Naturally Green Tips

Search


Action Alert


Bulletin Board


   Our Sponsors
   Multimedia Presentations

National Organization:
HEF - Human Ecology Foundation Canada

Other Branches:
EHA BC
EHAQ (Quebec)

Affiliate:
EHANS (Nova Scotia)


   NOW AVAILABLE

DVD Recordings of previous EHA events



Naturally Green's Tips & Advice

Table of Contents:
  1. Lawn and Garden Information
  2. Pesticide Alternatives
  3. Companion Planting
  4. Plant Guide
  5. Organic Earwig Control
  6. Organic Insecticides

Lawn and Garden Information

BENEFICIAL INSECTS

These insects are usually beneficial to your garden or lawn, but remember; too much of a good thing can be just as bad. The insects include: Ants, Firefly larvae, Vespid wasps, Stinkbugs, Braconid wasps, Ground beetles, Mites, Rove beetles, Earwigs, Wheel bugs, and Spiders.

BT Bacillus Thuringiensis

1. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a naturally occurring, soil borne organism that paralyzes and destroys the stomach cells of insects that consume it especially larvae of flies and months. At present Bt is the only "microbial insecticide" in widespread use of insect control. Bacterial agents are effective in controlling insects in the larva stage only. The larvae is usually a caterpillar or worm and you must get it early at this stage both to eliminate the pest and to avoid too much damage to the leaves. This type of Bt kills many leaf-eating caterpillars--including those that will become butterflies. If butterflies are desired, try to use Bt only on the foliage of plants infested with a leaf or needle-eating larva. You'll usually find the pests on the undersides of leaves and are usually the same color as the leaf so as not to attract predators. Therefore Bt should be applied to the UNDERSIDES of leaves because Bt must be ingested to be effective.

2. Bt is broken down faster in sunlight. Application to the undersides of the leaf surfaces will prolong Bt's activity. High temperatures do not encourage Bt's breakdown.

3. After the Bt spores are ingested, they grow and reproduce, producing crystalline toxins. The crystalline toxins paralyze the digestive tract of the larvae causing it to cease eating. Time of death can range anywhere from 12 hours to 5 days after ingestion. This depends on the amount of Bt ingested, the size and variety of the larvae and variety of Bt used for control. There are different strains or varieties of Bt available that have been selected for the control of specific insects. For roses use Bt variety kurstaki (BTK). This controls the European corn borer, tomato hornworms, fruitworms, cabbageworm, cabbagelooper, spring and fall cankerworm, spruce budworm, and other caterpillar-like larvae. Other Bt varieties like San Diego (BTSD) controls early larvae of the Colorado potato beetle, Bt variety tenebrionis coeopteran (BTT) has been developed for the control of the Colorado Bean Beetle while in its larvae stage and Bt variety israelensis (BTI) controls mosquitoes, black flies and fungus gnats.

4. Bt has gained well-earned popularity because of its distinct advantages over other pesticides such as:

(i) Hazards to humans are negligible (avoid inhalation or contact with eyes or open wounds).

(ii) Bt can be used right up until harvest on vegetables, this allows for a longer-term control. There is no waiting period from time of application before re-entering the field.

(iii) Ficial or non-target insects are not harmed.

(iv) Insects that ingest the Bt and later die from it are not dangerous to birds or other animals that may feed the dead insect. (v) Not known to cause injury to plants on which it has been applied and is not considered harmful to the environment.

Other Pathogens: The only other possible pathogen I was able to find is the Pheromone Mating Disruption. It lures the insect to it where they feed on a Pathogen that affects their ability to mate, in turn reducing insect population.

*Note: Relying on any one pesticide can lead to the build up of resistance in the pest population. Use of other insecticides and cultural control methods should be used to slow down or eliminate the possibility of resistance developing.

CORN GLUTEN - You may have heard the product "Amaizing Lawns" which has a pre-emergent herbicide effect on lawn weeds in the early spring when they are germinating and is also a fertilizer based on corn gluten. It works on the more common turf weeds and crabgrass. Corn gluten, a protein found in poultry feed, is a by-product of the corn milling process. If you can find source of corn gluten (feed mill companies) you can try it yourself. Here's how:

Apply 20 pounds of the powdery gluten substance per 1000 sq. feet of turf area, using a fertilizer spreader with the setting adjusted as needed. When you are done water the gluten lightly into the surface, which will help it latch onto the germinating seeds.

DE (DIATOMACEOUS EARTH) is a non toxic flour-like powder made from fossilized skeletons of micro-organisms called diatoms. The sharp edges of the powder cuts the bodies of the insects, causing them to loose their waxy coating, dehydrating them, causing death. Wear a paper mask and gloves. Commercially available products may contain chemical pesticides so read the labels carefully.

DORMANT OR MISCIBLE OILS/SPRAYS mix with water when heated or agitated. Used as smothering agents for- larva, adults, pupae and eggs. Sucking insects such as thrips, scales and aphids are primary targets and also work to control spider mites. The oil forms a thin layer over the eggs, the insect and suffocates them. Only use dormant oil when temperatures are above freezing for at least 24 hours; spray each plant and the ground as well. Spraying should be done immediately after pruning in spring -plants should not have started to grow or bud out; and again in late fall when the leaves drop (usually late Oct.). Dormant oils do NOT control diseases and can be used every two to three years to provide the same control as yearly applications. This application is essential if you are having spidermite problems.

1 cup of liquid dish soap 1 cup of chewing tobacco juice 1 cup of antiseptic mouthwash Mix in 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, filing the balance of the sprayer jar with warm water. Apply this soap solution to the plants, and then use a dormant spray oil over the top. In early spring, before the buds swell up and open, repeat these steps.

FLAME WEEDING - This method can be done with a small propane torch, however for larger areas one of the weed flaming torches is an excellent tool. Weed flaming has long been a practice on organic farms in Europe. The point of flaming is not to charbroil the weeds, but heat them just enough that they wilt. This will heat up the cell sap in turn causing them to expand and rupture. Flaming can be used as a spot treatment in lawns. The grass is going to get singed, however it will bounce right back. You may need to flame tough perennial weeds a couple of times to get rid of them.

You will have to practice to get the technique down. Keep some water handy when you are flame weeding!

HOREHOUND LEAVES(Marrubium Vulgare) like many varieties in the mint family, the many tiny flowers attract Braconid and Icheumonid wasps, and Tachinidin and Syrid flies. The larval forms of these insects parasitize or otherwise consume many other insects that we consider pests. A hardy plant; it grows where many others fail to thrive it survives all but the harshest winters, and even then will selfseed effectively. Blooms over a long season, attracting beneficial insects almost as long as you are likely to need them. For best results use horehound directly as a companion plant. (Tomatoes are "encouraged" by growing horehound nearby). This applies to peppers and garden variety members of the potato family.

INSECTICIDAL SOAPS are totally bio-degradable and environmentally safe, however, kills beneficial insects as well. The spray penetrates their bodies and causes cell membranes to burst. Spray only those plants exhibiting symptoms. Works as a smothering agent on a wide variety of insects: aphids, mites, white fly, scale, leafhoppers and others. Safe to use up to the day of harvest. Must be sprayed directly on pests for control. Spray the entire plant thoroughly and repeat applications frequently. Soft water produces a sudsier spray that will reach all surfaces of a plant.

LEBIA GRANDIS (Coleoptera: Carabidae) belongs to a large family of beetles containing approximately 40,000 species. Forty-eight species occur in North America. The life history is known for less than 10 of the North American species. The adults are predators and first instar larvae are parasitoids of chrysomelid beetles.

Appearance: Lebia beetles are usually colourful as adults and range in size from 2.5 to 14 mm in length, depending on the species. Head is usually pale (with a reddish tinge) as are mouthparts, antennae, and thorax. Abdomen is mostly black with metallic blue, purple, or sometimes greenish luster to the elytra (wing covers). Legs are entirely pale with a reddish tinge.

