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All Natural Pest Control

by April Cleaver

We’ve had to deal with lots of different pests so far on the homestead. Last year the biggest ones were deer and rabbits, this year it’s squirrels and slugs. Both years we’ve had aphids, but they haven’t done too much damage.

Ryan is a firm believer in natural pest control. I’ve tried both natural and store-bought options, and so far I’ve actually liked the natural ones best. The store-bought ones only work for a week or two, then you have to reapply.

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For aphids and other insects, we let the spiders, wasps, and ladybugs take care of those for us. We’ve got a pretty good relationship with our arthropod friends.

For the deer and bunnies, I’ve planted stinky plants around my most vulnerable crops. I’ve got garlic surrounding my fresia, squash, and pumpkins, and onions surrounding my lilies. The squirrels are more tricky… I moved some of their favorite snacks, like my lemon cucumber seedlings, to the back yard to keep them safe. I also added some bird netting to close any gaps under the plastic on our hoop house. I might need to plant some more onions…

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For the slugs, we seem to be having the best luck by just killing or removing them on sight. It’s SO wet here this year, and the slugs are everywhere.

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