Killing bugs without killing your plants is a tricky affair. When you spray with over-the-counter chemicals, you might get rid of the bugs, but you’re still adding unnatural (and sometimes low-level toxic) elements into your garden’s chemistry.
However, non-toxic, natural bug killers that will minimize your plant’s suffering do exist.
Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite bug repellents—and also one of my favorite foods – garlic.
Yep, garlic is not only great when thinly sliced on pizza, but it also keeps aphids, rice weevils, wheat flour beetles, and other pests away from your garden. My initial thought was that bad breath might be as fatal for dating in the bug world as it is in our own. But, no, that’s not how it works.
There are a couple of ways to use garlic as a bug killer/repellent:
1. Make your own spray mixing water, garlic, peppers, and other natural contents. This recipe looks like it would taste good sprayed over burritos as well as over the garden.
2. Grow some garlic near the plants that are bothered by pests. The delicious… um, I mean strong smell of garlic tends to keep critters away. This technique works with other pungent bulbs such as onions and scallions as well.
I have used suggestion #1 in the past, and I’m currently practicing suggestion #2. I have several green onions growing right next to my basil, rosemary, and mint. Not a bug in sight. And the onions are delicious.
I want to plant some garlic, but I’m not sure how well the smell would go over with my neighbors when baking in the hot Florida sun . . .
by John Barker