Lebia grandis first instar larvae are pale to tan in colouration, heavily sclerotized (hardened), with well developed appendages, mouthparts and antennae, as is typical for carabid larvae. Body length ranges from 3 to 4 mm and width is about 0.5 mm. The second instar larvae undergo a gradual degeneration of appendages, develop a distended body with reduced sclerotization (a simple form of hypermetamorphosis), eventually bearing little resemblance to the first instars.

Pests Attacked: Lebia grandis is an indigenous natural enemy of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata. In fields of cultivated potato, adults are specialist predators of all immature stages of L. decemlineata. However, note that in no-choice feeding trials in the laboratory, L. grandis adults devoured the larvae of the asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi). {Neither adults nor larvae of C. asparagi are known to feed on potato plants.} L. grandis larvae are specialist ectoparasitoids of L. decemlineata mature larvae and pupae in the soil.

NEEM when sprayed to foliage often deters leaf-feeding insects (caterpillars). It apparently affects the hormones many insects need to develop, killing them as they attempt to molt or emerge from eggs. Its demonstrated safety to humans (used as toothpaste in India), has recently exempted Neem from food-crop restrictions, by the EPA; thereby enabling manufacturers to market its use on edible or ornamental plants.

ORGANIC TIPS - sometimes we have to eliminate the source of our problems! Getting rid of the troublemakers is one way to help rid diseases; especially if you want to grow organically! Remove varieties susceptible to diseases and you will remove the source of infections and overall disease problems.

PARASITIC NEMATODES are microscopic eel-like worms that naturally occur in soil. They can be purchased to reduce levels of many insects. Some varieties are insect specific thereby reducing harm to non target insects.

PHEROMONE TRAPS use specific (sex hormones) attractants to lure insects to where they they are trapped. They also monitor when insects appear on the scene. Sticky cards are a great help for insects such as whitefly (yellow) and midges (blue cards).

PYRETHRINS kills many soft-bodied and some hard-bodied insects and causes most flying insects to 'drop' almost immediately upon exposure. It is also highly irritating to other insects and is utilized as a pest dispersion agent. Pyrethrins have a low level of toxicity, and are among the few insecticides that are cleared by the EPA for use around food handling and preparation areas. However, it is not harmless; mix, apply, and dispose as carefully as you would any other pesticide. Pyrethrins rapidly degrade when exposed to light or moisture, so do not persist for long in the environment. Some pyrethrin-based products are combined with more toxic pesticides.

ROTONONE [update: Rotonone is linked to causing parkinson disease and is therefore not recommended].  Rotonone acts as a stomach poison and as a contact insecticide. Not toxic to honeybees, but will kill some beneficial insects. Registered for use against most chewing insects on many vegetables and some fruits. Different brands and formulas are available for various pests. Both liquid and dust are available commercially. It has been fatal to mammals if inhaled over extended periods. Rotenone is effective against a wide range of insects and has a short residual life.

RYANIA is a stomach poison, which will cause an insect to undergo a long period of inactivity before its death. Its residual period is longer than other botanicals. Ryania is moderate in acute or chronic oral toxicity in mammals, this is why more attention has been given to this insecticide in recent years.

SABADILLA can be applied up to one day before crop harvest. It is effective against the true bugs, leaf feeding caterpillars, Mexican bean beetles and thrips. Sabadilla dust is considered among the least toxic of the various botanicals, however, be sure to follow all precautions listed on the product labels.

SOIL SOLARIZATION - Uses plastic to solarize the soil. It may destroy the soil structure but, can be beneficial. It is very useful in weed control and for clearing an area of vegetation without the use of herbicides. The beneficial soil organisms can take more heat versus the harmful soil pathogens allowing them to make a speedy return after solarizing an area. The plastic concentrates the sun's energy which heats the soil to a very high degree, sterilizing it. Thus killing off soil pests, disease and weed seeds. Depending on the climate solarization has been shown to control certain wilts, crown gall diseases, nematodes, grassy weeds and weed seeds. Nematodes have the ability to survive higher soil temperatures. The deeper the heat penetrates the soil the better the results ie. with optimum conditions disease & weed control can last up to three years.

Soil Solarization Technique:

Best done during the heat of the summer. Till the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. Rake out all debris, smooth the area as level as possible. Then soak the soil to a depth of 18 inches. Make a slight depression at the boundary of the bed. Stretch some clear 4 mil plastic over the bed as tightly as you can, adhering it to the soil. Use rocks, more soil, landscape pins, etc to secure it snuggly in place. Now; let it cook for at least 4 weeks (cooler zones allow 6 to 8 weeks). Remove the plastic, and till the soil lightly before planting.

In more northern climates add manure prior to putting down the plastic to speed up the process by increasing soil temp as the manure decomposes. This also increases the level of gaseous ammonia in the soil, thus giving the process an extra kick! Use two layers of plastic to create more of an insulating effect by trapping more heat. Incorporate shredded vegetables from the cruciferous family (broccoli stems, cabbage trimmings etc). These vegetables may have an effect in ridding the soil of blights. Let the trimmings dry out in the sun until brittle, mix them into the top 6 inches of soil, proceed with the process.

SULFUR is effective on flowers, fruits, and vegetables in preventing powdery mildew, rust, and black spot. It can also control mites and several insect pests. It is toxic to a few plants, including cucumber, raspberry, and apricot, so check the label carefully. Keep in mind that sulfur is sometimes combined with other pesticides (which have higher toxicity levels). Lime sulfur (calcium polysulfide) is effective against the diseases and pests noted above and can be used in combination with horticultural oil (as dormant spray).

SYRPHID FLIES have abdominal stripes like wasps and bees but have not sting. The stripes protect them against would be predators. Many species of Syrphid Flies are pollinators, second only to bees. They are distinguished from bees by their ability to hoover like little helicopters. Syrphid or hoover fly larvae feed exclusively on aphids. Syrphids lay most of their eggs on plants that are heavily infested with aphid colonies. They lay between 400 to 1000 oblong white eggs which hatch within days. One larvae can consume 200-800 aphids in its 7 to 10 day life. Syrphids produce many generations a year and are considered a very effective predator of aphids.

 



 

Pesticide Alternatives

Ants

To discourage ants, sprinkle their nest with red pepper, eggshells, bone meal, talcum powder, wood ash, sulphur, blood meal or coffee grounds or diatomaceous earth. Mix 1 tbsp. of bakers' yeast and 2 tbsp. of sugar in 1 pint of water; spread this mixture on pieces of cardboard, and place them around your yard. Pile up instant grits or corn meal in and around their hills; once eaten, grits expand and no more ants. Mix equal parts powdered borax and powdered sugar. In the garden, plant pennyroyal, spearmint, southernwood, and plant onions around beans as they repel ants.

Aphids

Spray plants with 'bubble bath' of soapy water; rinse off after animals are dead. Order from garden store: green Lacewing adults and larvae; "defatted" Ladybug adults and larvae. Plant nasturtium in the garden. Cut up 3 pounds rhubarb or elder leaves. Boil ½ hour in 3 quarts water. Strain and cool. Dissolve 1 oz. soap in one quart water. Mix two solutions and spray. In garden, plant tansy.

Asparagus beetles

Marigolds keep them away.

Botrytis Mold

Botrytis mold is one of several plant diseases that can be overpowered by the beneficial bacteria present in fermented compost tea.

1. Mix one part manure compost that includes some rotted manure (horse, cow or chicken) with five parts water. A plastic milk jug works well.

2. Allow the mixture to sit and ferment in a shady place for ten days to two weeks. The effectiveness of the tea is highest when the tea ferments for a full two weeks.

3. Filter the mixture through cheesecloth to remove large particles. Do not attempt to remove all residue for some residue gives the tea extra disease-fighting punch. Warning: This stuff can smell terrible - do your straining outdoors! The odour does vary from batch from batch.

4. If needed, you can dilute the tea with more water, but keep the mixture at half strength, minimum.

5. Either spray on leaves with a pump or pressure sprayer, or dribble it on with a watering can. Coat both sides of leaves.

