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May 2008
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Tips for controlling specific pests


To discourage ants, sprinkle their nest with red pepper, eggshells, bone meal, talcum powder, wood ash, sulphur, blood meal or coffee grounds or diatomaceous earth. Mix 1 tbsp. of bakers’ yeast and 2 tbsp. of sugar in 1 pint of water; spread this mixture on pieces of cardboard, and place them around your yard. Pile up instant grits or corn meal in and around their hills; once eaten, grits expand and no more ants. Mix equal parts powdered borax and powdered sugar. In the garden, plant pennyroyal, spearmint, southernwood, and plant onions around beans as they repel ants.


Spray plants with ‘bubble bath’ of soapy water; rinse off after animals are dead. Order from garden store: green Lacewing adults and larvae; “defatted” Ladybug adults and larvae. Plant nasturtium in the garden. Cut up 3 pounds rhubarb or elder leaves. Boil ½ hour in 3 quarts water. Strain and cool. Dissolve 1 oz. soap in one quart water. Mix two solutions and spray. In garden, plant tansy.

Asparagus beetles : Marigolds keep them away.

Botrytis Mold

Botrytis mold is one of several plant diseases that can be overpowered by the beneficial bacteria present in fermented compost tea.
1. Mix one part manure compost that includes some rotted manure (horse, cow or chicken) with five parts water. A plastic milk jug works well.
2. Allow the mixture to sit and ferment in a shady place for ten days to two weeks. The effectiveness of the tea is highest when the tea ferments for a full two weeks.
3. Filter the mixture through cheesecloth to remove large particles. Do not attempt to remove all residue for some residue gives the tea extra disease-fighting punch.
Warning: This stuff can smell terrible – do your straining outdoors! The odour does vary from batch from batch.
4. If needed, you can dilute the tea with more water, but keep the mixture at half strength, minimum.
5. Either spray on leaves with a pump or pressure sprayer, or dribble it on with a watering can. Coat both sides of leaves.
6. Reapply after two to three weeks.
7. The residue left after the tea is strained may be poured out on the ground below plants.

Cabbage Loopers

Plant one of these insect repelling plants between your cabbage and carrots: sage, rosemary, leeks, hyssop, mint. Buy Bt from garden store. Smash egg masses of moths.

Cabbage Worms

Plant rosemary, thyme, or hyssop. Cover plants with cheesecloth to keep adult butterflies from laying eggs. Sprinkle rye flour over and around plants when covered with dew.

Carrot Flies

Plant one of these insect repelling plants between your cabbage and carrots: sage, rosemary, leeks, hyssop, mint. See cutworms for other possible remedies.

Carpenter Ants

Prevent an infestation by repairing wood damaged by moisture, ventilating damp areas, cleaning gutters and storing firewood on raised platforms away from the house, try one of the organic insecticides included in this packet.
Alternative Pesticides: Pyrethrins. Use less toxic bait stations. Small chunks of bait are usually carried back to colonies where they poison other ants in the colony. Bait stations will help get rid of the source of the problem, and will reduce exposure to non target species. Northern Flickers, Pileated Woodpeckers are known to feed on carpenter ants. Swallows swifts and nighthawks will feed on winged ants.


Use ‘stickum’ made from 1½ cups rosin (from athletic supply store), 1 cup linseed oil, 1 tbsp. Melted paraffin, mixed together and painted around trunks of trees.
2 parts cayenne powder
3 parts dry mustard powder
5 parts flour add sufficient water
*** use as a spray on the plants and yard areas where these animals are causing a problem. Bury chicken wire under the ground to discourage cats from digging (plants will grow right through it)

Put Cayenne pepper, orange peels, or hang dried rue leaves, mothballs, and dry Borax® soap in the toe of old nylon stockings in various areas of your garden.

Chinch Bugs

Damage: Cause large round patches in the lawn which are yellow in the centre and greenish around the edges. They are found in the sunny areas of the lawn. Adults become more active when temperature is above 70°F. They live above the ground and suck the juice out of the stems. Cut top and bottom out of a tin can and push it into the greenish area of the affected lawn. Fill the can with water, any chinch bugs will float to the top.

