Pests are a nuisance, whether it’s wasps or moles, all we want to do when these uninivted guests rear their ugly heads is be rid of them, and usually by any means necessary. But what if you’re equally as concerned about the wider implications of using chemicals to deter garden nasties as getting rid of them in the first place? Well the good news is that you don’t have to resort to artificial chemical methods, there are just as many completely organic solutions to your pest woes, so let’s take a look.
A firm favourite among campers and outdoor diners the world over, the humble citronella candle is a remarkably affective means of deterring mosquitos and flies from ruining your outdoor activities. If you want a 100% organic citronella candle, you can make your own with one of the many candle making kits available. Of course the vital additional ingrediant is citronella oil, which is widely available, and for those who are interested, is simply an extract of lemongrass. If you choose to make your own candles you can be sure no additional artificial chemicals will be present, giving you a totally organic solution.
Organic Wasp Trap
Second only to mosquitos, wasps are th
e most annoying pest we face during the summer, they seem to serve no purpose other than to try and consume our sugary food and drink, and won’t think twice to sting us if we try to stop them. The trick to stopping wasps in their tracks is to divert their attention elsewhere, and a simple sugar filled trap is the best way to achieve this. A plastic bottle with a little sugary water in the bottom, hung from a branch will keep them occupied whilst you go about enjoying your hard earned drink and ice cream.
Attract Helpful Insects to Your Garden
Besides bacterial or fungal infections, your plants are most likely to suffer at the hands of rogue insects munching on them, but as the laws of nature dictate there are always predators further up the food chain that will eat said pests. The trick is being able to encourage the predatory insects you need to help defeat pests, but what you might be surprised to learn is that the key to encouraging the predators is to first encourage the pests. Whilst this might sound counter intuitive, if you’re able to plant a few strategic ‘sacraficial’ plants for the pests to preoccupy themselves with, you’ll soon find that the predators move in, and in greater numbers than the pests, ready to protect all the plants in your garden.
The classic example of this theory put in practice involves planting plants that attract plant gobbling aphids such as lupines and shasta daisys. No sooner than the aphids have set up camp on the leaves of these plants will predators such as ladybirds and hoverflies move in to hoover them up.
To ensure the predators keep doing their good work you should make sure their are plenty of other plants available to give them the energy they require. This mostly involves flowering plants that have nectar and pollen readily available to eat, such as fennel or alyssum.