Insects are a part of our lives year round, but they really make themselves apparent in the summer. Insects play an important part in keeping our ecosystems balanced, but there are times we have to exert some control over them. I prefer to work with nature and realize many bugs are actually beneficial to keeping a healthy garden. So, how to deal with insects that are overstaying their welcome?
First, feed the birds! What does that have to do with bugs? If birds are encouraged to visit your garden they will eat a few insects along the way. Besides, who doesn’t love to bird watch?
Next, find out which bugs are causing the issue. Ants and pincher bugs (or earwigs) are my biggest problem insect. They eat the plants, flowers and veggies I grow. Not to mention, they sometimes find their way into the house! Once you identify which pests are causing the problem it will be easier to deal with them.
It also helps to discourage said bugs from feeling comfortable. Discourage them by keeping the areas around your house free of dead plants, leaves and bark type material. Instead, plant some herbs that repel bugs, such as: lavender, mint, lemongrass, lemon balm, basil, and catnip, to name a few.
Lastly, try using some non toxic pesticides. My favorite combination that I have used for years effectively is made with sugar and borax. To make this you will need to gather approximately 4 small jars. Small mason jars are perfect for this. Poke a few holes in the lid of the jar, make the holes big enough for a pincher bug if you are trying to catch those also. Next, in a large bowl or jar, mix 1 cup each of sugar and borax into about 3 cups of hot water. Shake or stir to dissolve then pour into the jars. Don’t overfill the jars, be sure to leave an inch or so of space. Tighten the lids, place them in problem areas and check daily. It may take a few days to really see the bugs pile up inside.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you to live in harmony with insects. It is important to remember insects play a part in keeping our world balanced. It is always best to work with nature instead of against it. When we use chemical pesticides we may also be killing the beneficial insects.
Remember, a healthy planet begins with you!