Natural controls: (Garden) Plant soybeans near corn as a trap plant. Try planting St. Augustine Grass or endophyte enhanced grass (grass enhanced with the fungus (Acremonium coenophiallum)) which is more resistant to surface grazing by insects. Keep lawn free of thatch, use diatomaceous earth, spray with soapy water once a day for 10 to 14 days, or with a handful of wood ash and lime dissolved in 8L of water. Spread a flannel sheet over the treated area, and wait 15 to 20 minutes; the bugs will be clinging to the sheet and you will be able to drown them or suck them up in a vacuum cleaner. Insecticidal soaps, pyrethrins can be used, Neem, Bigeyed bugs, Lace Bugs and others will prey on chinch bugs. The fungus Beauvaria bassiana (Naturalis-T) can also be effective.
Codling Moths (apple worms)
Hang bright red plastic apples coated with “stickum” (see Caterpillars for stickum recipe)


Damage: will cut off grass and transplants (for vegetable gardeners) just above the ground. Find them in the soil curled up like a sleeping cat.

Natural Controls: Buy Bt from garden store. Smash egg masses of gypsy moths. Sink paper cups (bottoms removed) around seedlings to block cutworms. Parasitic nematodes, diatomaceous earth, physical methods. Plant tansy.

Dahlia borers

Goldenrod planted nearby will attract them. Try planting garlic, tansy or onions.


A good tall fence is the best bet. Try blood meal, thorny bushes, ‘Deer Buster’ tonic – 2 eggs, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp. of cayenne pepper and 2 tbsp. of Tobasco Sauce® in 2 cups of water. Let set for 2 days, then spray your plants to the point of run-off.

Dog Damage Spots

To repair, overspray 1 cup of very soapy water per 20 gallons of water, and then apply granulated gypsum over the area (use small amount and increase until desired level reached). One week later, overspray the turf with ‘Turf Builder’ tonic – 1 can of beer, 1 cup of ammonia, and 1 can of regular cola in your 20 gallon hose-end sprayer.


Remove their hiding places – piles of plant material, boards/wood, bricks, large rocks, debris, leaves and clods of dirt during the day. Eliminate refuges such as ivy, weeds. Keep debris and weeds away from the trunks of fruit trees. Encourage natural predators (birds and toads). Fill low-sided, old tuna or petfood cans with ½ inch of vegetable oil; place several cans around garden. When full; just dump and refill. Place rolled newspaper, corrugated cardboard, or hose pieces around plants at sunset. Next morning shake earwigs into bucket of soapy water, gas or kerosene. Continue as needed.

Fairy Rings

The fungi create circular patches of dead grass with an outer ring of dark green grass. Very difficult to eradicate. To control the disease, spike the rings to a depth of 15cm with a spading fork. Clean the fork carefully with rubbing alcohol after each use. To avoid contaminating the rest of the lawn you must begin spiking outside the dark green ring and work inward toward the yellow area. Pour soapy water into the holes daily for a week, and then clean water every day for two months. To get rid of the rings completely, remove the soil to a depth of 25 to 45cm on either side of the green ring. This is an exacting task but it is the only way to eradicate the fungus. Be careful not to drop any contaminated soil or grass on the lawn , or the disease will spread elsewhere.

