I recently noticed some little bugs attacking my house plants and indoor citrus trees, so I whipped up a batch of garlic tea to help me combat the problem. I forget where I first learned about this, but I've been using it for years now to help with pest control on plants both inside and out. It's best used as a preventative measure or when you catch an infestation in the early stages, but it's a simple and organic way to keep plants from being bad bug dinner.
How to make Garlic Tea:
1. Blend up 3 or 4 garlic cloves (leave the paper skins on) with about 1/2 Cup of water
2. Strain the concentrated liquid through a coffee filter. I squeeze it gently to speed up the process.
3. Add the concentrated liquid to a gallon jug, and fill with water
4. Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week, or can be frozen in ice cube trays for later use
5. For small jobs, put the tea in a spray bottle and spray down plant leaves. For big jobs, such as in the garden, I use one of those tank sprayers (the ones for staining fences).
A few notes for garden use:
-I spray once a week in spring when I first plant, and then just every so often throughout summer or when I notice a problem
-I spray early or late in the day, but I try not to spray when the bees are out and about
-The spray doesn't seem to keep away the beneficial insects - I've still seen ladybugs in the garden after using it. (Although you know what they say; if you've got ladybugs it means you have aphids!)
-Although this spray has worked very well for me, I've had limited success with keeping cabbage butterflies away with garlic tea, but planting herbs like oregano around the cabbage helps, as does removing any larvae you see under the leaves.
Do you use natural pest control in the garden, too?