Monday, June 7, 2010

Natural Bug Repellent

One of my goals for this year has been to keep my garden chemical free, however that doesn't mean the bugs will leave my plants alone. Therefore as an added defense for my vegetables I occasionally whip up this quick natural bug repellent to spray on my plants. It's made from inexpensive ingredients that can be found in most kitchens. All I use is a small onion, some garlic and a few drops of dish soap.

I quarter the onion and smash the garlic cloves. I place it all in a pot, bring it to a boil, then simmer for an additional 20 minutes. After letting it cool a bit, I strain the liquid to get out all of the onion and garlic chunks.

I pour my mixture into a spray bottle and then add a few drops of dish soap. This can be sprayed directly on the plants without hurting them. The rain will rinse the repellent off of the plants so it does need to be applied fairly often.

I've been using this a bit to try and deter the slugs from eating my veggies, and it does work pretty well as long as I remember to apply it fairly frequently. The beer traps have been helping too. However, I'm finding that the most effective way to eliminate slugs from the garden is to pick them off by hand. I know it's gross, but it works. The best time to do it is after it rains or right before it gets dark when the slugs are starting to come out. Here is a batch of slugs that I collected just the other day.

I seriously don't know why there are this many slugs in my garden, and the scary thing is more keep coming. Hopefully one day I'll get ahead of them.

By the way, I apologize for the yucky slug picture, I just can't help it.


  1. I do something similar for my apartment.

    For stink bugs? i use garlic powder, some vinegar and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle sprayed on the outside cracks. aka: along window sills, door jams, sliding doors. It really keeps the stink bugs down to a minimum.

    Also- vinegar, garlic powder and dish soap in a cup on the side of the sink will attract and kill and little flying yucky bugs that get in.

    Thanks for this step by step! :)

  2. That's awesome. I've actually never thought to use this stuff or something similar inside. Thanks!