6. Reapply after two to three weeks.

7. The residue left after the tea is strained may be poured out on the ground below plants.

Cabbage Loopers

Plant one of these insect repelling plants between your cabbage and carrots: sage, rosemary, leeks, hyssop, mint. Buy Bt from garden store. Smash egg masses of moths.

Cabbage Worms

Plant rosemary, thyme, or hyssop. Cover plants with cheesecloth to keep adult butterflies from laying eggs. Sprinkle rye flour over and around plants when covered with dew.

Carrot Flies

Plant one of these insect repelling plants between your cabbage and carrots: sage, rosemary, leeks, hyssop, mint. See cutworms for other possible remedies.

Carpenter Ants

Prevent an infestation by repairing wood damaged by moisture, ventilating damp areas, cleaning gutters and storing firewood on raised platforms away from the house, try one of the organic insecticides included in this packet.

Alternative Pesticides: Pyrethrins. Use less toxic bait stations. Small chunks of bait are usually carried back to colonies where they poison other ants in the colony. Bait stations will help get rid of the source of the problem, and will reduce exposure to non target species. Northern Flickers, Pileated Woodpeckers are known to feed on carpenter ants. Swallows swifts and nighthawks will feed on winged ants.

Caterpillars

Use 'stickum' made from 1½ cups rosin (from athletic supply store), 1 cup linseed oil, 1 tbsp. Melted paraffin, mixed together and painted around trunks of trees.

Cats

2 parts cayenne powder
3 parts dry mustard powder
5 parts flour add sufficient water

*** use as a spray on the plants and yard areas where these animals are causing a problem. Bury chicken wire under the ground to discourage cats from digging (plants will grow right through it)

Put Cayenne pepper, orange peels, or hang dried rue leaves, mothballs, and dry Borax® soap in the toe of old nylon stockings in various areas of your garden.

Chinch Bugs

Damage: Cause large round patches in the lawn which are yellow in the centre and greenish around the edges. They are found in the sunny areas of the lawn. Adults become more active when temperature is above 70°F. They live above the ground and suck the juice out of the stems. Cut top and bottom out of a tin can and push it into the greenish area of the affected lawn. Fill the can with water, any chinch bugs will float to the top.

Natural controls: (Garden) Plant soybeans near corn as a trap plant. Try planting St. Augustine Grass or endophyte enhanced grass (grass enhanced with the fungus (Acremonium coenophiallum)) which is more resistant to surface grazing by insects. Keep lawn free of thatch, use diatomaceous earth, spray with soapy water once a day for 10 to 14 days, or with a handful of wood ash and lime dissolved in 8L of water. Spread a flannel sheet over the treated area, and wait 15 to 20 minutes; the bugs will be clinging to the sheet and you will be able to drown them or suck them up in a vacuum cleaner. Insecticidal soaps, pyrethrins can be used, Neem, Bigeyed bugs, Lace Bugs and others will prey on chinch bugs. The fungus Beauvaria bassiana (Naturalis-T) can also be effective.

Codling Moths (apple worms)

Hang bright red plastic apples coated with "stickum" (see Caterpillars for stickum recipe)

Cockroaches

Thrive in areas with moisture, food and darkness. To trap them, place glue boards in areas that they are attracted to. Monitor these traps and clean all areas where droppings are present with soap, water and a disinfectant. Seal cracks or spaces larger than 1/4-inch, particularly in the bathroom or kitchen. Cover open vents with a fine mesh screen. Eliminate all traces of grease, dirt and clutter. Repair leaky taps and avoid water accumulations. Mix equal parts powdered borax and powdered sugar.

Crickets

Mix molasses and vanilla extract or lemon juice with water to attract and drown crickets. Plug entry points.

Cucumber beetles

Plant tansy to repel beetles.

Curculios (plum weevils)

Plant horseradish around base of trees to repel them.

Cutworms

Damage: will cut off grass and transplants (for vegetable gardeners) just above the ground. Find them in the soil curled up like a sleeping cat.

Natural Controls: Buy Bt from garden store. Smash egg masses of gypsy moths. Sink paper cups (bottoms removed) around seedlings to block cutworms. Parasitic nematodes, diatomaceous earth, physical methods. Plant tansy.

Dahlia borers

Goldenrod planted nearby will attract them. Try planting garlic, tansy or onions.

Deer

A good tall fence is the best bet. Try blood meal, thorny bushes, 'Deer Buster' tonic - 2 eggs, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp. of cayenne pepper and 2 tbsp. of Tobasco Sauce® in 2 cups of water. Let set for 2 days, then spray your plants to the point of run-off.

Dogs

1 garlic
1 litre water
1 medium onion
1 tsp Tobasco Sauce®

*** use as a spray on the plants and yard areas where these animals are causing a problem.

Combine equal parts cayenne pepper and mothballs, with a few orange peels. Other repellents include tobacco dust, dried blood, and oil of mustard. Spray garbage cans with pine scented detergent and ammonia mixed with equal amount of water.

Dog Damage Spots

To repair, overspray 1 cup of very soapy water per 20 gallons of water, and then apply granulated gypsum over the area (use small amount and increase until desired level reached). One week later, overspray the turf with 'Turf Builder' tonic - 1 can of beer, 1 cup of ammonia, and 1 can of regular cola in your 20 gallon hose-end sprayer.

Earwigs

Remove their hiding places - piles of plant material, boards/wood, bricks, large rocks, debris, leaves and clods of dirt during the day. Eliminate refuges such as ivy, weeds. Keep debris and weeds away from the trunks of fruit trees. Encourage natural predators (birds and toads). Fill low-sided, old tuna or petfood cans with ½ inch of vegetable oil; place several cans around garden. When full; just dump and refill. Place rolled newspaper, corrugated cardboard, or hose pieces around plants at sunset. Next morning shake earwigs into bucket of soapy water, gas or kerosene. Continue as needed.

Fairy Rings

The fungi create circular patches of dead grass with an outer ring of dark green grass. Very difficult to eradicate. To control the disease, spike the rings to a depth of 15cm with a spading fork. Clean the fork carefully with rubbing alcohol after each use. To avoid contaminating the rest of the lawn you must begin spiking outside the dark green ring and work inward toward the yellow area. Pour soapy water into the holes daily for a week, and then clean water every day for two months. To get rid of the rings completely, remove the soil to a depth of 25 to 45cm on either side of the green ring. This is an exacting task but it is the only way to eradicate the fungus. Be careful not to drop any contaminated soil or grass on the lawn , or the disease will spread elsewhere.

Fleas

Feed your dog yeast and garlic with their diet. The yeast neutralizes the strength of their urine (no more "doggy spots" on lawn), the garlic gets into their system, making them naturally unattractive to fleas.

Flea beetles

Plant catnip here and there in order to repel them.

Flour Moths and Beetles

The older food is, the more likely it is to develop an infestation, so buy small amounts or store in the freezer. If you buy food from open bins, seal it in plastic bags and freeze for a week before using. Dry and bulk food should be stored in glass containers with tight lids. Dispose of contaminated food and wash cupboards.

General Insect Control

The ladybug, spiders, bees, and wasps will eat or reduce numerous pests. Try to find pheromone or other traps such as sticky traps - place 6 by 6 inch sheets paper or cardboard covered with a sticky material like castor oil, natural gum resin, or vegetable wax. Encourage parasitic or beneficial insects. Several plants placed throughout your garden naturally deter insects. They include marigolds, garlic, onions, nasturtiums, geraniums and pansy. If nuisance bugs persist, consider planting endophyte enhanced grass (grass enhanced with the fungus (Acremonium coenophiallum)) which is more resistant to surface grazing buy insects. Set your mower at it's highest setting as longer blades of grass produce more energy and encourage greater root growth; and will be more tolerant to insect attack. Avoid overfertilizing and control thatch buildup in your lawn. Pesticides used to control lawn pests may effect helpful bird species. If problems still persist try sabadilla, neem, rotonone, or pyrethrins. Limit treatment to infected plants as many helpful insects and related creatures are killed by any pesticide, even a soap spray. Use a milk type pail, fill with lukewarm water, and add approximately 2 teaspoons of Peppermint essential oil.

