Use a Pit Trap for Earwigs and Slugs

Use a Pit Trap for Earwigs and Slugs


Homemade Traps for Garden Pests

Depending on where you live, it could be a bit challenging to actually know what season we are in right now. It’s not uncommon to go from winter-like temperatures, to balmy and steamy days and evenings. But, this particular year, it seems like our thermostat is getting a thrashing in a game of tug-of-war. And, that makes it difficult to know when to plant. Or, maybe even how to protect what you might have already planted or will someday.

Of course, temperatures aren’t the only potential enemy that could attack your garden. No, there are a few insects and pests that will take full advantage of all your hard work, and could easily ruin your garden. At the very least, it could lead to some unnecessary frustration and disappointment.

I say “unnecessary” because there are options to help control these pests, giving you more time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, or veggies.  Perhaps the most rewarding option is a homemade trap. You might already have some of the supplies on hand, making it quicker, cheaper, and more natural than hiring a company to take care of the infestation for you.

So, hopefully the easy homemade traps below will help you in protecting your garden, and preserve all your hard work.

Night dwelling slugs like to dine on leaves. But they also seem to be drawn to beer. Yep, good old fashioned beer. If you have a problem with slugs messing up your garden, pop open a brew.

Place a shallow container on the ground in your garden, right in the midst of your most slug-vulnerable plants, such as strawberries or lettuce. An old pie plate or frisbee would work well for this type of trap. Pour about 1” of beer into the bottom of your new trap, and walk away. It’s really that simple.Homemade Traps for Garden PestsThe slugs will be drawn to the beer, crawl in, and eventually drown. If you don’t want to waste a good beer, sugar water with a small bit of yeast mixed in would also work. They love a good fermented gas and should leave your plants alone as a result. Just replace the mix if it dries up or gets diluted from rain.

Earwigs are another night dweller, lurking at the bottom of pots and containers during the day. They also wreak havoc on leaves and plants.

This time, put some vegetable oil in the bottom of the shallow containers, and add a touch of soy sauce. Same result as the beer method.Homemade Traps for Garden Pests

Sticky traps are great for tiny insects that can destroy your garden, such as flea beetles, aphids, flies, whiteflies.

You can easily make a sticky trap by taking an old greeting card or paper cup and coating it with a sticky concoction. Try using something as simple as a thick syrup or petroleum jelly. Then stick it in the garden among the plants.Homemade Traps for Garden PestsAnd, some insects are drawn to certain colors, which can vary. Here are a few:

So, if you are trying to target any of the above specifically, make the trap in the color they are attracted to, in addition to the sticky mix. If you can’t find the material in the color you want, paint it…before adding the sticky matter, of course.

Related: 10 Reasons Why You Need To Have Petroleum Jelly In Your Stockpile

Yellow is probably the most popular color among garden pests. So, with this particular trap, think yellow. This one is extremely easy to do, and might already be in action to a point, if you have a shallow container lying on the ground collecting water. Insects will creep into the water-filled pan, and likely drown.Homemade Traps for Garden PestsHowever, 2 additional steps will make it even more effective. First, choose a yellow container to get their attention, such as a frisbee, or a painted pie plate or tin. Second, add a little liquid soap to the water. Just a few drops will do it. That will make it more difficult to swim and they will drown quicker.

If you are looking to target larger pests, such as moths and the squash vine borers they become, you will want a deeper vessel, one that will hold a minimum of 2” of water. Some moths fly during the day, so have these yellow pan traps out around the clock.

Related: Plants You Should Grow Around Your House To Repel Insects And Bugs (Including Termites)

Homemade Traps for Garden PestsThe downside to pan traps that are open, is that they could unintentionally also trap beneficial insects, such as bees.

You can diminish that possibility by making a bottle or jug trap. Make tiny holes that are the right size for the insect you are hoping to trap, but too large for a bee to go through.

This is a good option for trapping cucumber beetles, because they are much smaller than bees. To add to the lure, put some cucumber peels at the bottom of the bottle and water.

All of the traps mentioned in this article should be monitored. That can tell you what insects are trying to invade your garden, as well as let you know how well the traps are working and how often you need to refresh them. This should be done every week. Then again, you will be out in the garden more often than that to check on your plants. So, checking on them is easy.

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Please give advice on how to rid nasty iguanas that eat even my hot pepper plants. They are everywhere: small to very large!

Snake traps work. In the short run, do like Ruth Stout had to, to stop deer from mowing down her sweet corn, a chicken wire fence with wire roof. niio

Shoot them with a pellet rifle. You can buy .177 caliber pellet rifles that are almost silent. Look at the Gamo line of pellet rifles. Mount a light on it and you can shoot them at night.

HOWEVER, before you do that, make sure you don’t need a hunting license to shoot them. Make sure they are not a protected species. Both of those violations carry major fines, especially the protected species versions.

In the PDKR, of course, you need a hunting license to shoot rattlesnakes. Yeah, you read that correctly. Wanna gig frogs? Better have your fishing license clearly displayed on your person above your waist. Too many guys were pinning it to their fly or their butts. Legislature saw fit to make it illegal to post your fishing license below your waist. Happy to see they are busy passing meaningless legislation and leaving the serious stuff alone.

All of my yellow, spaghetti and zucchini squash fall off the vine only days after try form. What is causing this?

Are they getting pollinated? If it’s rainy or too hot, no pollen. Same thing if it’s too dry. One way around that is to pick the fruit before the bloom opens. We fry them (including the bloom), make squash blossom soup, freeze it and so on.

can you let me know how to get rid of fruit fly’s in house

thanks betty kitzmann

I simply turned on the vacume cleaner and suck them up.

a little cider vinegar with a couple drops of dish soap will do it

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Try a small cup or empty jar, with a bit of honey, water, and a couple drops of dish soap. Place it next to a cup with cider vinegar and conduct a little science experiment.

Take a yellow pan, paint target on bottom. Scent with clover blossoms, add sticky trap crud. No more rodents.
Jokes aside, sticky traps are easy to make with tree tanglefoot. The jug and all, very good! Our best traps are still lizards. For rodents, packrats and ground squirrels, it’s Mouser the rattler. Because the neighbors let morning glory vines (illegal in Arizona) grow around their house, rodents tunnel into the root zone to eat them. Then they come to my place to help themselves to root crops. The snake is a given, and the only sure way to stop them. baiting rodents leads to predators dying, which means fewer predators, and a population boom of rodents. niio

How about squirrels? They dig everything up, especially anything newly planted! I’ve trapped them and driven them over 5 miles to a new home. I’ve put out mops soaked in vinegar and I’ve “planted dried hot peppers”propped up on chop sticks around in my planters!, but nothing seems to stop Mr Squirrel! Help! Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

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Use a Pit Trap for Earwigs and Slugs

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