Organic solutions to get rid of garden pests

June 25, 2015

If you've got pests in your garden, it will be extremely difficult to grow any plants, fruits or vegetables. Deter them with these simple, organic solutions.

Organic solutions to get rid of garden pests

Cabbage white butterflies

The larvae of the cabbage white butterfly are harmful to all types of cabbage and other plants in the mustard family, including horseradish, kale and broccoli.

  • Collect the caterpillars and kill them if the infestation is not too severe; the worst time for these pests is from May to September.
  • Plant mixed crops including mugwort, peppermint, sage, celery, thyme and tomatoes as a preventive measure, or protect vegetables with netting.

Slugs and snails

In mild weather or damp heat, slugs and snails are a threat to all young plants and soft-leaved plants. They are best dealt with as soon as possible.

  • Handpick them morning and evening and destroy them — if there aren't too many.
  • Protect your plants with companion plantings of savoury, chamomile, nasturtium, parsley, sage and mustard.
  • Pile straw around garden beds. This can be effective against slugs — they don't like to crawl over sharp edges.
  • Use rock powder or diatomaceous earth for a similar effect; its sharp edges cut slugs on their soft underbellies, killing them. You'll have to reapply it after every rainfall.
  • Spread oak leaves around your garden. They contain tannins that slugs and snails don't like.

Fighting mites with tansy

A solution for mites is easy: mix 200 grams (seven ounces) fresh or 30 grams (one ounce) dried tansy leaves with one litre/quart of water. Boil the leaves in the water and let steep for one hour.Dilute the tea with water in a 1:1 ratio, and spray on affected plants. Or pour or spray a tansy slurry (made of 300 grams/10 ounces of fresh leaves and 10 litres/quarts of water) twice a week. Tansy is poisonous, so take special care around children and animals.


  • Woody plants, roses, perennials, onions, bulb plants and root vegetables are susceptible to voles. Pour strong-smelling slurries made from elder or walnut leaves, arborvitae branches or fish heads around or near the plants.
  • Keep voles away with defensive plants like mole plant, white sweet clover, garlic, narcissus and crown imperial.
  • Get a cat. Its mere presence may be more than enough to deter them.

Spider mites

Fine gossamer on the underside of the leaves indicates an infestation of tiny-but-mighty red spider mites. They prefer to munch on the leaves of cucumbers and bean plants, as well as houseplants.

  • Spray with stinging nettle slurry to help rid your plants of this pest.
  • Use beneficial predator mites, available in well-stocked gardening centres. They'll search your plants for pest mites and kill them, then move on to spider mites elsewhere.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu