Weeds and bugs can destroy your yard, and if you worked hard on your landscaping—or if you simply can’t stand weeds and bugs—you’ll want to find ways to keep them away from your yard. Most people turn to pesticides and weed killers, but if you have pets or small children, or if you worry about the environment, most weed killers and pesticides are not a great option. Instead of buying and using products that are filled with harmful chemicals, you can always opt for one of the following natural remedies instead.
One of the easiest and safest remedies to killing weeds in your yard is to use hot water. Boil some water so that it’s as hot as possible and then pour it carefully onto the weeds. The hot water will instantly kill the weed and won’t harm you or the environment.
Another safe remedy to kill weeds in your yard is to simply spray them with vinegar. Place vinegar in a spray bottle and spray down the weeds that you don’t want in your yard. The vinegar will eventually kill the weeds. Note that you may need to buy a higher concentrated vinegar, so if the vinegar you purchase at the grocery store doesn’t work, ask your lawn care supply store if they have anything stronger. (Note: pickling vinegar has a higher amount of acid, so if it’s available at your grocery store, choose that one over regular vinegar.)
Newspaper is a great way to naturally kill and keep weeds at bay. If you have weeds already, smother them with newspaper and they will eventually die. If you’re about to plant a flower bed or garden, don’t spend money on the expensive weed screen and instead throw down a few layers of newspaper, as it will keep the weeds from growing in the first place.
Put a small amount of syrup (or even honey) in a container and place it far away from your garden or flower bed. The sweetness of the honey will attract flies, bees and other insects and keep them away from your garden or flower bed. Plus, since the syrup is extremely sticky, most bugs will get stuck and eventually die.
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural pesticide that can be found at most home and garden stores. It’s a chalky substance that you place around your garden or flower bed, and the chalky substance works as an abrasive to smaller insects, killing them by tearing open their stomach or dehydrating them from the inside out.
Add a few drops of dish soap to some warm water and place it around your flower bed or garden. Although this mixture will not kill the insects that come near your flowers, it irritates them enough to keep them away.
If you have bugs that are eating your flowers or vegetables, you may want to invest in some cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes) and sprinkle it on your plants. The spiciness of the cayenne pepper will not kill the insects, but it will make it uncomfortable enough for them to keep them away from your garden or flowers. Using spices has also been known to keep away small animals such as rabbits and squirrels too.
Jessica Crouch is a landscape expert and avid gardener who loves writing about common plants and ways to deal with herbal pests.