Natural Pesticide: Send Pests Packing with Herbs

Herb Basics

| September/October 2003


The scent of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) makes insects want to go elsewhere. Dilute 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus essential oil in 2 cups of warm water and put the mixture in a spray bottle — mist around plants, ant trails or other infested areas.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil helps repel moths. Apply the oil to a cotton ball, tie a string around it, and hang it in your closet. This smells delightful, too.

Also for closets, try hanging sprigs of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) to repel moths and other insects.

Tuck a bay leaf (Laurus nobilis) or two into your kitchen containers of rice, flour and other grains. Compounds in bay keep weevils from hatching.

Cayenne (Capsicum annuum), a warming medicinal herb, helps dispel some of the worst garden pests. Brew 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh crushed pepper in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. This makes a particularly effective bug spray for plants.

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