- Add a bird bath or feeder to attract either beneficial insects, or birds that will eat problem insects.
- Every morning, simply pick off harmful bugs by hand or knock them off with a spray of water from your hose.
- Trim the dead leaves and flowers from your plants regularly, and then take them out of the garden. Keeping the area clean will allow you to spot bugs more easily. It will also attract fewer bugs.
- If you see an unwanted bug, do something immediately, don’t wait until “later”. Bugs can take hold in a garden and produce holes and begin to change the color of leaves in one night.
- There are commercial “row covers” that can be laid over a row of plants; they’re made of hoops that support a special kind of fabric that allows light, air and water to come through, but not the bugs.
- Remove vegetable and annual plants from your garden as they finish flowering and prune any dead branches on your perennials. Rake up leaves and any other dead plant material from your yard to prevent insects from hiding there during the winter months.
If you do need to intervene and treat pests in your garden more harshly, there are still some good organic solutions to try before resorting to chemicals:
- Plant oils – peppermint oil is a good solution for repelling bugs as well as fungus. You can spray this directly on the leaves of the plant. Garlic oil works well too(on both bugs and humans).
- Insect soap spray – insect soap should be sprayed directly at bugs, as opposed to spraying it on the plant. The soap removes a protective coating that insects have and it makes them vulnerable to the conditions outside. There are a number of recipes for insect soap online that you can make yourself for pennies, one being simply one teaspoon of dish soap in one quart of water. You can also buy “pre-mixed” insect soap at a nursery.