Poison Free Bug & Weed Control Tips

June 25, 2013
Shawn, Store Green Team Captain

Shawn, Store Green Team Captain

Now that it is summer and we’re all outside having fun, working in the garden, and having barbeques, it’s a good time to think about getting rid of the pests.  Nothing is worse than having to contend with the mosquitoes while you enjoy your dinner.

Many of the bug and weed killers on the market are bad for the environment and our health.  The elderly and the very young are especially affected by chemicals being sprayed in the air.  To avoid any problems and to minimize or even prevent environmental damage, try to find alternative solutions to your pest control.

To help, here are a few ideas:

Mosquitoes -  Get an empty, clean two liter bottle.  Cut the top of the bottle off where the bottle begins to curve.  Recycle the plastic lid, but keep the bottle top to the side.  In the bottle, mix 1/8 cup water and 1/8 cup sugar until dissolved.  Add 1/8 cup yeast and mix it into the sugar water.  Place the bottle’s top back onto the bottle upside down, tape it in place.  Wrap black construction paper around the bottle.  Place the bottle in a shady area of your yard where the mosquitoes are.  Replace the sugar water and yeast mixture as necessary.  If you have a big problem with mosquitoes, it may take a few weeks to notice a difference.

Weeds -  You’ll want to use this weed killer as a spot treatment.  The chemical that you’ll be making can kill all kinds of plants, not just weeds, so be careful.  Pour one gallon of white vinegar into a large pot.  Add 1 cup coarse salt and 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap.  Stir the vinegar with a spoon until the salt dissolves.  Carefully pour the mixture into a spray bottle using a funnel.  Remaining weed killer can be stored in the vinegar jug , just make sure to re-label the jug and keep it separate from your cooking vinegar.

Bug Spray for plants – Test this on a single leaf first.  If there is no damage to the leaf, you should be good to use this spray on the entire plant.  All you need for this one is rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball.  Get the cotton ball wet with the alcohol and rub it against the leaf.  After a few days, if there is no damage, you’re good to mix 1 cup of alcohol to 1 quart of water in a spray bottle.  Then you just have to simply spray the plant.

Bug repellant – Certain plants will help keep bugs away naturally.  My mom has always planted marigolds along the border of her gardens to help keep the bad bugs away and I did the same earlier this year when I planted my gardens.  Other plants can help as well including mint, rosemary, chives, sage, and lavender.

There are a lot of options out there for disposing of unwanted pests in your yard.  You don’t necessarily have to reach for the poison in the garage; you may be able to get some common items around your house instead.   You’ll be helping your own health and the environment too.