General Insect Control

The ladybug, spiders, bees, and wasps will eat or reduce numerous pests. Try to find pheromone or other traps such as sticky traps – place 6 by 6 inch sheets paper or cardboard covered with a sticky material like castor oil, natural gum resin, or vegetable wax. Encourage parasitic or beneficial insects. Several plants placed throughout your garden naturally deter insects. They include marigolds, garlic, onions, nasturtiums, geraniums and pansy. If nuisance bugs persist, consider planting endophyte enhanced grass (grass enhanced with the fungus (Acremonium coenophiallum)) which is more resistant to surface grazing buy insects. Set your mower at it’s highest setting as longer blades of grass produce more energy and encourage greater root growth; and will be more tolerant to insect attack. Avoid overfertilizing and control thatch buildup in your lawn. Pesticides used to control lawn pests may effect helpful bird species. If problems still persist try sabadilla, neem,
rotonone, or pyrethrins. Limit treatment to infected plants as many helpful insects and related creatures are killed by any pesticide, even a soap spray. Use a milk type pail, fill with lukewarm water, and add approximately 2 teaspoons of Peppermint essential oil.
Grubs {May/June Beetles, Japanese Beetles}
During late spring or early fall, they chew the roots off the grass and keep going. Skunks and racoons will cause golf ball sized holes by digging for grubs or look for mole tunnels. During summer look for metallic-looking green and bronze coloured beetles (Japanese beetles) eating flowers or vegetables. They lay their eggs in the soil and the eggs become grubs. Cut and roll the sod like a carpet, if more there are more than a few grubs per square foot, it’s a problem.
Natural controls: Expose the grubs and let the birds pick them, parasitic nematodes, spread a mixture of diatomaceous earth and powdered soap at a rate of 6 to 9 kg per 100m2, or hand pick beetles into a jar (soap or kerosene and water) and drown them. Every 2 weeks throughout growing season overspray with a mixture of 1 cup of very soapy water, ½ cup of antiseptic mouthwash, and a ½ cup of chewing tobacco juice, in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer until early August. Unfortunately, grub control is a never- ending battle. Beetles lay their eggs in compacted soil, so aerate, plant resistant grasses such as fescues. Milky spore disease (microbial insecticide made up of two species of bacteria: Bacillus popilliae and B. lentimorbus) kills grubs, and will remain to protect your soil in the future. Use pheromone traps to attract adults and prevent breeding. Robins and Flickers will probe for grubs. See Japanese beetles for additional info.

Gypsy moths

Buy Bt from garden store. Smash egg masses of gypsy moths. Parasitic nematodes, diatomaceous earth, physical methods.

Japanese beetles

Plant garlic, larkspur, white geraniums, rue or tansy near roses and raspberries. Plant soybeans, zinnias or white rose near other crops to lure beetles away from crops. Buy beetle traps or “milky spore disease” bacteria (“Doom”) from garden store (takes 2 to 3 years for full effect). See grubs for additional info.

Lawn Diseases

Always remove any grass clippings if your lawn shows any sign of disease. Planting a mixture of grasses reduces the risk of serious infection since each grass variety is vulnerable to different diseases.


Radishes lure them away from sprouting corn and cabbage.

May beetles

See grubs for more info.

Mealy bugs

see Aphids for control. Make a spray of 2 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part water, and use it to kill mealybugs on houseplants.

Mexican bean beetles

Plant potatoes nearby to lure them away or repel them with rosemary, marigolds, petunia, or summer savory.


Punch holes in both sides and bottom of tall juice can, bury upright in garden border, fill with carrot or potato peelings. Empty can weekly.


Plant spurge or an herb called “mole plant” here and there to repel them. Fresh peppermint and spearmint plants, placed strategically throughout your home and yard, will keep majority of rodents and pests away from your home and yard. We use a milk type pail, fill with lukewarm water, and add approximately 2 teaspoons of Peppermint essential oil!


First and foremost, you need to eliminate their major food-grubs. Plant an herb called “mole plant”, daffodils, spurge and castor beans; here and there to repel them. Moles are invading your garden in search of worms and grubs. They actually help to loosen dirt in areas where it tends to be compacted. Place a cutting of human hair (use own or go to the Barber shop) inside the tunnel. Place used kitty litter in their tunnels, tells them predators are lurking. Mix a small bottle of castor oil with MiracleGro Fertilizer and spray. Spray every 30 to 60 days. Add red pepper to the mixture to ward off rabbits and deer. Natural mechanisms that look similar to windmills make a vibratory noise the moles hate and won’t come back as long as it is in place. We use a milk type pail, fill with lukewarm water, and add approximately 2 teaspoons of Peppermint essential oil.


Mushrooms are caused primarily by decaying wood in the soil, and they will soon disappear if picked or raked. Aerate area by hand to poke a lot of holes in the turf. Thoroughly drench the area with soapy water, then give a light dusting with dry laundry soap.


African or French marigolds give off chemicals which get rid of them. Also plant salvia scarlet sage, dahlia, calendula, pot marigold or asparagus.

Onion flies

Plant onion ‘sets’, not onion seeds.


Plant bush squash near cantaloupes and cucumbers. Worms will gather on squash for easy killing.

Plant bugs

Plant sunflowers nearby to lure away from potatoes. Bugs can easily be picked off and dropped into soapy water.

Potato beetles

Plant horseradish or flax to repel. Plant eggplants next to potatoes to attract them, then pick them and drop in soapy water.

