Tips to keep those pesky critters away

News Aug 20, 2009 Ancaster News

I’m sure I’m not the only gardener this summer lamenting the loss of those effective pesticides that were banned by the Ontario government. I’m not questioning the intent behind the new pesticide legislation passed on Earth Day (April 22) 2009.

The government believes the use of pesticides to control pesky weeds and insects for purely cosmetic reasons is an unnecessary risk to our families and pets, especially when you can have a healthier lawn and garden without chemicals.

Tell that to my rose plants. The last time I looked at them, they had no leaves. The earwigs continue to munch away at my dahlias. And the fruit flies are having a feeding frenzy with my pear trees.

I’ve heard stories of people who hoarded all and any available pesticides from local garden centres prior to the April ban. Might be a good black market business. I can just see people smuggling Roundup and WipeOut across the border. Imagine getting busted for trafficking in pesticides.

But we all must adapt, because the ‘experts’ tell us the pesticide ban will lead to better health.

I’ve tried the Eco products out there and, in my humble opinion, you’d be better off just spraying vinegar on your weeds.

So, without the knowledge of how to fight insects without the use of pesticides, I asked Peter Prakke of Ancaster for some tips. Peter is a horticulturalist who spent many years working at Harper’s Garden Centre.

I share his tips for bug control with all the green thumbs out there looking for a little help.

Ants

• Pour camphor (granular) into the ant hill. Beware for children and animals. Cover the ant hill tunnel after applying the camphor.

• Use 1 tbsp granular boric acid and mix with 1 tsp icing sugar. Poor into the ant hill. Please use caution. This is toxic to children and animals.

Mice

• Mice do not like the fragrance of peppermint.

• To deter mice, spray turpentine on dry bark chips, place near the foundation of the house. Deters cats too.

Rats

• Rats hate the smell of petroleum or turpentine.

• Mix ‘cheese wiz’ with commercial mice or rat kill meal.

Earwigs and slugs

• Place overturned pots filled with damp crumpled newspaper out at night. In the morning dump the earwigs and slugs in hot soap water.

• Rhubarb leaves deter slugs and earwigs.

• Apply salt on the slug.

• Place dishes with ‘used’ cooking oil, half buried in the ground. Empty this every day. Fragrance does the trick.

• Mix 1 part of ammonia and nine parts of water. Ready to use spray.

Wasps

• Place small shallow plastic or steel containers with ammonia around the area.

Flies

• Elm tree branches are a fly deterrent.

• Walnut trees are known to keep flies away.

• Castor bean plants are fly deterrents. They are poisonous too.

Mosquitoes

• Poor several drops of vinegar on an electric or wood stove. Mosquitoes do not like the fragrance of vinegar.

Moles and voles

• Place wooden bark chips, soaked in turpentine, in the tunnels or grub infestation. Used cat litter works too.

Ticks

• Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked ball and swab for 20 –30 seconds. The tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.

Good luck. Now back to the garden.

Tips to keep those pesky critters away

News Aug 20, 2009 Ancaster News

I’m sure I’m not the only gardener this summer lamenting the loss of those effective pesticides that were banned by the Ontario government. I’m not questioning the intent behind the new pesticide legislation passed on Earth Day (April 22) 2009.

The government believes the use of pesticides to control pesky weeds and insects for purely cosmetic reasons is an unnecessary risk to our families and pets, especially when you can have a healthier lawn and garden without chemicals.

Tell that to my rose plants. The last time I looked at them, they had no leaves. The earwigs continue to munch away at my dahlias. And the fruit flies are having a feeding frenzy with my pear trees.

I’ve heard stories of people who hoarded all and any available pesticides from local garden centres prior to the April ban. Might be a good black market business. I can just see people smuggling Roundup and WipeOut across the border. Imagine getting busted for trafficking in pesticides.

But we all must adapt, because the ‘experts’ tell us the pesticide ban will lead to better health.

I’ve tried the Eco products out there and, in my humble opinion, you’d be better off just spraying vinegar on your weeds.

So, without the knowledge of how to fight insects without the use of pesticides, I asked Peter Prakke of Ancaster for some tips. Peter is a horticulturalist who spent many years working at Harper’s Garden Centre.

I share his tips for bug control with all the green thumbs out there looking for a little help.

Ants

• Pour camphor (granular) into the ant hill. Beware for children and animals. Cover the ant hill tunnel after applying the camphor.