Grubs {May/June Beetles, Japanese Beetles}

During late spring or early fall, they chew the roots off the grass and keep going. Skunks and racoons will cause golf ball sized holes by digging for grubs or look for mole tunnels. During summer look for metallic-looking green and bronze coloured beetles (Japanese beetles) eating flowers or vegetables. They lay their eggs in the soil and the eggs become grubs. Cut and roll the sod like a carpet, if more there are more than a few grubs per square foot, it's a problem.

Natural controls: Expose the grubs and let the birds pick them, parasitic nematodes, spread a mixture of diatomaceous earth and powdered soap at a rate of 6 to 9 kg per 100m2, or hand pick beetles into a jar (soap or kerosene and water) and drown them. Every 2 weeks throughout growing season overspray with a mixture of 1 cup of very soapy water, ½ cup of antiseptic mouthwash, and a ½ cup of chewing tobacco juice, in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer until early August. Unfortunately, grub control is a never- ending battle. Beetles lay their eggs in compacted soil, so aerate, plant resistant grasses such as fescues. Milky spore disease (microbial insecticide made up of two species of bacteria: Bacillus popilliae and B. lentimorbus) kills grubs, and will remain to protect your soil in the future. Use pheromone traps to attract adults and prevent breeding. Robins and Flickers will probe for grubs. See Japanese beetles for additional info.

Gypsy moths

Buy Bt from garden store. Smash egg masses of gypsy moths. Parasitic nematodes, diatomaceous earth, physical methods.

Harlequin bugs

Plant radishes, turnips, or mustard around your cabbage to attract them.

Head Lice

Head lice are easily spread, therefore, STAY AWAY from all 'infested' people, and DON'T SHARE PERSONAL ITEMS. Use a head lice comb and a coconut based shampoo in the following steps:

Wash head with coconut based shampoo and do not rinse.

With head wet, methodically comb inch wide clumps of hair starting as close to the scalp as possible.

Keep head wet the whole time to prevent unwanted hair removal.

Rinse shampoo out of hair when finished. Re-check for any missed hair.

Repeat weekly for the duration of the problem until the last person at home or school is free of head lice.

Japanese beetles

Plant garlic, larkspur, white geraniums, rue or tansy near roses and raspberries. Plant soybeans, zinnias or white rose near other crops to lure beetles away from crops. Buy beetle traps or "milky spore disease" bacteria ("Doom") from garden store (takes 2 to 3 years for full effect). See grubs for additional info.

June beetle

See grubs for more info.

Lawn Diseases

Always remove any grass clippings if your lawn shows any sign of disease. Planting a mixture of grasses reduces the risk of serious infection since each grass variety is vulnerable to different diseases.

Lice

see Aphids for control.

Maggots

Radishes lure them away from sprouting corn and cabbage.

May beetles

See grubs for more info.

Mealy bugs

see Aphids for control. Make a spray of 2 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part water, and use it to kill mealybugs on houseplants.

Mexican bean beetles

Plant potatoes nearby to lure them away or repel them with rosemary, marigolds, petunia, or summer savory.

Millipedes

Punch holes in both sides and bottom of tall juice can, bury upright in garden border, fill with carrot or potato peelings. Empty can weekly.

Mice

Plant spurge or an herb called "mole plant" here and there to repel them. Fresh peppermint and spearmint plants, placed strategically throughout your home and yard, will keep majority of rodents and pests away from your home and yard. We use a milk type pail, fill with lukewarm water, and add approximately 2 teaspoons of Peppermint essential oil!

Moles

First and foremost, you need to eliminate their major food-grubs. Plant an herb called "mole plant", daffodils, spurge and castor beans; here and there to repel them. Moles are invading your garden in search of worms and grubs. They actually help to loosen dirt in areas where it tends to be compacted. Place a cutting of human hair (use own or go to the Barber shop) inside the tunnel. Place used kitty litter in their tunnels, tells them predators are lurking. Mix a small bottle of castor oil with MiracleGro Fertilizer and spray. Spray every 30 to 60 days. Add red pepper to the mixture to ward off rabbits and deer. Natural mechanisms that look similar to windmills make a vibratory noise the moles hate and won't come back as long as it is in place. We use a milk type pail, fill with lukewarm water, and add approximately 2 teaspoons of Peppermint essential oil.

Mosquitos

Drain stagnant water to kill larvae (wrigglers), or pour a film of salad oil on surface.

Moss / Mold

1 cup of antiseptic mouthwash
1 cup of Murphy's Oil Soap®
1 cup of Chamomile tea

Spray every 2 weeks throughout growing season in 20 gallon hose-end sprayer to the point of run-off.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are caused primarily by decaying wood in the soil, and they will soon disappear if picked or raked. Aerate area by hand to poke a lot of holes in the turf. Thoroughly drench the area with soapy water, then give a light dusting with dry laundry soap.

Nematodes

African or French marigolds give off chemicals which get rid of them. Also plant salvia scarlet sage, dahlia, calendula, pot marigold or asparagus.

Onion flies

Plant onion 'sets', not onion seeds.

Organic fertilizers

Organic fertilizers include compost, manure, processed sewage, top dressing, rock mineral fertilizer, bone meal, blood meal and kelp. A prime ingredient of organic liquid feeders is kelp or seaweed. Create organic potions to give your garden plants extra nutrients. Create these liquid solutions and spray plants using a foliar spray bottle.

Pickleworms

Plant bush squash near cantaloupes and cucumbers. Worms will gather on squash for easy killing.

Plant bugs

Plant sunflowers nearby to lure away from potatoes. Bugs can easily be picked off and dropped into soapy water.

Potato beetles

Plant horseradish or flax to repel. Plant eggplants next to potatoes to attract them, then pick them and drop in soapy water.

Potato Bug

You probably planted your spuds in bare soil and kept them weeded. That is an open invitation to the Potato Bug (Colorado beetle). The easiest way is to lay the "seeds" on the bare ground and cover with a minimum of ten inches of rotten hay, top up as season advances. The deep mulch interferes with the bugs' reproductive cycle. At harvest time, pull up the dying stalks and pick off the potatoes as if they were apples. Keep the smaller ones for seed next season; they are better than cut pieces. Plant a few beans near potatoes to attract the beetles. See Lebia grandis a predator or the potato bug for more info.

Slugs/Snails

Build a house for toads and frogs. Encourage beetles who also eat slugs. Plant onions and marigolds to repel them. Place plastic bottle cloches or wrap loose aluminum foil around plants, or sprinkle circles of lime, eggshells, diatomaceous earth, ashes, gravel or sawdust around plants or 4 inch high "fence" of copper strips. Place saucers or plastic pots of milk or beer, grape juice and maybe even vinegar(they drown themselves in ecstasy); sink the saucers so they are level with the ground. Place cabbage leaf, tiles, wet cardboard or an old board on the ground, they will gather underneath and then can be disposed of, or collect them by hand at night or on damp days and dump in salt water or kerosene. Shake salt on them and watch them fizz. Squash all eggs you find while digging. Plant prostrate rosemary, wormwood.

Sow bugs

Remove their hiding places - piles of plant material, boards/wood, bricks, large rocks, etc.

Squirrels

½ ounce Tobasco sauce®
1 pint water
1 tsp. Chili powder dash of dish soap

*** use as a spray on the plants and yard areas where these animals are causing a problem.

4 oz. of castor oil
5 oz. of Tabasco Sauce®
8 oz. of Murphy's Oil Soap®
1 quart of warm water.

Use 1 cup in 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, spraying soil, leaves, and tree trunks thoroughly to point of run-off. Fox Urine is also a very effective commercial repellent.

Tent Caterpillars

Buy Bt from garden store. Use 'stickum' (see caterpillars made). Parasitic nematodes, diatomaceous earth, physical methods.

Thrips

see Aphids for control.

Red spider mites

see Aphids for control. HATE WATER won't hang around when they are constantly subjected to this.

Squash bugs

Plant tansy to repel them.

Tomato worms

Plant asparagus, marigolds, opal basil or borage near tomatoes to repel them. Dill lures them away.

