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May 02

How to Make Non-Toxic Pest Repellents

The following is a guest post from Baily Harris. Please direct your attention:

Growing a garden is definitely hard work. There are various steps in the process including planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. After the planting, you may immediately be faced with the major issue of garden pests. Pests come in many forms, but have one main focus: the destruction or consumption of your precious plants. Many products that promise to keep pests out of your garden exist on the market today. The problem is most of these products contain chemicals that can harm us, our families, our pets, and the environment. Luckily, you can create your own non-toxic pest repellents that will keep pests away from your garden without posing any health or environmental risks.

Insects

There are many recipes for non-toxic insect repellents. One effective recipe for a repellent spray uses 10 cloves of garlic, 8 hot chili peppers (any variety), 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap, and 2 pints of water. Finely chop the cloves of garlic and hot chili peppers. Combine those with the water and allow the mixture to steep overnight. The next day, strain the mixture and add the oil and soap. Pour ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the mixture on the leaves of healthy plants, and repeat once a week and after it rains. The strong smells will repel insects from coming near your plants.

Another recipe uses essential oils to ward off insects. Just combine 3 drops sage essential oil, 3 drops thyme essential oil, 3 drops lavender essential oil, 1 teaspoon rubbing alcohol, and 4 pints of water. Mix all the essential oils with the alcohol and water. Pour into a spray bottle and shake well. Apply to the leaves of your plants 1 to 2 times a week and after rainfall. Sage has long been used as a natural insect repellent, and the thyme and lavender have strong smells that insects detest.

Slugs

If slugs are becoming a problem in your garden, they can be hard to control. A simple slug repellent is lava rock. Simply place lava rock around the base of affected plants. The rough, abrasive surface will be avoided by slugs. Be sure to keep the rocks above the soil’s surface, otherwise slugs can use the soil as a bridge to get across to plants.

If you have access to seaweed, it can also be a very effective slug repellent. Use the seaweed as mulch around the perimeter of your garden or in between plants. The seaweed is salty and slugs don’t like salt; it can kill them. Be sure to avoid direct contact between the seaweed and plants, as the saltiness can harm plants as well.

Moles

Whether tunneling through your yard or garden, moles can be quite the nuisance. You can make a non-toxic mole repellent using 1/4 cup castor oil, 6 tablespoons water, and 2 tablespoons liquid dish detergent. Blend together the oil and dish detergent using a blender, until foamy. Combine with the water and sprinkle the mixture over holes and areas of the greatest damage in your garden. Moles do not like castor oil and should stay away from the areas you treat. Make larger batches if you have a big mole problem. Repeat once a week and after it rains.

Rabbits and Deer

Although rabbits and deer are cute, friendly creatures, they can cause major problems if they find their way into your garden. Since they are larger pests, it doesn’t take them nearly as long to eat up your plants. The best remedy is to prevent them from entering your garden in the first place.

You can make a non-toxic repellent for rabbits and deer using one part egg, one part milk, one part dish soap, and 5 to 10 garlic cloves. Combine all and mix well in a blender. Keep the mixture in a closed container, preferably outdoors, for 24 to 48 hours, or until it begins to spoil. Then strain it and place the liquid in a spray bottle. Spray it around the perimeter of your garden and plants at least once a week. Rabbits and deer do not like the smell of eggs.

Another recipe for rabbit and deer repellent uses 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons dish soap, and 10 tablespoons cooking oil. Combine the three and mix very well. Pour into a spray bottle and spray around the perimeter of any plants or shrubs you want to protect. Repeat as needed. The strong smell of cayenne pepper is a major turnoff for rabbits and deer.

Dealing with pests in your garden can be very stressful. If you use harsh chemical repellents in your garden, you may be harming you and those around you. This, in turn, will cause you more stress that you just don’t need. Give these natural, non-toxic pest repellents a try. You will rest easy knowing your garden and family are safe and sound.

Bailey Harris writes for www.insurancequotes.org.