Potato Bug

You probably planted your spuds in bare soil and kept them weeded. That is an open invitation to the Potato Bug (Colorado beetle). The easiest way is to lay the “seeds” on the bare ground and cover with a minimum of ten inches of rotten hay, top up as season advances. The deep mulch interferes with the bugs’ reproductive cycle. At harvest time, pull up the dying stalks and pick off the potatoes as if they were apples. Keep the smaller ones for seed next season; they are better than cut pieces. Plant a few beans near potatoes to attract the beetles. See Lebia grandis a predator or the potato bug for more info.


Build a house for toads and frogs. Encourage beetles who also eat slugs. Plant onions and marigolds to repel them. Place plastic bottle cloches or wrap loose aluminum foil around plants, or sprinkle circles of lime, eggshells, diatomaceous earth, ashes, gravel or sawdust around plants or 4 inch high “fence” of copper strips. Place saucers or plastic pots of milk or beer, grape juice and maybe even vinegar(they drown themselves in ecstasy); sink the saucers so they are level with the ground. Place cabbage leaf, tiles, wet cardboard or an old board on the ground, they will gather underneath and then can be disposed of, or collect them by hand at night or on damp days and dump in salt water or kerosene. Shake salt on them and watch them fizz. Squash all eggs you find while digging. Plant prostrate rosemary, wormwood.

Sow bugs

Remove their hiding places – piles of plant material, boards/wood, bricks, large rocks, etc.

½ ounce Tobasco sauce®
1 pint water
1 tsp. Chili powder dash of dish soap
*** use as a spray on the plants and yard areas where these animals are causing a problem.
4 oz. of castor oil
5 oz. of Tabasco Sauce®
8 oz. of Murphy’s Oil Soap®
1 quart of warm water.
Use 1 cup in 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, spraying soil, leaves, and tree trunks thoroughly to point of run-off. Fox Urine is also a very effective commercial repellent.

Tent Caterpillars

Buy Bt from garden store. Use ‘stickum’ (see caterpillars made). Parasitic nematodes, diatomaceous earth, physical methods.


see Aphids for control.
Red spider mites
see Aphids for control. HATE WATER won’t hang around when they are constantly subjected to this.

Squash bugs

Plant tansy to repel them.

Tomato worms

Plant asparagus, marigolds, opal basil or borage near tomatoes to repel them. Dill lures them away.


Damage: one or two-inch dead patches. Break up the patches to see if there are light brown caterpillars and their nests. Birds and moles feeding on the lawn are a sign of webworms.

Natural controls: Apply 25mL of pure liquid detergent or 50g of hand soap per 4L of water once a week for a few weeks, Palm-oil soap is not effective, garlic juice and 4mL of rubbing alcohol in 4L of water, spreading wood ash, lime or rye flour on the caterpillars will smother them, physical methods (finding and squashing). Webworms like thatch so remove it, and aerate the soil. Be sure to reseed any bare spots.

Weed Control

The presence of weeds is often a sign of fertilization problems or lawn care problems. Thistle, plantain, and dandelions must be hand pulled (mowing isn’t complete). A special dandelion weeder with a forked blade is helpful. Lamb’s quarter and barnyard grass disappear if the lawn is mowed regularly to 7cm. Mallow, purslane and foxtail are found in new lawns, but they disappear as the grass becomes thick and healthy. Some soaps may be effective in killing weeds. Marketed weed killers have a higher proportion of soap to water than those sold to kill insects. Pour very hot water on the weeds (caution this may also hurt grass). Use these techniques to remove weeds: hand weeding, hoeing, cultivating, mowing, flamers (take care when using flamers around mulches, never use them in dry, fire-prone areas), ground covers, and mulches. Apply this tonic before weeds pop-up:
1 cup of Plant Shampoo
2 tbsp. of instant tea
1 cup of hydrogen peroxide
Mix in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, top off the jar with water.
Whiteflies (on houseplants) Hang yellow strips of cardboard coated with “stickum” (see caterpillars), or buy a “tack trap” at a garden store. In garden plant nasturtium, marigold.


Punch holes in sides and bottom of tall juice can, bury upright in garden border, fill with carrot or potato peelings. Empty can weekly. Plant white mustard, buckwheat or woad.

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