Not all garden bugs are harmful pests. A matter of fact, some are beneficial and keep destructive bugs under control. Ladybugs get rid of harmful aphids, and lacewings consume spider mites and get rid of a number of other devastating insects. These are just some of the reasons why chemical pesticides should not be used in the garden. Chemicals cannot differentiate between beneficial insects, helpful spiders, and harmful bugs, and they will kill all of them while posing a danger to children, pets, groundwater, and wildlife. However, natural ways to get rid of bugs can safely control their population for an abundant garden, and all without the use of potentially harmful chemical products.
Soap and Water Mixture to Get Rid of Bugs
Liquid soap (not detergent) and water makes a fantastic natural spray to get rid of harmful bugs in the garden. Use soap, such as baby shampoo or another gentle variety, and add one teaspoon for every eight-ounces of water. Spray the mixture on garden fruits and veggies except for lettuce, cabbage, and other similar produce that could absorb the flavor of the soap.
Use Natural Barriers
If bugs cannot reach tender stems, they cannot destroy them. For a natural way to get rid of cutworms and prevent them from destroying plant stems in the garden, surround seedlings with cardboard tubes from empty tissue paper rolls. They will provide natural protection and get rid of harmful bugs. Unless they are removed they will eventually deteriorate and become part of the soil.
Another natural barrier to keep bugs at bay is ground pepper. Sprinkle natural cayenne pepper around vulnerable plants. Ground pepper will not stop flying bugs, but it will stop crawling insects and slugs from invading and damaging garden fruits, flowers, and foliage.
Keep the Garden Clean to Get Rid of Bugs
Leaves, rocks, sticks, debris, and rotting foliage all provide natural places for bugs to hide and thrive in the garden. Keeping the garden clean by removing areas to hide is one of the best natural ways to control garden pests. Take away hiding places and their numbers will be far fewer.
Handpick Harmful Bugs
Gardening involves coming in direct contact with many types of bugs and other undesirable pests, and another one of the best natural ways to get rid of bugs in the garden is through manual removal. Depending on the size of the garden it can take just minutes each day to handpick slugs, tomato worms, and other bugs. While wearing garden gloves, simply pick off undesirable bugs, and place them in a container of soapy water. This will greatly diminish their numbers, even if this method is used every two or three days or section by section on a regular basis. It often takes more work to remove garden pests in natural ways, but it is worth the extra time and effort to garden without potentially harmful chemicals.
Sources: Extensive Gardening Experience