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Using Natural Products to Control Garden Pests

Destroying pests with chemicals upsets the balance of nature and can harm the soil. Listed below are some of the traditional ways of destroying or controlling pests using natural materials. Please note that we can not be held responsible if any of these do not work in your garden.

Garden Mole :  Photographer: Pavel Gribkov | Agency: Dreamstime.comMoles

  • Put holly or gorse down their holes.
  • Grow Caper Spurge in the garden
  • Find the largest mole hill in the garden, dig down until you can see the tunnel running in both directions and put a cut bulb of garlic or half a strong onion in the bottom of the hole


  • Rats are said to dislike catmint, so grow it round the plants that they attack.


  • Boil Atremisia and Rue, strain off the water and spray your plants with the liquid.
  • Strip some leaves from Brussel Sprouts and lay them on the ground to attract the slugs away from the leaves on the plant.
  • Lay prickly Thistles or Bracken between the plants.
  • Dry egg shells in the oven, when dry crunch them up and sprinkle between the plants.
  • Sink a bowl (yoghurt pot) of beer or milk into the ground. The slugs will be attracted by the contents and fall into it. Empty the pot once a week.
  • If you have plants in pots surround the posts with copper tape, the slugs get a minor electric shock from the tape and turn back.


  • Spray plants with liquid seaweed.
  • Grow Chives or Parsley amongst the plants that are likely to be affected.
  • Soak Nettles in rainwater for 3 weeks, then use the liquid as a spray on the plants


  • Grow Nasturtiums or Marigolds amongst the plants likely to be affected in the greenhouse


  • Make a decoction of Artemisia, Tomato Leaves and Nettles. Dilute it and add liquid seaweed.
  • Deter Blackfly from eating the sap of spring-grown broad beans by spraying with liquid seaweed.
  • Deter from attacking autumn sown beans by pinching them out.

Cabbage Root Fly

  • If there is enough humus in the soil the cabbage roots should be sturdy enough to shrug off the effects of the Cabbage root fly.

Carrot Fly

  • After hoeing the ground, sprinkle the ground with dried wormwood, hyssop, mugwort or southernwood, the fly will be attracted to these instead of the carrots.
  • Sow Parsley or any member of the onion family among the carrots to disguise the smell of the carrots.

Onion Fly

  • Sow onions from sets instead of seed.
  • If growing onions from seed plant parsley nearby.

White Butterfly

  • Grow fragrant herbs such as hyssop, sage, thyme, mint or rosemary near the cabbages.


  • Compost grown plants can normally withstand caterpillar damage with no long lasting effects.
  • Spray cabbages - not cauliflower or broccoli - with sea water.

Ants on flower :  Photographer: Karen Samuel | Agency: Dreamstime.comAnts

  • Repel them by growing tansy or pennyroyal
  • If ants are invading your house, find out where they are getting in and lay bay leaves along their track
  • Plant peppermint near entrances or place crushed mint leaves near doorways
  • To keep ants from entering the house (or anywhere else) sprinkle baby powder on entry points.

Wood Pigeons

  • Deter them by hanging up red rags or sacks.

Do not destroy any of the following, some are protected by law and all will help in your garden :-

  • Bats - eat the insects that eat your plants
  • Bees - pollinate your plants and provide honey
  • Devils Coach Horse and Tiger Beetles - eat destroying insects.
  • Violet Ground Beetle - eats slugs and caterpillars
  • Centipedes - eats grubs, slugs and insects
  • Earthworms - turns the soil in your garden making him man's most valuable garden helper.


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