Indiana, PA - Indiana County

How to keep pests at bay

by KASEY TRENUM on September 25, 2013 10:30 AM

QUESTION: Do you have any frugal tips on how to get rid of bugs in the garden?

ANSWER: You bet I do. Our family enjoys gardening, and we are always looking for ways to prevent pests without spending a lot of money.

Several easy-to-make concoctions use ingredients from your kitchen and are just as effective as store-bought pest solutions. Not only are they economical, but they are safe to use around pets and children because they’re made from natural ingredients.

First, here’s a recipe for an easy soap solution for pest control. This solution kills bugs as well as fungus, so the benefits are twofold. You need only three ingredients:

2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid

1 tablespoon of baking soda

1 gallon warm water

Mix all ingredients together and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Label the bottle for easy identification, and use as often as you need. Spray it directly on your plants or anywhere you see fungus and pests.

Next, try this simple oil spray. It not only kills bugs on contact, but it can also prevent bugs from returning to problem spots. Again, this recipe requires only three ingredients:

1 cup of vegetable oil

1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid

2 cups of water

Combine oil and dishwashing liquid in a bottle. Cap it and shake well before use. Spray wherever pests seem to be a problem, and reapply after one to two weeks or as needed. Ideally, you should reapply it after a heavy rain.

One last recipe worth trying is for a garlic oil spray. It kills bugs as well as mold on contact. Four simple ingredients are all you need:

1 whole garlic clove, minced well

1 cup of vegetable oil

1 quart water

A few drops dishwashing liquid

Combine the garlic and vegetable oil in a jar with a tight lid. Refrigerate it for a day or two, giving the garlic plenty of time to infuse the oil. Strain out and discard the garlic. Put2 teaspoons of the garlic oil mix in a large spray bottle (reserve the remaining oil for future use), and mix in the quart of water and dishwashing liquid. Spray generously as needed several times a week.

This solution works well on insects, mold and even mildew.

Give these recipes a try and see how easy and inexpensive it can be to prevent pests in your yard. Bugs won’t stand a chance!

Recipes adapted from

For more tips on saving money, go to time2savework Email time2save Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,

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September 25, 2013 10:29 AM
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