Trees

Fertilizer for the Winter

1 tbsp. of tea
1 tbsp. of whiskey
1 tbsp. of baby shampoo
1 quart of warm water
2 tsp. of Fish Fertilizer+

Sprinkle a handful of Magnesium Sulfate over the soil, and say "nighty-nite" for the winter.

After Pruning :

Seal all cuts with a mixture of 4 drops of Sevin and 4 drops of antiseptic mouthwash in 8 oz. of interior latex paint.

Webworms

Damage: one or two-inch dead patches. Break up the patches to see if there are light brown caterpillars and their nests. Birds and moles feeding on the lawn are a sign of webworms.

Natural controls: Apply 25mL of pure liquid detergent or 50g of hand soap per 4L of water once a week for a few weeks, Palm-oil soap is not effective, garlic juice and 4mL of rubbing alcohol in 4L of water, spreading wood ash, lime or rye flour on the caterpillars will smother them, physical methods (finding and squashing). Webworms like thatch so remove it, and aerate the soil. Be sure to reseed any bare spots.

Weed Control

The presence of weeds is often a sign of fertilization problems or lawn care problems. Thistle, plantain, and dandelions must be hand pulled (mowing isn't complete). A special dandelion weeder with a forked blade is helpful. Lamb's quarter and barnyard grass disappear if the lawn is mowed regularly to 7cm. Mallow, purslane and foxtail are found in new lawns, but they disappear as the grass becomes thick and healthy. Some soaps may be effective in killing weeds. Marketed weed killers have a higher proportion of soap to water than those sold to kill insects. Pour very hot water on the weeds (caution this may also hurt grass). Use these techniques to remove weeds: hand weeding, hoeing, cultivating, mowing, flamers (take care when using flamers around mulches, never use them in dry, fire-prone areas), ground covers, and mulches. Apply this tonic before weeds pop-up:

1 cup of Plant Shampoo
2 tbsp. of instant tea
1 cup of hydrogen peroxide

Mix in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, top off the jar with water.

Whiteflies (on houseplants)

Hang yellow strips of cardboard coated with "stickum" (see caterpillars), or buy a "tack trap" at a garden store. In garden plant nasturtium, marigold.

Wireworms

Punch holes in sides and bottom of tall juice can, bury upright in garden border, fill with carrot or potato peelings. Empty can weekly. Plant white mustard, buckwheat or woad.

 



 

Companion Planting

Why not try one of the following suggestions?

Creating a Natural Landscape

Planting trees will not help your lawn look better, be less maintenance but will attract more birds. Birds will rid you of many insect problems. Trees that will attract birds and look nice in your lawn include: red maple, hickories, hackberries, flowering dogwood, common persimmon, Russian olive, American beech, white ash, American holly, Rocky Mountain juniper, eastern red cedar, crab apples, apples, white mulberry, black tupelo, ironwood, eastern white pine, sycamore, quacking aspen, wild black cherry, chokecherry, Douglas fir, white oak, pin oak, red oak, Canada hemlock.

Shrubs include: serviceberries, orange-eye bush, red osier dogwood, winterberry, bayberries, beach plum, catawba rhododendron, currants, blackberries, raspberries, American elder, blueberries, arrowwood viburnum, American cranberry bush viburnum.

Flowers include: common snapdragon, trumpet vine, fuchsia, daylily, lilies, bee balm, garden phlox, nasturtium.

Renovated Lawns

Use a lower maintenance and disease resistant turfgrass for your lawn. Kentucky Bluegrass is high maintenance and requires a substantial amount of fertilization to keep it green. You can also devote lawn space to ground covers, shrubbery borders, and trees.

Stone or Gravel

These can make an attractive surface. Be sure to use porous sheeting underneath to stabilize gravel and control weeds.

Walkways

This will reduce lawn space and will save the areas of your lawn that have moderate to high traffic. They can be made of stone, brick and lattice paving blocks. (To camouflage the stones, soil and a hearty grass seed can be sown).

Wildflower Meadow

The American Seed Trade Association's Wildflower Group suggests the following maintenance schedule:

1. In year one, before you seed, install an irrigation system or provide adequate water. Prepare the soil by removing all existing vegetation. Till the soil to a depth of three inches, or scarify the top surface.

2. After seeding, irrigate as needed. When rainfall is less than three inches per month, provide daily moisture during the germination period, and one-half inch per week thereafter during the growing season.

3. Mow the entire area every fall after flowering is over. Clippings can be left as a mulch or be remove according to individual preference. Some clippings should be left to help desired species reseed. Clipping seed heads before they mature helps control species that are becoming too aggressive.

4. Evaluate your planting at the end of the first growing season. In bare areas or places where perennials did not establish well, over-seed with the original mix, or a different one if your expectations were not met. If you had more weeds than wildflowers, start over by eliminating all vegetation and weed seed.

Wood Decking

A low deck serves as an attractive and functional ground surface. Heights can vary to make a yard more interesting and to suit the terrain. Properly designed and constructed with appropriate material, a deck will last a long time.


Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, leaves etc. that can alternately repel (antifeedents) and/or attract insects depending on your needs. In some situations they can also help enhance the growth rate and flavor of other varieties. Experience shows us that using companion planting through out the landscape is an important part of integrated pest management. In essence companion planting helps bring a balanced eco-system to your landscape, allowing nature to do its' job.

By using companion planting, many gardeners find that they can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. There are many varieties of herbs, flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants. Be open to experimenting and find what works for you. Some possibilities would be using certain plants as a border, backdrop or interplanting in your flower or vegetable beds where you have specific needs. Use plants that are native to your area so the insects you want to attract already know what to look for! Plants with open cup shaped flowers are the most popular with beneficial insects.

Companion planting can combine beauty and purpose to give you an enjoyable, healthy environment. Have fun, let your imagination soar. There are many ways you can find to incorporate these useful plants in your garden, orchard, flower beds etc.

Following is a basic plant guide (with some tips) to help you "work in harmony with nature."

Note: this guide is not intended to solve garden problems as the suggestions may work differently in various situations or not at all. Don't let that discourage you from giving the ideas a try! What works for some may not work for others and vice versa. Experimenting is the only way we can gain new insight for our own individual gardens.

 



 

 

Plant Guide

ALFALFA: Perennial that roots deeply. Fixes the soil with nitrogen, accumulates iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Withstands droughts with it's long taproot and can improve just about any soil! Alfalfa has the ability to break up hard clay soil and can even send its' roots through rocks! Now that is a tenacious plant! Alfalfa is practically pest and disease free. It needs only natural rainfall to survive.

AMARANTH: A tropical annual that needs hot conditions to flourish. Good with sweet corn, it's leaves provide shade giving the corm a rich, moist root run. Host to predatory ground beetles. Eat the young leaves in salads.

ANISE: Licorice flavored herb, good host for predatory wasps which prey on aphids and it is also said to repel aphids. Deters pests from brassicas by camouflaging their odor. Improves the vigor of any plants growing near it. Used in ointments to protect against bug stings and bites. Good to plant with coriander.

ARTEMISIAS: See Wormwood

BASIL: Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil can be helpful in repelling thrips. Said to repel flies and mosquitoes. Do not plant near rue.

BAY LEAF: A fresh leaf bay leaf in each storage container of beans or grains will deter weevils and moths. Sprinkle dried leaves with other deterrent herbs in garden as natural insecticide dust. A good combo: Bay leaves, cayenne pepper, tansy and peppermint.

BEANS: All bean enrich the soil with nitrogen fixed form the air. In general they are good company for carrots, brassicas, beets, and cucumbers. Great for heavy nitrogen users like corn and grain plants. French Haricot beans, sweet corn and melons are a good combo. Keep beans away from the alliums.

BEE BALM (Oswego, Monarda): Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Great for attracting beneficials and bees of course. Pretty perennial that tends to get powdery mildew.

BEET: Good for adding minerals to the soil. The leaves are composed of 25% magnesium. Companions are lettuce, onions and brassicas.

