Homemade Pest Control Ideas
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 25, 2019)
Pest control is always an important issue for gardeners, if not for the sake of their crops, plants, and flowers, then for the sake of their pocket books. Let's face it pest control products are usually pretty expensive, and need more than one application to be of any effect. Instead of wasting your hard earned money on commercial products, why not take a little time and start making some homemade pest control items. All it really takes is looking in your pantry or closet, and a little bit of imagination, and you can find all sorts of homemade pest control ideas. Here are a few to get you started.
- Baking soda. One fantastic homemade pest control idea is to use some baking soda for plants that have a mildew problem. To deal with some powdery mildew that appears on a lot of plants, simply take one tablespoon of baking soda, half a teaspoon of liquid soap, and one gallon of water and mix it all together. Be sure to water your plants really well a day or two in advance of using this method, since it can burn the leaves of any plant that hasn't been watered well. Also, test to make sure that there will not be any adverse reaction.
- Embrace the odor. Using odiferous plants, herbs, and other items can help immensely in getting rid of many kinds of pests. For example, by sprinkling a little bit of cayenne pepper down a mole hole, you can help drive off moles. While planting garlic near tomatoes can help keep away red spider mites, and garlic planted near fruit trees can help keep borers at bay.
- Cornmeal. Cornmeal is a great natural fungicide, and can help to get rid of, and prevent many fungi that can harm your plants. Simply work about two pounds or cornmeal into every 100 square feet, or create a mixture of one gallon of water for every cup of cornmeal, and spray it onto the afflicted plants. The cornmeal attracts Trichoderma fungus which can help destroy harmful fungi. While cornmeal can be purchased at either a grocery store, or at a gardening store, the best (and most cost efficient) choice is to use cornmeal purchased at gardening stores. The reason is that you simply get more for your money (grocery stores charge more for littler packages).
- Vinegar. Using regular household vinegars (such as white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar) can be a great homemade pesticide, as well as a way to get rid of younger weeds. If you are using it for weeds, use a concentrated dose sprayed directly onto the foliage to ensure you really get the weeds. Don't water right away after using the vinegar either since this can wash away the pesticide and herbicide, and you will need to reapply it.
- Change your planting habits. One of the easiest homemade pest control options that you have is to annually change your planting habits. In short, this means that you rotate your crops to help ensure that the soil stays nice and healthy, and that you don't carry pests from one season to the next.