• Use 1 tbsp granular boric acid and mix with 1 tsp icing sugar. Poor into the ant hill. Please use caution. This is toxic to children and animals.

Mice

• Mice do not like the fragrance of peppermint.

• To deter mice, spray turpentine on dry bark chips, place near the foundation of the house. Deters cats too.

Rats

• Rats hate the smell of petroleum or turpentine.

• Mix ‘cheese wiz’ with commercial mice or rat kill meal.

Earwigs and slugs

• Place overturned pots filled with damp crumpled newspaper out at night. In the morning dump the earwigs and slugs in hot soap water.

• Rhubarb leaves deter slugs and earwigs.

• Apply salt on the slug.

• Place dishes with ‘used’ cooking oil, half buried in the ground. Empty this every day. Fragrance does the trick.

• Mix 1 part of ammonia and nine parts of water. Ready to use spray.

Wasps

• Place small shallow plastic or steel containers with ammonia around the area.

Flies

• Elm tree branches are a fly deterrent.

• Walnut trees are known to keep flies away.

• Castor bean plants are fly deterrents. They are poisonous too.

Mosquitoes

• Poor several drops of vinegar on an electric or wood stove. Mosquitoes do not like the fragrance of vinegar.

Moles and voles

• Place wooden bark chips, soaked in turpentine, in the tunnels or grub infestation. Used cat litter works too.

Ticks

• Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked ball and swab for 20 –30 seconds. The tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.

Good luck. Now back to the garden.

Tips to keep those pesky critters away

News Aug 20, 2009 Ancaster News

I’m sure I’m not the only gardener this summer lamenting the loss of those effective pesticides that were banned by the Ontario government. I’m not questioning the intent behind the new pesticide legislation passed on Earth Day (April 22) 2009.

The government believes the use of pesticides to control pesky weeds and insects for purely cosmetic reasons is an unnecessary risk to our families and pets, especially when you can have a healthier lawn and garden without chemicals.

Tell that to my rose plants. The last time I looked at them, they had no leaves. The earwigs continue to munch away at my dahlias. And the fruit flies are having a feeding frenzy with my pear trees.

I’ve heard stories of people who hoarded all and any available pesticides from local garden centres prior to the April ban. Might be a good black market business. I can just see people smuggling Roundup and WipeOut across the border. Imagine getting busted for trafficking in pesticides.

But we all must adapt, because the ‘experts’ tell us the pesticide ban will lead to better health.

I’ve tried the Eco products out there and, in my humble opinion, you’d be better off just spraying vinegar on your weeds.

So, without the knowledge of how to fight insects without the use of pesticides, I asked Peter Prakke of Ancaster for some tips. Peter is a horticulturalist who spent many years working at Harper’s Garden Centre.

I share his tips for bug control with all the green thumbs out there looking for a little help.

Ants

• Pour camphor (granular) into the ant hill. Beware for children and animals. Cover the ant hill tunnel after applying the camphor.

• Use 1 tbsp granular boric acid and mix with 1 tsp icing sugar. Poor into the ant hill. Please use caution. This is toxic to children and animals.

Mice

• Mice do not like the fragrance of peppermint.

• To deter mice, spray turpentine on dry bark chips, place near the foundation of the house. Deters cats too.

Rats

• Rats hate the smell of petroleum or turpentine.

• Mix ‘cheese wiz’ with commercial mice or rat kill meal.

Earwigs and slugs

• Place overturned pots filled with damp crumpled newspaper out at night. In the morning dump the earwigs and slugs in hot soap water.

• Rhubarb leaves deter slugs and earwigs.

• Apply salt on the slug.

• Place dishes with ‘used’ cooking oil, half buried in the ground. Empty this every day. Fragrance does the trick.

• Mix 1 part of ammonia and nine parts of water. Ready to use spray.

Wasps

• Place small shallow plastic or steel containers with ammonia around the area.

Flies

• Elm tree branches are a fly deterrent.

• Walnut trees are known to keep flies away.

• Castor bean plants are fly deterrents. They are poisonous too.

Mosquitoes

• Poor several drops of vinegar on an electric or wood stove. Mosquitoes do not like the fragrance of vinegar.

Moles and voles

• Place wooden bark chips, soaked in turpentine, in the tunnels or grub infestation. Used cat litter works too.

Ticks

• Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked ball and swab for 20 –30 seconds. The tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.

Good luck. Now back to the garden.