BORAGE: Companion plant for tomatoes, squash and strawberries. Deters tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. One of the best bee and wasp attracting plants. Adds trace minerals to the soil and a good addition the compost pile. Borage may benefit any plant it is growing next to via increasing resistance to pests and disease. After you have planned this annual once it will self seed.

BRASSICA: Benefit from chamomile, peppermint, dill, sage, and rosemary. They need rich soil with plenty of lime to flourish.

BUCKWHEAT: Accumulates calcium and can be grown as an excellent cover crop. Attracts hoverflies in droves. (Member of the brassica family.)

CARAWAY: Good for loosening compacted soil with it's deep roots. Tricky to establish. The flowers attract a number of beneficial insects.

CATNIP: Deters flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants and weevils. We have found it repels mice quite well: mice were wreaking havoc in our outbuildings, we spread sprigs of mint throughout and the mice split! Use sprigs of mint anywhere in the house you want deter mice and ants. Smells good and very safe.

CHAMOMILE, GERMAN: Annual. Improves flavor of cabbages, cucumbers and onions. Host to hoverflies and wasps. Accumulates calcium, potassium and sulfur, later returning them to the soil. Increases oil production from herbs. Leave some flowers unpicked and German chamomile will reseed itself. Roman chamomile is a low growing perennial that will tolerate almost any soil conditions. Both like full sun. Growing chamomile of any type is considered a tonic for anything you grow in the garden.

CHERVIL: Companion to radishes for improved growth and flavor. Keeps aphids off lettuce. Likes shade.

CHIVES: Improves growth and flavor of carrots and tomatoes . Chives may drive away Japanese beetles and carrot rust fly. Planted among apple trees it may help prevent scab. A tea of chives may be used on cucumbers to prevent downy mildew. See chive tea on disease page.

CHRYSANTHEMUMS: C. coccineum kills root nematodes. (the bad ones) It's flowers along with those of C. cineraruaefolium have been used as botanical pesticides for centuries. (i.e. pyrethrum) White flowering chrysanthemums repel Japanese beetles.

CLOVER: Long used as a green manure and plant companion. Attracts many beneficials. Useful planted around apple trees to attract predators of the woolly aphid.

COMFREY: Accumulates calcium, phosphorous and potassium. Likes wet spots to grow in. Traditional medicinal plant. Good trap crop for slugs. More on comfrey.

CORIANDER: Repels aphids, spider mites and potato beetle. A tea from this can be used as a spray for spider mites. A partner for anise.

COSTMARY: This 2-3 foot tall perennial of the chrysanthemum family helps to repel moths.

DAHLIAS: These beautiful, tuberous annuals that can have up to dinner plate size flowers repels nematodes!

DILL: Improves growth and health of cabbage. Do not plant near carrots. Best friend for lettuce. Attracts hoverflies and predatory wasps. Repels aphids and spider mites to some degree. Also may repel the dreaded squash bug! (scatter some good size dill leaves on plants that are suspect to squash bugs, like squash plants, yeah that's the ticket.) Dill goes well with onions and cucumbers. Dill does attract the tomato horn worm so it would be useful to plant it somewhere away from your tomato plants to keep the destructive horn worm away from them. We like to plant it for the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars to feed on. Even their caterpillars are beautiful.

ELDERBERRY: A spray (see insect treatments) made from the leaves can be used against aphids, carrot root fly, cuke beetles and peach tree borers. Put branches and leaves in mole runs to banish them. Yes, it works!

FLAX: Plant with carrots, and potatoes. Flax contains tannin and linseed oils which may offend the Colorado potato bug. Flax is an annual from 1-4 feet tall with blue or white flowers that readily self sows. We have quite a few flax plants return year after year here in zone 5.

FOUR-O'CLOCKS: Draw Japanese beetles like a magnet which then dine on the foliage. The foliage is pure poison to them and they won't live to have dessert! It is important to mention that four-o"clocks are also poisonous to humans. Please be careful where you plant them if you have children. They are a beautiful annual plant growing from 2-3 feet high with a bushy growth form.

GARLIC: Plant near roses to repel aphids. Accumulates sulfur: a naturally occurring fungicide which will help in the garden. Has some value in offending codling moths, Japanese beetles, root maggots, snails, and carrot root fly. Researchers have observed that time-released garlic capsules planted at the bases of fruit trees actually kept deer away! Hey, worth a try! (see treatments: Garlic-oil spray)

GOPHER PURGE: Deters gophers, and moles.

HORSERADISH: Plant in containers in the potato patch to keep away Colorado potato bugs. There are some very effective insect sprays that can be made with the root. Use the bottomless pot method to keep horseradish contained. Also repels Blister beetles. We have observed that the root can yield antifungal properties when a tea is made from it. (See: Horseradish: Disease)

HOREHOUND: Stimulates and aids fruiting in tomatoes.

HYSSOP: Companion plant to cabbage and grapes, deters cabbage moths and flea beetles. Do not plant near radishes. Hyssop may be the number one preference among bees and some beekeepers rub the hive with it to encourage the bees to keep to their home. It is not as invasive as other members of the mint family making it safer for interplanting.

KELP: When used in a powder mixture or tea as a spray, this versatile sea herb will not only repel insects but feed the vegetables. In particular we have observed that kelp foliar sprays keep aphids and Japanese beetles away when used as a spray every 8 days before and during infestation times. If you have access to seaweed, use it as a mulch to keep slugs away.

LARKSPUR: An annual member of the Delphinium family, larkspur will attract Japanese beetles. They dine and die! Larkspur is poisonous to humans too!

LAVENDER: Repels fleas and moths. Prolific flowering lavender nourishes many nectar feeding and beneficial insects. Use dried sprigs of lavender to repel moths. Start plants in winter from cuttings, setting out in spring.

LEMON BALM: Sprinkle throughout the garden in an herbal powder mixture to deter many bugs. Lemon balm has citronella compounds that make this work: crush and rub the leaves on your skin to keep mosquitoes away! Use to ward off squash bugs!

LOVAGE: Improves flavor and health of most plants. Good habitat for ground beetles. A large plant, use one planted as a backdrop. Similar to celery in flavor.

MARIGOLDS: (Calendula): Given a lot of credit as a pest deterrent. Keeps soil free of bad nematodes; supposed to discourage many insects. Plant freely throughout the garden. The marigolds you choose must be a scented variety for them to work. One down side is that marigolds do attract spider mites and slugs.

French Marigold (T. Patula) has roots that exude a substance which spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes. For nematode control you want to plant dense areas of them. There have been some studies done that proved this nematode killing effect lasted for several years after the plants were These marigolds also help to deter whiteflies when planted around tomatoes and can be used in greenhouses for the same purpose.

Mexican marigold (T. minuta) is the most powerful of the insect repelling marigolds and may also overwhelm weed roots such as bind weed! It is said to repel the Mexican bean beetle and wild bunnies! Be careful it can have an herbicidal effect on some plants like beans and cabbage.

MARJORAM: As a companion plant it improves the flavor of vegetables and herbs. Sweet marjoram is the most commonly grown type.

MINT: Deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas, aphids and improves the health of cabbage and tomatoes. Use cuttings as a mulch around members of the brassica family. It attracts hoverflies and predatory wasps. Earthworms are quite attracted to mint plantings. Be careful where you plant it as mint is an incredibly invasive perennial. We have found that placing mint (fresh or dried) where mice are a problem is very effective in driving them off!

MOLE PLANTS: (castor bean plant) Deter moles and mice if planted here and there throughout the garden. Drop a seed of this in mole runs to drive them away. This is a poisonous plant. See Moles: Critter Trouble

MORNING GLORIES: They attract hoverflies. Plus if you want a fast growing annual vine to cover something up morning glory is an excellent choice.

OPAL BASIL: An annual herb that is pretty, tasty and said to repel hornworms!

