Plants are a source of food for many types of insects and other small creatures, and there are few plants which are not attacked by them. In some cases the attacks maybe sporadic and unpredictable, but most of the more serious pest attacks can be expected to cause damage to certain plants year after year, The severity of the attacks usually depends on the weather conditions of the current and previous seasons. A mild wet autumn is often followed by a severe infestation of leather jackets in the spring and hot weather is ideal for the multiplication of greenfly and other aphids.
The variation in the range of pests found in different localities is probably due to the climate, but is also influenced by the amount of shelter from the weather, the type of soil and the kind of vegetation growing near the garden.
Pests can usually be divided roughly into three categories :
a) those which cause so little damage that control is unnecessary
b) those which generally cause little damage but are liable to increase under certain conditions, such as hot weather, rain etc. Keep these pests under observation and deal with them if they show signs of increasing;
c) those which cause severe damage every year. If possible take preventive measures
before they appear or destroy them as soon as they are seen .
If these points are kept in mind, pesticides need not be used unnecessarily and the beneficial insects, of which there are large numbers, will have a chance to exert a natural control over the pests.
Using a Pesticide
1. Before using a pesticide, read the instructions carefully
2. Do not use more pesticide than is recommended or the plants may be damaged.
3. Spray during dull weather or in the evening as damage can be caused by spraying in bright sunshine.
4. Avoid spraying open flowers, to safeguard bees and other pollinating insects.
5. Do not spray in windy weather when the spray might drift into open blooms or to fruit and vegetables ready for picking.
6. Most pesticides are poisonous to human beings and it is unwise to smoke or eat while applying them. They are also poisonous to domestic animals.
7. After spraying, store all pesticides out of reach of children, wash out the utensils used and wash the hands thoroughly.
Pests come in all shapes and sizes, some of them are cute some are creepy crawlers. Its really best to prevent them from invading your space rather than eliminating them, as each species is necessary in the ecosystem. Do some research. Find out what the animal or insect dislikes the most and use it as a natural deterrent.
Slugs and Snails: Snails are attracted to good old beer, just pour some in a dish set outside and they will drown in it.
Try putting dog hair around your plants if they are bothered by slugs.
To keep slugs out of your garden. Roll out a band of copper wire along the perimeter of your garden. Their slimy bodies get a small electrical charge if they try to cross--so they don`t!
Ants in the kitchen: To prevent ant from returning, place a few pieces of mint gum around point of infestation. They can`t stand the mint!
-Ordinary table salt sprinkled around most frequented areas acts as a good deterrent.
- ground cinnamon is a good non toxic ant deterrent.
-an equal mixture of baking soda and sugar sprinkled in the frequented areas will kill the ants.
-borax and sugar mixed in equal parts will kill the ants. *Caution keep away from children and pets.
To keep ants off your bigger flowers and shrub put tape around the trunk, sticky side out.
Hot Tabasco sauce on plants will keep rabbits out of the garden.
Human hair will keep rabbits out of your garden!! Collect hair from your brushes and spread it around your garden!
When Japanese beetles invade your garden, you can fight back with homemade traps. Use a plastic gallon jug with the top portion cut off as a container and fill it with the following bait: 2 cups of water, 1 mashed banana, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup wine, 1/4 tsp. baking yeast. Allow this mixture to ferment in a warm place and them put it in the garden. Beetles will find it irresistible.
General Insect Repellents
Spray plants with a solution of dishwashing soap and water to keep bugs off them. It is best to spray at night or early morning.
Insect repellent - Make a solution of mint oil and rubbing alcohol, place in a spray bottle and spray yourself before any outings, the mint acts as a natural deterrent for most insects.
Fleas indoors: Sprinkle Household Borax on your carpet and let sit for awhile. Vacuum up.
Insect and Roach Exterminator! Mix the following: Borax, one pound; powdered sugar, 60 oz.; add one oz. cocoa powder and two oz. sodium fluoride. Mix well and sprinkle around places pests are known to frequent. Keep out of reach of children!