Home Remedy

Aphid Control

Pour 2 tablespoons liquid dish soap into 1 gallon water. Stir the dish soap into the water and transfer the contents into a plastic spray bottle.

Spray the affected plant’s leaves on both sides with the soapy mixture. Pay attention to coat the underside of the leaves with the mixture, as this is where you’ll find the highest concentration of aphids.

Spray the soapy mixture directly onto any aphids you notice falling from the leaves. The aphids are small, and it’s necessary to shoot them with the soapy water to kill the unwanted pests.

Rinse away the soapy residue after one to two hours. Allowing the soap to remain on the leaves for longer than a few hours can cause damage and burning. Use a garden hose or spray bottle filled with plain water to remove the residue.

Reapply the mixture every few days, or as necessary, to keep the aphid infestation under control.

Tip:  Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to the mixture to increase the mixture’s density and make it stickier, helping it attach to and kill the aphids more effectively.

Warning: Test the soapy mixture on a small leaf before a larger application. If the plant shows sign of wilting or damage, don’t use this mixture.

Reprinted from SFgate online:   http://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden

Earwig Control

Earwigs damage vegetable seedlings, AND they enjoy eating your apricots, blackberries, raspberries, stone fruits, strawberries, dahlias, marigolds and zinnias,  just earwingto name a few!

Earwigs are busiest during June, July and August and there are several organic options to control earwigs in your garden.

  •  First remove the objects earwigs seek out for hiding places, this includes stacks of wood, piles of weeds, grass clippings and other plant debris.
  • Pull mulches at least six inches away from tender plant stems.
  • Earwigs love damp conditions, so water your garden and lawn only when necessary.
  • Turn off as many outdoor lights as possible after dark, earwigs are attracted to light.20160917_113819

Trapping Earwigs with Bait :  Poke several ¼-inch holes in the top of the lid of a small disposable plastic container to make a trap. Place your bait mixture of choice inside the trap, then snap on the lid. Bury the trap in the garden leaving about ¼ inch above the soil.  Empty the trap oil_soysauceinto a bucket of soapy water in the morning.  Repeat every two or three days.

Soy Sauce Bait –  Out of beer, then place ½ inch of soy sauce inside then add a few drops of vegetable oil on top.

Beer Bait –  Pour about ½ inch of stale beer into the trap.

Yeast Bait – Use 1 cup of water, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp flour, ½ dry yeast, and a few drops of oil – Leave the lid off this trap.  This mixture will attract slugs, snails and earwigs.

Traps without Bait:

Newspaper Traps – Roll a section of newspaper into a narrow tube with a ½- to one-inch diameter. Dip it into water to dampen it, but remove quickly. Set the trap in a shady spot near the garden in the morning.  Earwigs will use it to escape the afternoon heat.  Dump newspaper with the bugs into a bucket of soapy water before they come out to feed at dusk.

Milk Carton Trap–  Wash milk carton well with soap and warm water. Cut off one panel of the empty milk carton, wad some dampen newspaper loosely in the carton. Set the trap near the garden but put it in the shade. Earwigs will hideout  in the wet newspaper to escape the heat of the day. Empty bugs into a bucket of soapy water before nightfall.

Natural Predators: Plant flowers that attract earwig predators such as Tachinid and Digonichaeta setipennis flies.  By adding a border of cosmos, dill, or fennel around your garden you provide a habitat for these insect predators.  You can also encourage other natural predators, like toads or lizards to live in your garden.  And, chickens eat earwigs, too.

DIY: Weed Killer

The Jackson County Master Gardeners’ recipe for making your own vinegar based weed killer:

  • 1 gallon 10 per cent vinegar
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2 tsp Dawn dish soap or vegetable oil (to make it adhere to the plant)

Also, read some pros and cons of using vinegar (Acetic Acid) as a herbicide here:

DIY: Aphid Spray

Make your own insecticidal soap: Aphids attacking a rode bud and stopping it from opening

Mix 5 tablespoons of all-natural liquid soap with 1 gallon water. 

Using a hand sprayer apply soap mixture directly on the aphids. Wait an hour then spray the roses with a garden hose to remove any soap residue and the dead aphids.

Repeat as needed.