You may have heard the myth about how garlic repels vampires, but did you know that garlic can also be used as an effective natural pesticide for your garden plants? With so many families and environmentalists concerned about using toxic chemicals as pesticides, it helps to find natural "green" alternatives to use. After all, you wouldn't want your children or pets exposed to toxins in your home or outside in the garden. Garlic is not only used for seasoning foods and cooking, but it can also be used as an organic pesticide. The good news is you can easily prepare your own solution at home whenever the need arises.
Understanding the Concept Behind This Organic Pest Repellent
When used as a natural pesticide, garlic will not kill garden pests or their colonies. It will, however, fend off bugs, beetles, and the like. Most insects are repelled by the odor and components of garlic. Therefore, when insects detect garlic in your garden, they will deem the location as a disagreeable spot to lay their eggs or to feed. The good news is garlic is not harmful to humans or to the environment, as it is completely organic. An added benefit is that you can find cloves of fresh garlic at any grocery store.
Preparing a Plant Pesticide Using Garlic
The best way to use garlic as a natural pesticide is by condensing it into liquid form, using garlic and water. As a pest deterrent, you might try crushing or mincing about half a dozen cloves of fresh garlic and mixing it with a gallon of boiled water. For a higher concentration, use an extra clove or two.
After pouring boiled water over your chopped or minced garlic, let it steep in a large storage container or bowl for several hours. After this time, you can transfer the mixture into a spray bottle. If you add some cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce, your natural pesticide will be an even stronger repellent.
As a side note, if you happen to detect insect larvae or eggs in your garden, you'll need to eradicate them before they can destroy your plants. The most effective way to do so is by adding a drop or two of liquid dish detergent into the garlic mixture. For a "green" alternative to harsh detergents, choose a natural dish soap. Be careful not to spray the dish soap mixture on your edible garden fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Applying the Garlic Mixture to Your Plants
Once you have prepared your natural garlic pest repellent, you'll want to spray the mixture anywhere you have spotted pests. Inspect the leaves of your plants for signs of pest infestation. Pay particular attention to the underside of the leaves, as this dark location is conducive to egg laying. You may spray the plants a few times a week or more frequently as needed. Be sure to reapply the natural pesticide after a rain or when the humidity is high.
Storing Your Natural Pesticide
The organic pesticide should be kept under refrigeration to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. However, if you don't plan on using the solution for several days, you might want to store it in the freezer. When you are ready to use it, simply remove it from the freezer and allow the mixture to thaw out at room temperature for a few hours.
Play It Safe: A Few Additional Pointers to Keep In Mind
Keep your pets away from the garden or from plants that have been treated with garlic. Dogs and cats in particular may experience intestinal distress and other issues by consuming garlic. Also, it is advisable to keep children away from the treated plants. Garlic may cause irritation to the eyes or skin in children and sensitive individuals.
For more information, contact a company like Blacksmith Bioscience.