Natural barriers for keeping insects at bay

Below are alternatives to pulling out the bug spray when you encounter a garden pest. Below are ideas I’ve tested.

Kaolin Clay

Coats leaves and fruit to repel pests by creating an irritating barrier between insects and the plant. Spray the leaves, goes on wet and dries. Japanese beetles damage is lessened by using this barrier.

This has been a method for thousands of years and is well tested.

I have not purchased the fine powder, but instead took a coarser clay and coated the leaves/buds of a rose covered in Japanese beetles. So I really need to purchase the clay. I will head to my local nursery to get their opinion.

This powder is used in many products like facial masks and other consumption products so is human safe.

For more information on how it works see: Illinois State Univ – Organic Pest Control info sheet.

Kaolin Test Result: Untested

Rue Repellent

A sun tea using the leaves of Ruta graveolens sprayed on your outdoor furniture to repel mosquitos. Note rue should not be ingested by humans or your furry friends. Make sure the sprayed areas are dry before letting your pup out.

Rue Test Result: Success

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.

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