Bug Battle

GrasshopperThe big grasshopper infestation is just a sign of things to come. More bugs are on their way into the city this summer because of all the rain earlier in the year.

You’re probably used to getting rid of bugs with spray chemicals. But, with so many insects this summer, you’re only going to get the first wave, then another group will hit. You don’t want to keep spray chemicals around your home because many are lethal and most are illegal except for use by pesticide companies.

You may hear malathion is not bad because it breaks down. That is not true. It becomes even more dangerous as it breaks down. And, diazinon contaminates the groundwater. It is so bad, it’s illegal on golf courses. Please don’t buy it, it’s very dangerous.

So, in this chemical war, you lose.

Here is a battle plan to avoid problems and still get rid of bugs:


Mix a solution of 1 to 2 Tbsp. diatamaceous earth per gallon of water and put in a sprayer. It’s great for getting rid of crawling insects, such as ants, cockroaches, ticks and fleas.


Put a cup of diatomaceous earth in a new sock and tie the open end. Shake it to distribute the diatomaceous earth evenly.

Land Mines:

Mix 1 cup sugar and 4 Tbsp. boric acid. This is great for killing roaches. You can also mix a solution of equal parts sugar and clothes detergent.

Smart Bombs:

There are some insects you want around your home, such as lady bugs, lace wings and praying mantis. So, to kill just the bad bugs and not hurt the beneficials, try BioNeem. It kills fungus, aphids and white flies. Read the back of the bottle for mixture amounts. Use in a sprayer.

Barbed Wire:

Certain scents ward off insects. Plant society garlic, basil geraniums and santolina around your house.

Chemical Warfare:

Make garlic-pepper tea. Simmer 1 clove garlic per quart of water. Let cool, grind and mix in jalapeño peppers. Use in a sprayer.

For grasshoppers, order Nosema Locustae.

To kill mosquitoes, use BTI.

To get rid of gnats, mix 2 to 3 Tbsp. of pyrethrum with a gallon of water.

For ants, try diatomaceous earth, pyrethrum or boric acid. You can also try simmering ground lemons, letting them cool, then using as a spray.

To find scorpions, you need to hunt them with a black light.

Don’t kill spiders because they eat insects.

Be sure you alternate the products you use. Don’t always use diatomaceous earth or BioNeem. Use different tactics so bugs don’t build resistance.

To purchase products, contact Arbico, 1-800-827-2847.

Dave Owens the Garden Guy
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