Get rid of pests without using chemical pesticides
The problem with using chemical pesticides to get rid of the pests in your garden is that they will also kill off the predators that dine on the pests, upsetting the natural balance of your garden.
You can boost this balance by buying bugs for your garden – for example lacewing larvae which will hatch and eat your aphids, or ladybirds gently placed by handfuls around the base of infested plants. Or grow plants that repel aphids, eg garlic, marigolds, nasturtiums (see our symbiotic plants section - link on SiteMap click above).
You can also spray your tomatoes and courgettes with soapy water which will wash off the aphids – a squeeze of washing up liquid in a quarter litre of water.
Chilli powder is a useful deterrent – mix with water and a little soap to make a spray for plants infested with aphids, or use it dry around tomato plants, brassicas and aubergines to deter caterpillars. Use gloves or wash your hands carefully after handling chillies
As a last resort, just squash the little blighters, but be careful to leave the ladybirds, spiders and centipedes.
Slugs and snails will be attracted at night to beer traps – saucers of beer set near your plants, and snails are reluctant to cross lines of ash or hydrated lime.
Mix tea leaves with radish and carrot seed to prevent maggots.
Toads and frogs consume vast quantities of insects – encourage them by providing shelter – an upturned clay flowerpot with a hole in one side buried a few inches in the ground in a shady place – and a shallow pan of water.