Natural Ways to Keep Insects Away from Your Vegetable Garden

Use these natural substances to combat pesky insects

By Gina LiVorio Posted on 11/30/2018

Organic gardening is a comprehensive effort to protect the ecosystem in the most natural way, without chemicals from fertilizers or pesticides. When it comes to the success of your vegetable garden and protecting it from harmful insects, it is possible to do it organically. There are a variety of natural substances to use to combat pesky insects that act as organic pesticides. If you’re unsure what to use but want to keep an organic status with your gardening, follow this list to find the organic pesticide that’s best for you and your garden. 


Garlic spray is a natural pesticide that is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. It’s inexpensive and quick to make at home, simply by mixing crushed cloves with water, letting it infuse overnight then straining it and diluting it with more water. Since garlic has a strong taste, refrain from spraying on the vegetable garden close to harvest time.

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is another organic gardening method to use in lieu of a harmful pesticide. It can be used either on its own or in an Epsom salt spray you can make at home, much like the garlic spray. Either sprinkle the salt at the base of your vegetables or spray on the affected plants. Not only will the Epsom salt work as a pesticide, the magnesium will also make the roots healthier by helping them absorb vital nutrients.

Essential Oil

Certain essential oils can be used as organic pesticides, and some can even attract helpful pollinators. Each essential oil has specific purposes, so be sure to choose the right one for what type of insect you want to deter from your garden. For example, to get rid of ants use peppermint, for beetles use thyme and for mosquitos use eucalyptus. Do a simple search to find the essential oil that will do the best job of deterring the type of insect that has invaded your vegetable garden.

Citrus Insecticide

Using lemon is an effective non-toxic, organic treatment for deterring insects, especially ants. Citric acid, which is found in lemons, is a natural repellent because many insects hate the smell of it. To use citrus as a natural bug spray for your garden, either squeeze some lemon juice into the garden or leave a lemon peel in it to thwart off irksome insects.


Beer is yet another natural insect repellent. Trap insects and other garden pests by putting out a cup or bowl of beer near your garden, which will attract and kill them. Beer can get rid of pests like fruit flies, slugs, snails and even mice by luring them in with the smell of sweet yeast.

Cayenne Pepper

Spicy cayenne pepper can also be used as an organic gardening instrument for repellent. Choose between sprinkling cayenne pepper directly on your garden or making at DIY repellent at home by blending cayenne peppers with water and letting it infuse overnight before straining it. Mix it with clean liquid soap before putting it in a spray bottle and there you have a guilt free natural insect deterrent.