove Garden Pests

There’s nothing worse than trying to grow beautiful plants or delicious fruits and vegetables for them to be overridden by garden pests and insects. They can be a real challenge for gardeners as they can eat through your veggies or pass diseases to shrubs and trees. Thankfully, you needn’t always use chemical sprays and repellents, in this guide we will outline a few natural ways to detract and remove unwanted garden pests.

How To: Naturally Remove Garden Pests

Companion Planting

The idea behind companion planting involves planting certain varieties of plants next to one another to deter pests. Some plants, such as marigolds, basil and garlic are natural repellents for a wide selection of common pests. For example, planting marigolds with vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers can repel pests such as nematodes and whiteflies. 

Other compatible plants include planting nasturtium as a sacrificial crop near cabbage, kale or cauliflower, as white butterflies will lay their eggs on the nasturtium instead, keeping them away from your brassicas. 

One of the most common deterrents is the mint plant, which will repel such things as flea beetles, carrot root flies, onion flies, aphids and blackfly.

Adding Beneficial Insects

There are a few beneficial insects that can help control pests in your garden. Ladybirds, lacewings, and praying mantises are just a few examples of insects that prey on other garden pests. Consider attracting some of these beneficial insects to your garden by planting things they will be attracted to such as daisies and common yarrow. 

Other beneficial critters include violet ground beetle, hoverfly, centipedes, bumblebees and even wasps! Attracting bees to your garden is also great for pollination.

How To: Naturally Remove Garden Pests

Making Natural Sprays

There are a variety of natural sprays that you can either buy or even make at home. One effective spray is simply a mixture of garlic and water. Crush a few cloves of garlic and mix with water. Allow the mixture to stand overnight and then strain out the garlic the next day. Spray onto affected plants to remove pests such as aphids and spider mites. 

Other sprays include insecticidal soap which consists of liquid soap, oil and water. Avoid using dishwashing soup that contains degreaser or bleach as these will do more harm than good. This mixture will rid you of aphids, leafhoppers, mealybugs and thrips.

More natural sprays include Neem Oil spray, vinegar & lemon spray, cinnamon spray and even recycling tomato leaves into a unique tomato leaf spray.

Handpicking & Soil Health

If you’re dealing with larger critters such as caterpillars and beetles it may be just as effective to remove them by hand – as long as there are not too many. It can be time-consuming but is effective for controlling smaller infestations. 

Likewise, keeping your soil healthy can also help keep away unwanted insects. Make sure your soil is well-draining and has plenty of organic matter. A healthy soil ecosystem can support beneficial insects and discourage harmful ones.

There are a plethora of ways to naturally deter and remove unwanted insects from your garden which are easy to make and are safe for the environment. By implementing these remedies and having a couple made up on standby you can be ready whenever a pest problem arises.

Speak to one of our knowledgeable team at Holt Garden Centre for more tips and tricks for keeping your garden a pest-free environment.

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