NASTURTIUMS: Plant as a barrier around tomatoes, radishes, cabbage, cucumbers, and under fruit trees. Deters wooly aphids, whiteflies, squash bug, cucumber beetles and other pests of the curcurbit family. Great trap crop for aphids (in particular the black aphids) which it does attract, especially the yellow flowering varieties. Likes poor soil with low moisture and no fertilizer. It has been the practice of some fruit growers that planting nasturtiums every year in the root zone of fruit trees allow the trees to take up the pungent odor of the plants and repel bugs. It has no taste effect on the fruit. A nice variety to grow is Alaska which has attractive green and white variegated leaves. The leaves, flowers and seeds are all edible and wonderful in salads! Try our recipe for: Nasturtium Salad

NETTLES, STINGING: The flowers attract bees. Sprays made from these are rich in silica and calcium. Invigorating for plants and improves their disease resistance. Leaving the mixture to rot, it then makes an excellent liquid feed. Comfrey improves the liquid feed even more. Hairs on the nettles' leaves contain formic acid which "stings" you.

PARSLEY: Plant among and sprinkle on tomatoes, and asparagus. Use as a tea to ward off asparagus beetles. Attracts hoverflies. Let some go to seed to attract the tiny parasitic wasps. Parsley increases the fragrance of roses when planted around their base. Rose problems? See: Rose

PEPPERMINT: Repels white cabbage moths, aphids and flea beetles. It is the menthol content in mints that acts as an insect repellant. Bees and other good guys love it.

PEPPERS, HOT: Chili peppers have root exudates that prevent root rot and other Fusarium diseases. Plant anywhere you have these problems. Teas made from hot peppers can be useful as insect sprays.

PENNYROYAL: Repels fleas. Many people are now using pennyroyal as an alternative lawn. The leaves when crushed and rubbed onto your skin will repel chiggers, flies, gnats, mosquitoes and ticks. Smells nice too!

PETUNIAS: They repel the asparagus beetle, leafhoppers, certain aphids, tomato worms, Mexican bean beetles and general garden pests. A good companion to tomatoes, but plant everywhere. The leaves can be used in a tea to make a potent bug spray.

PURSLANE: This edible weed makes good ground cover in the corn patch. Use the stems, leaves and seeds in stir-frys. Pickle the green seed pod for caper substitutes.

RADISH: Plant radishes with your squash plants. Radishes may protect them from squash borers! Anything that will help prevent this is worth a try. Planting them around corn and letting them go to seed will help fight corn borers.

ROSEMARY: Companion plant to cabbage, beans, carrots and sage. Deters cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies. Use cuttings to place by the crowns of carrots for carrot flies. Zones 6 and colder can overwinter rosemary as houseplants or take cuttings.

RUE: Deters Japanese beetles in roses and raspberries. To make it even more effective with Japanese beetles: crush a few leaves to release the smell. Repels flies and has helped repel cats for us. Some say you should not plant it near cabbage, basil or sage. A pretty perennial with bluish-gray leaves. May be grown indoors in a sunny window. Rue can cause skin irritation! Remedy: See cats and dogs: Rue spray.

SAGE: Use as a companion plant with broccoli, cauliflower, rosemary, cabbage, and carrots to deter cabbage moths, beetles, black flea beetles and carrot flies. Do not plant near cucumbers or rue. Sage repels cabbage moths and black flea beetles. Allowing sage to flower will also attract many beneficial insects and the flowers are pretty. There are some very striking varieties of sage with variegated foliage that can be used for their ornamental as well as practical qualities. More on sage.

SOUTHERNWOOD: Plant with cabbage, and here and there in the garden. Wonderful lemony scent when crushed or brushed in passing. Roots easily from cuttings. Does not like fertilizer! It is a perennial that can get quite bushy. We have started to cut it back every spring and it comes back in not time. A delightful plant that is virtually pest free.

SUMMER SAVORY: Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and flavor. Discourages cabbage moths. Honey bees love it.

SUNFLOWERS: Planting sunflowers with corn is said by some to increase the yield. Aphids a problem? Definitely plant a few sunflowers here and there in the garden. Step back and watch the ants herd the aphids onto them! We have been doing this for years and it is remarkable. The sunflowers are so tough that the aphids cause very little damage and we have nice seed heads for our birds to enjoy! Talk about a symbiotic relationship!

TANSY: Plant with fruit trees, roses and raspberries keeping in mind that it can be invasive and is not the most attractive of plants. Tansy which is often recommended as an ant repellant may only work on sugar type ants. These are the ones that you see on peonies and marching into the kitchen. At least for us placing tansy clippings by the greenhouse door has kept them out. Deters flying insects, Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs, ants and mice! Tie up and hang a bunch of tansy leaves indoors as a fly repellent. Use clippings as a mulch as needed. Don't be afraid to cut the plant up as tansy will bounce back from any abuse heaped on it! It is also a helpful addition to the compost pile with its' high potassium content.

TARRAGON: Plant throughout the garden, not many pests like this one. Recommended to enhance growth and flavor of vegetables.

THYME: Deters cabbage worms. Wooly thyme makes a wonderful groundcover. You may want to use the upright form of thyme in the garden rather than the groundcover types. Thyme is easy to grow from seeds or cuttings. Older woody plants should be divided in spring.

WHITE GERANIUMS: These members of the pelargonum family draw Japanese beetles to feast on the foliage which in turn kills them.

WORMWOOD: Keeps animals out of the garden when planted as a border. An excellent deterrent to most insects. A tea made from wormwood will repel cabbage moths, slugs, snails, black flea beetles and fleas effectively. The two best varieties for making insect spray are Silver King and Powis Castle. Adversely Powis castle attracts ladybugs which in turn breed directly on the plant. Silver Mound is great as a border plant and the most toxic wormwood. Note: As wormwood actually produces a botanical poison do not use it directly on food crops. We personally have seen no evidence of artemisias suppressing the growth of plants other than seedlings though many say it does.

YARROW: Yarrow has insect repelling qualities and is an excellent natural fertilizer. A handful of yarrow leaves added to the compost pile really speeds things up. Try it! It also attracts predatory wasps and ladybugs to name just two. It may increase the essential oil content of herbs when planted among them.

 



 

Organic Earwig Control

Here in Canada the earwig over winters as an adult in nests that is made in cracks and crevice, under rock and boards around the yard. The female lays a portion of her eggs in the fall. In the spring she will finish laying her eggs in the nests she has created. In late March to April, depending on how warm it gets, the males leave the nest. This is why early in the year one will see a few large earwigs. The female will remain in the nest and care for the eggs and the hatched young until late June to July. At this time the young earwigs and the females will leave the nests looking for food. This is the time of year when most people find that earwigs are a problem. This then is the time to focus on controlling them. Try to confirm the life cycle with your area Dept. of Agriculture knows about when the females open up the nests. The most effective way to control earwigs without insecticides is the use of trapping. Again knowing the insects habit makes the use of traps fairly effective. Earwigs are night creatures. They feed and move about in the dark. During the daytime they will find areas to hide from the light. Any small crevice or container makes great daytime homes. Traps should be set in the evenings and collected in the morning to remove the captured insects. The best types of traps that seem to work well are: corrugated cardboard; Rolled up magazines or newspapers; small cans with openings punctured in the ends.

Make sure holes are large enough to let the earwig in. tubing such as bamboo rods. Two pieces of wood with groves cut and taped together. When collecting the traps, make sure they are collected each day in the mornings. Dispose of the earwigs in a container of diesel fuel or gasoline. This will kill the insects quickly. When placing traps, make sure they are placed in and under shrubs and other dark hiding places that the earwigs would like to stay. Place the traps when the nests are opened up later in the summer. People that report failures with traps result from setting the traps too early. They operate the traps and find that no or very few earwigs are caught. They then stop trapping and when June/July comes earwigs by the "hundreds" are found and they think the traps were not successful. "Wrong" just poor timing and not working along with the earwigs life cycle.

 



 

Organic Insecticides

Garlic Oil Spray Target insects: Aphids, cabbage loopers, grasshoppers, June bugs, leafhoppers, mites, squash bugs, slugs and whiteflies. May also help to repel rabbits! Never use oils sprays on Blue Spruce as it will remove the blue waxy coating on the needles! Because garlic contains naturally occurring sulfur it also acts as an antibacterial agent and fungus preventative.

