This picture is of my daughter playing in my garden. Something all 3 of my kids love to do....especially while I'm watering, as you can see. They are the reason why I share what I share. They are important to me....and so are you.
Commercial pesticides are BAD news for our environment and for our health. They do not discriminate against what they kill. They are lethal to all things that crawl, slither, squirm, or fly in and around your garden.
Did you know that only 1% of insects that live in your garden are harmful to you or your precious plants? Treating your garden with pesticides destroys the natural ecosystem that your garden needs to thrive. When the balance of beneficial bugs is depleted it can leave the door open for the bad guys to invade at even worse levels than before.
Commercial pesticides are also bad news for the environment as they contaminate the soil, groundwater, surface streams, and air.
They are bad news for your health. Many common pesticides contain ingredients that are dangerous neurotoxins, hormone-disrupting agents, and carcinogens. Recent studies have shown pesticides can be held at least partially responsible for a myriad of health concerns including asthma, fertility issues, neurological disorders, Parkinson’s, bronchitis, neuroblastoma, leukemia, and autism.
Plants have natural defenses against some pests in their chemical composition. These beneficial constituents remain behind in the essential oil when the harvest and distillation process of making the essential oil are done properly. This makes properly-produced, authentic essential oils effective at keeping garden pests at bay without harmful chemicals.
Below is a list of essential oils and the pests that despise them, but first lets go over the different applications methods available.
- Essential Oil Spray.
Combine 8-10 drops of essential oils based on the list below to a gallon of water and spray directly on plants or the soil around them. This is the best method to use as a deterrent, treatment for disease, and to encourage plant growth.
- Cotton Balls.
Best to deter ground-moving pests like insects, mice, squirrels, cats and dogs. Add 4-5 drops of essential oil to the cotton balls and scatter them around the area or place in burrows or nests. You can also place cotton balls in small containers and bury the container in the ground keeping the top level with the soil.
- Hanging Strips of Cloth
Best to dissuade animals from entering the garden or to attract pollinators and beneficial insects. Spray a solution of water and essential oils of choice on the cloth strips and hang them from stakes, dowels, or other structures.
Best to deter flying insects. Soak the string in a solution of water and essential oils, string between rows of plants.
Best essential oils for the job:
Cabbage Loopers - rosemary
Mice - peppermint
Spiders - peppermint
Squash bugs - peppermint
Weevils - patchouli, cedarwood
Grab my printable download for a quick guide to these pests and their nemesis oils, along with some bonus pest controlling recipes for your convenience.
If you like more tips for savvy swaps to make life healthier, easier, and just plain better, check out the Swap It Savvy Community on FB where we talk about simple swap-outs that even the most reluctant can handle. This whole month of May is dedicated to toxin-free plant and garden care.
See you there!