wikiHow to Kill Bugs in Herb Gardens

Three Methods:Plan an Anti-Pest GardenTending a Pest-Free GardenUse Natural Insecticides

Herbs are varieties of plants whose leaves and flowers are used for medicinal purposes or to add flavor to food. Indoor or outdoor herb gardens are usually harvested for immediate consumption or to be dried in batches for later use. Many herbs are delicate, requiring regular watering, up to 6 hours of sunlight per day and trimming. Since they are often served fresh, without cooking, they must be kept clean and free of poisonous chemical pesticides. However, they can also be a favorite food for bugs, so the removal process must be safe for human consumption. Read more about how to kill bugs in herb gardens.

Method 1
Plan an Anti-Pest Garden

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    Gather all of the herbs you want to plant in your herb garden. You may be planting it near other edible plants. Although this is beneficial to creating a productive garden, different bugs are attracted to different plants, so you may need to defend your herbs from more pests.
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    Add plants that attract beneficial insects. Not all bugs are bad. Many flying creatures eat bugs and make it less likely that they will infest your plants.
    • Plant dill, fennel, yarrow, Queen Anne's Lace and golden marguerite to attract ladybugs. Ladybugs feed on aphids, some of the worst pests in a garden.
    • Plant parsley, buckwheat, sweet alyssum, cosmos and sunflowers to attract parasitic wasps. These insects feed on aphids and leaf hoppers.
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    Plant plenty of strongly scented herbs and plants, both in your garden and nearby. Many of these plants are already included in herb gardens, such as mint, chives, basil, yarrow and catnip. Also include garlic and onions nearby, as non-bug pests, like rabbits, hate these strong scents.

Method 2
Tending a Pest-Free Garden

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    Rinse your herbs every morning with a garden hose. A strong spray can knock off bugs from the leaves of your plants. If your herbs are too delicate, use the strongest setting on a spray bottle.
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    Trim dead leaves and flowers from your plants. Keeping the area healthy and clean will allow you to spot bugs more easily. It will also attract fewer bugs.
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    Respond immediately when you see bugs on your herb plants. It may take as little as 1 night for the bugs to produce holes and begin to change the color of the leaves. Some plants respond by growing slowly and producing fewer leaves.

Method 3
Use Natural Insecticides

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    Mix some natural insecticide soap. This mixture is especially useful for soft-bodied insects, such as aphids, caterpillars and parsley worms. The soap is absorbed by the pest and then causes dehydration and death.
    • Mix 1 to 2 tbs. (15 to 30 ml) of plant-based soap with 1 qt. (0.95 l) of water in a spray bottle. Many people use Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castille Soap, a product made with olive oil. Shake the mixture up and spray it regularly at any sign of bugs.
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    Increase the effectiveness of the soap against all pests by mixing in some strong smelling vegetable water. Insects and other pests are deterred by strong smelling plants, herbs and spices.
    • Find a mixture of plants like garlic, rhubarb, mint, onions, cayenne, ginger and horseradish. Cut them up into large pieces and place them in a pot or saucepan. Cover them with water and boil. Turn off the heat and allow the "tea" to sit overnight. Strain the liquid away and pour it into your natural insecticide bottle.
    • Create a caffeine mixture, if you are having a problem with aphids. Mix 1 cup (240 ml) of yarrow, lavender and/or catnip with 2 tbs. (10 g) of used coffee grounds and 2 cups (473 ml) of water. Allow the mixture to sit overnight. Strain the liquid and pour into a spray bottle.
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    Keep your all-natural insecticide and strong-smelling water on hand for 1 to 2 weeks. It will lose its potency after that, and you will need to mix up a fresh batch.

Things You'll Need

  • Garlic plants
  • Onion plants
  • Dill, fennel, yarrow, Queen Anne's Lace and golden marguerite plants
  • Parsley, buckwheat, sweet alyssum, cosmos and sunflower plants
  • Basil, mint, catnip and other strong-smelling herbs
  • Garden hose
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Plant-based soap
  • Pot or saucepan
  • Strainer
  • Coffee grounds

Article Info

Categories: Garden Pests and Weeds