There is nothing quite like that feeling when you head out to your garden, planning to pull a few weeds away from that lovely patch of cabbage, and you find that grasshoppers, beetles and other pests have had an early breakfast long before you got up.
I suspect you’re not gardening to feed the local pest population?
When that happens, the chemical folks jump up.
“Sevin. You need Sevin to kill those bugs.”
Well, that’s my dad’s favourite chemical insecticide, because it’s what my grandfather always used, and maybe there’s another one that people are pushing on you. (Yup, my dirt farmer grandfather, back fifty years ago in the back woods of Cape Breton, was using chemical pesticides – don’t assume your grandparents ate organic)
Either way, I’m not all that keen on spraying insecticides on my food. If I’m going to insist on natural remedies when little black ants take over my kitchen, and replace even my shampoo with pure black African soap, then why would I even consider spraying toxins directly on my food? In addition, let’s put something right out there.
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating.
There’s no such thing as a PEST-icide.
These poisons are rather indiscriminate in what they kill. Even the diatomaceaous earth that I love to use around the house will not limit itself to ‘pests’. It will happily kill the friendly bumblebees, ladybugs and spiders that provide benefits to us.
When larger insects or wildlife eats the poisoned pest (although not pests who die from diatomaceous earth), or when the poisoned pests die and decompose, the toxics are carried along until they reach our food.
So how do we repel the pests without killing … well, everything?
Hey, there are affiliate links in this post. When you support my sponsors, I pay my bills, the blog keeps running and we’re all happy.
Garlic is one very effective way, and another is spicy red pepper.
This recipe is very easy and you probably have the ingredients in your pantry. You’re going to need 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 6 drops dish soap and 4 litres (1 gallon) water.
Don’t fret too much about the type of dish soap. They all work in much the same way.
I like that Dawn invests in wildlife, cleaning up after oil spills and the like. But no, Dawn isn’t involved in this blog post in any way. It’s just the bottle that EJ picked up. He got a funny look from me when he brought home the bottled water – unless you have toxic, nasty tap water, feel free to use that.
No, really, I don’t usually buy bottled water.
This is pretty easy. Add the red pepper to the water in a glass jar and let set 24 hours.
I’m just using regular cayenne because I had plenty on hand, but you might even want to get super hot African hot pepper powder!
If pepper has large pieces that may get stuck in the sprayer, use a cheesecloth and drain the liquid into your garden sprayer bottle or other storage bottle.
Add 6 drops of dish soap to the sprayer bottle, close and shake well.
Soak plants thoroughly with the mixture once a week to keep pests at bay.
They’ll be like my children when I give them spicy food – ‘hot, too hot, my mouth is too hot!’
Honestly, taking care of pests doesn’t have to involve toxic chemicals. I know it seems tempting to give in and grab that toxic stuff, but resist.
The best part of this red pepper garden spray, by the way, is that you can fill a garden hose spray bottle, attach it to your hose and efficiently coat the garden. It’s not toxic, not even that tiny amount of dish soap, it’s easy to use and it’s certainly not expensive.
Bye bye bugs.