Keep it natural

Tresa Erickson

Sat September 7, 2013 9:31pm

No matter how good of a green thumb a gardener may have, pests can be a problem. For some, the best solution to eliminate pests is to use chemical pesticides. When used properly, these products may do the trick but could harm beneficial insects, and when used improperly, they may lead to water pollution. To avoid the risks of chemical pesticides, gardeners may want to try more natural alternatives to pest control.

There are several natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. These include non-detergent insecticidal soaps, garlic, hot pepper sprays and a mixture of one teaspoon of liquid soap to one gallon of water. Even used dishwater or a forceful stream of water can be used to dislodge some insects.

Along with making their own natural pesticides, gardeners can add plants to their lawns and gardens that have their own chemical defense systems that will repel certain insects. Here is a brief list of plants and the insects they repel:

• Anise-aphids
• Borage-tomato hornworms
• Chives-aphids and spider mites
• Cloves-spider mites
• Common oleander-codling moths
• Coriander-aphids and Colorado potato bugs
• French marigolds-root knot nematodes
• Garlic-aphids, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, Mexican bean beetles and spider mites
• Geraniums-Japanese beetles and leafhoppers
• Green beans-Colorado potato bugs
• Hyssop-imported cabbage worms
• Larkspur-Japanese beetles
• Marigolds-Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, thrips, tomato hornworms and whiteflies
• Mint-ants, aphids, flea beetles and imported cabbage worms
• Nasturtium-Colorado potato bugs, squash bugs and whiteflies
• Onions-bean leaf beetles, flea beetles, Mexican bean beetles, mice and spider mites
• Pennyroyal-ants
• Petunias-leafhoppers and Mexican bean beetles
• Potatoes-bean leaf beetles and Mexican bean beetles
• Prostrate rosemary-slugs
• Radishes-cucumber beetles, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs and stinkbugs
• Rosemary-imported cabbage worms
• Rue-Japanese beetles
• Sage-imported cabbageworms and tomato hornworms
• Tansy-ants, cucumber beetles, Japanese beetles and squash bugs
• Turnips-bean leaf beetles
• Wormwood-slugs

These are just some of the plants gardeners may want to try in place of chemical pesticides. The more natural the means of pest control, the safer a lawn and garden will be.