South Florida Gardening

Make your own natural pest deterrents to keep your garden free of aphids, mosquitoes, snails, and other harmful insects and animals.

Natural Pest Deterrent #1

Mix 1/4 cup of Murphy’s Oil Soap per gallon of water to kill and deter whiteflies, mites, aphids, scale and other nuisance pests. Apply with a spray bottle to both top and bottom of affected leaves and stems when sun is not shining brightly.

Natural Pest Deterrent #2

Mix together 1 teaspoon dish washing liquid, 1 cup of vegetable oil and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol. Add 2 teaspoons of this mixture to 1 cup of water and apply as for #1 above.

Safe Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitoes are very sensitive to certain scents, especially Chamomile and Eucalyptus. Both are easy to grow and both are used in dry flower arrangements and potpourri. To make mosquito repellent, take one ounce of green leaves from both plants and boil in a gallon of water, then strain the mixture and place it in the refrigerator. Before going outside, splash the mixture over your face and exposed parts of your body. You will enjoy the fresh, citrus smell and the mosquitoes will stay far away.

Snail Deterrent

If you are having a problem with snails or slugs, place crushed egg shells or course sand around the base of plants. Snails don’t like crawling over the sharp edges, and egg shells are good for the soil!

Essential Oils

These pure extracts make great natural pest deterrents, but they are very potent and should be diluted and used sparingly. Use with caution and avoid direct contact with skin, eyes and mucous membranes! Remember, if a little works well it doesn’t mean that more will work better! Use these oils for making tinctures, teas, cosmetics, massage oils, bath oils and salts, potpourri, candles, incense etc. Place a few drops on a cotton ball and put in cupboards to repel insects.

  • Eucalyptus Oil: E. citriodora repels mites, fleas, mosquitoes and other insects from humans and pets.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Apply tea tree oil directly to the skin to stimulate healing and fight bacterial and fungal infections. For sensitive skin, you may want to dilute it with olive oil. Used to treat nail fungus, burns, bites, athlete’s Foot, acne, dandruff, use in wash water for household cleaning, add to shampoo and make a spray to repel insects.
  • Lavender Oil: Use in closets and storage areas to repel moths and other pests. Add to massage oil and baths to relieve aches, use for aromatherapy, soaps, candles, potpourri etc.
  • Peppermint Oil: Repels aphids (use with thyme oil) in ponds with or without fish. Safe for making tinctures, teas, cosmetics, etc.
  • Lemon Oil: Use in flea shampoo, insect repellent spray, keep away animals and other pests. Safe for making tinctures, teas, cosmetics, etc.
  • Cedarwood Oil: use around the home to repel moths.
  • Citronella Oil: use to repel insects and ticks from humans, their clothing, indoors and out. Use on ornamental plants, in trash bins to repel animals.
  • Jojoba Oil: Use on all plants to kill and repel whiteflies, powdery mildew.
  • Lemongrass Oil: Use on ornamental plants and garbage areas to keep out dog, cats, other animals.
  • Wintergreen Oil: Ornamental plants, indoor and outdoor areas, garbage containers to repel insects and animals. Note: TOXIC in large quantities.
  • Thyme Oil: Kills aphids within 5 minutes, kills beetles other insects. Very safe to use in ponds and other aquatic areas.
  • Cinnamon Oil:Use on food crops and ornamentals. Repels dogs and cats, and helps control insects and fungi such as Verticillium and Pythium.
  • Clove Oil: Used on many food crops and ornamentals, indoors and out, on pets, kills many types of insects.
  • Orange Oil: Mix into shampoo for dogs and cats, kills or repels fleas, mosquitoes, mites, ticks. Use in the home or outdoors, makes an insect repellent for humans also.
  • Caraway Oil: Same as Orange Oil.