To make: Combine 3 ounces of minced garlic cloves with 1 ounce of mineral oil. Let soak for 24 hours or longer. Strain. Next mix 1 teaspoon of fish emulsion with 16 ounces of water. Add 1 tablespoon of castille soap to this. Now slowly combine the fish emulsion water with the garlic oil. Kept in a sealed glass container this mixture will stay viable for several months. To use: Mix 2 tablespoons of garlic oil with 1 pint of water and spray.

When working with oil sprays you want to monitor the climate conditions so your plants won't get phytotoxic burn. Use this simple equation: Take the current outdoor Fahrenheit temperature then add to this the percentage of humidity, if the total is more than 140 don't spray.

Example: Temperature of 80 degrees plus humidity of 67 percent equals 147, don't spray.

You also do not want to spray when temps are above 80F.

Horseradish Pesticide

How about some alternative uses for this invasive plant?

Target insects: Aphids, blister beetles, caterpillars, Colorado beetles, whiteflies and soft-bodied insects. Maybe even slugs.

To make: Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add 2 cups of cayenne peppers, a 1 inch piece of chopped horseradish root, and 2 cups of packed scented geranium leaves, any kind. Let mixture steep for 1 hour, cool, strain and spray. Note: this can be made without the scented geranium leaves if you don't have them to spare.

NOTE: Penn State University announced in 1995 that minced horseradish holds promise in decontaminating wastewater and now says it may clean contaminated soils as well! Penn State's center for Bioremediation and Detoxification reports that minced horseradish combined with hydrogen peroxide can completely remove chlorinated phenols and other contaminants found in industrial wastes. Experiments involve applying the mixture directly to tainted soils or growing horseradish in contaminated soil and rototilling the roots just before applying hydrogen peroxide!

The cleansing properties of horseradish have been known for more than a decade, however treating a purified form has been far too expensive. This method has proved to be just as effective, but at a fraction of the cost!

Lime Spray

Target insects: Cucumber beetles, mites and general purpose.

To make: Mix 1 ounce of hydrated lime, 32 ounces of water and 1 teaspoon of castille soap. Use up to twice a week.

Marigold Spray (use pot marigold: Calendula officinalis)

Target insects: Repels asparagus beetles, tomato hornworms, leaf cutting and chewing insects, like leaf cutting bees on your roses and lilacs.

To make: Mash 1 cup of marigold leaves and flowers. Mix with 1 pint of water. Let soak for 24 hours. Strain through cheesecloth. Dilute further with 1 1/2 quarts of water then add 1/4 teaspoon of castille soap. Spray target areas.

Orange Peel Spray

Oranges and other citrus fruit contain natural ocurring pesticide compounds called limonene and

linalool. These compounds can be used as a treatment for soft bodied pests such as aphids, fungus gnats, mealy bugs and as an ant repellant.

To Make: Pour 2 cups of boiling water over peelings of one orange. Let this steep for about 24 hours. Strain the mixture into a glass jar and toss the peels into the compost. Use this liquid as a spray mixing in a few drops of castille soap on target insects or on ants and their nests. Smells nice too!

Pepper and Herb Dusts

Target Insects: General

Peppers and certain herbs contain the compound "capasaicin" which will irritate and repel many insects. Cayenne, chili, dill, paprika, red and black peppers can be used as dusts. Purchase the cheapest you can find, or grow hot peppers and dill in your garden. Dry them and pulverize them in a food processor. Sprinkle on moist plant foliage and the surrounding soil.

Pepper Spray

Target insects: All-purpose

Just like the pepper dusts a spray made from hot peppers will release the capasaicin compound to repel insects.

To make: Mix 1/2 cup of finely chopped or ground hot peppers with 1 pint of water. Let this sit for 24 hours. Use as is for a soil drench application or strain the mixture through cheesecloth until you have a clear liquid. Add a few drops of castille soap and use as a foliar application. Keep away from your eyes and skin when using.

Tomato or Potato Leaf Spray

Target insects: Repels asparagus beetles and flea beetles.This will kill earworms and maggots and acts as an antifeedent for other insects.

Plants belonging to the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes etc.) have large amounts of compounds called "alkaloids" in their leaves. These compounds are water soluble and can be extracted by soaking chopped leaves then using as a spray. The toxicity of the alkaloids may account for only part of their effectiveness. The sprays may also attract beneficial insects that follow the chemicals in these plants as a cue in searching for their prey.

To make: Soak 2 cups of chopped tomato leaves in 1 pint of water overnight. Strain this mixture then add another pint of water and 1/4 teaspoon of castille soap a sticker. Spray foliage and soil as needed.

Sugar Drench

Target insects: Bad nematodes! Sugar also adds trace minerals to the soil.

To Make: Mix 1/2 a cup of sugar with 1 gallon of water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Pour on the soil around plant roots where you have had nematode problems or use as a treatment prior to planting.

Wormwood Spray

Target insects: Aphids, caterpillars, crawling insects and slugs. May repel snakes.

Caution is advised when using wormwood sprays around plants as it can inhibit growth. Best results are obtained when spraying directly onto the target insect when possible. See page on wormwood for more details.

To Make: 8 ounces wormwood leaves, 4 pints of water, 1 teaspoon castille soap. Simmer wormwood leaves in the water for 30 minutes. Stir, strain, and leave to cool. Add the castille soap to wormwood mixture and use to spray.

Yarrow Tea

Target insects: Aphids and soft-bodied insects. Also an excellent plant tonic!

Yarrow has insecticidal properties and is also an excellent natural fertilizer. Try mixing this with strong coffee to make a more powerful brew. Yes, coffee, caffeine makes the insects hyper and confused. See: Companion planting: Yarrow. Yarrow is also one of the ingredients used in Golden Harvest fertilizer.

To make: Soak 1 cup of yarrow plant pieces in 16 ounces of water for 24 hours or more. Brew it in the sun like tea. Strain and mix with 1 gallon of water. Mix in strongly brewed coffee and 1/4 teaspoon castille soap. Spray on aphids and other soft bodied pests every 1-2 weeks. Or use as a preventative.

Elder Leaf Insecticide:

Target insects:Aphids, carrot root fly, cucumber beetles, peach tree borers, and root maggots. It

is particularly effective against midges. Elder leaves also have fungicidal properties and may be useful against mildew and blackspot diseases.

To make: simmer 8 ounces of leaves in 16 ounces of water for 30 minutes. Stir this thoroughly, then strain. Take 16 ounces of warm water and mix with 1 tablespoon of castille soap. Add soap mixture to the elder water, spray as needed. Note: Set your sprayer to a coarse or large droplet setting as this mixture will tend to plug a fine setting.

Great Fleabane: (Inula conyza)

The leaves and roots of this plant make a strong general insecticide. It is also a nice addition to the perennial flower bed.

To make: Take one cup of leaves and or roots. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and pour over the fleabane, put a lid on this and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, let cool. Mix in a 1/4 teaspoon of pure soap such as castille, spray.

Vinegar-Salt Spray:

This combination is strong and will sterilize the soil where you use it. Be careful. This is not recommended for concrete areas as it will corrode the concrete.What we find useful to give you control for spot application is to get a veterinarian type syringe and inject solution into the center of what you want to get rid of. For larger areas use as a spray. This is more potent

when done during hot weather, avoid watering the area for 24 hours.

Recipe: Mix 1 pound of salt with one gallon of white vinegar. Stir until the salt dissolves. Mix in one teaspoon of liquid soap. Spray the foliage thoroughly or inject into the crown. You may have to repeat in a few days.

 



Disclaimer

The contents of this EHA website, (i.e. text, graphics, images, and any other material) are for informational purposes only. The contents are thus not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other professionally accredited, qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen on the EHA site.

EHA does not recommend or endorse any treatment, test, procedure, product, opinion, service or other information appearing on this site or any other site to which it may be linked. Reliance on any of the aforementioned is solely at your own risk.

 

Home | About Us | News | Events | Membership | Resources | Contact

Site Design by InterPresence