Controlling Pests With Natural Pesticides

On a completely different topic: the summer weather has really arrived in most places, and many of us have put in time in our gardens. In fact, at our house, we're already tending not only our decorative gardens, but also a vegetable garden. We're not fans of chemicals in our house, so our garden is organic. We're hoping to get some fresh food, home-grown, right from our own backyard.

That is -- if we can keep the pests, animal and otherwise, from eating our stuff first!

One of the disadvantages of living in a small village, outside of the urban hub, is that the flora and fauna are a bit closer at hand. We've had to create a chicken wire cage to protect some of our crop from rabbits. It's an easy solution and doesn't require us to spray anything! However, there are also various bugs that are having a great time with our strawberries. But how to keep our food for ourselves without having to use chemicals that we don't want to eat anymore than the bugs and animals do?

Here's a few natural "pesticides" that we'll be using, and you might try too:

1. Get rid of aphids and slugs with simple soap and water! Use regular dishwashing soap and water. Put it in a spray bottle and spray the plants, on both stems and leaves. In some cases, you may actually get rid of your problem in one application; however, plan on spraying your plants more than once, to ensure that the pests have moved on.

2. Got caterpillars? Try chili powder and water! No kidding; mix up a strong solution of chili powder and water and spray your plants.

3. Chili powder works for ants too. Sprinkle the powder directly on the paths that the ants use. It should keep them away. If you are having a particular problem, sprinkle the chili powder all around the areas that the ants are going into.

4. In some cases, you can use one bug against another! Encourage lady bugs in your garden to keep aphids, scales and mites at bay. The humble praying mantis can help eliminate all kinds of unwanted bugs.

Happy Gardening!

Michael

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