Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:19 am
Location: Fairfield Glade, Tennessee

Natural Deterrents

Last year I tried a few natural deterrents and had limited success. I wondered what other folks are doing with natural or homemade stuff.

I tried using lemon spray that I made for used lemon shells and found it works great for mosqitoes. I tried it on my garden plants and it helped with some insects but several bugs were not impressed. I sprayed my corn silks and had no worms in the corn ears.

BTW, I have a small garden so it is no problem to hand spray.

Comments appreciated. Thanks,


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Site Admin
Posts: 9460
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:59 pm
Location: Amherst, MA USDA Zone 5a

What insects are you trying to deter?

Does your garden have a hummingbird feeder?

Does your garden have a bird bath?

Does your garden have a bird feeder?

(See where I'm going with this? :))

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Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:23 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

I've tried lady bugs and praying mantis. The lady bugs flew away so I bought 2 egg sacks of praying mantis. I'm not sure the egg sacks ever hatched. I've washed my plants with dish detergent, sprayed a pepper mixture spray and used a fungus called ?T (sorry I forgot the name). I have a small container garden and the best defense I've found so far is to check my plants daily and handle any bugs and I find them.

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

your ?T would be a bacterium Bt, bacillus thuringiensis. It is only effective against some larval forms, worm /caterpillar type things like the corn ear worms you mentioned. It would not work against adult insects.

It sounds like you have tried the things we would usually suggest, soapy water spray, garlic pepper spray, but it sounds like you may have tried them a bit haphazardly. As with the Bt, each has things it is effective for and not effective for. Soapy water spray works against soft bodied insects like aphids, not at all against anything hard bodied.

So you would need to let us know specifically what kind of insects you are trying to deal with, preferably with pictures.

As webmaster was suggesting, the best solution is a well balanced garden ecosystem, with birds and beneficial insects. That takes some time to develop - along with the bird feeders etc, you need a variety of wildflowers and habitats for the beneficial insects. Your praying mantises like a tall grassy area to hang out in and so forth.

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