How to Get Rid of Bugs in Your Herb Garden

Overview

If you have a herb garden, you have a ready supply of herbs available for seasoning and flavoring. However, use in the kitchen is only one of many benefits of a herb garden. The wide variety of colors, sizes and shapes of herbs makes them an interesting and decorative plant. Most herbs are easy to grow, and although they tend to be resistant to disease and pests that can plague most plants, they can sometimes be the target of unwanted bugs.

Step 1

Knock bugs off your herbs with a strong stream of water from a hose. If your herb garden is inside, use the strongest setting on a spray bottle. This is especially useful to get rid of aphids that often collect on chives and other herbs. Be sure to spray the entire leaf, both top and bottom.

Step 2

Spray the herbs with insecticidal soap if you see spider mites or aphids on herbs. Water the plants early on warm, sunny mornings so they have time to dry.

Step 3

Sprinkle the soil around the plant with diatomaceous earth to discourage slugs and snails. Diatomaceous earth is an organic material that is actually microscopic remains of diatoms, tiny plants similar to algae. Diatomaceous earth looks like powder, but is very abrasive. It can be purchased in businesses that carry orchard or garden supplies.

Step 4

Remember that all bugs aren't bad. Encourage beneficial insects that can help keep unwanted bugs under control. Ladybugs, lacewings and praying mantis can all help to control aphids, thrips and mites.

Step 5

Keep your herb plants healthy and remove any dead or diseased foliage. Be sure the foliage has plenty of air circulation and adequate drainage. Healthy plants will be less susceptible to bugs.

Tips and Warnings

  • Although diatomaceous earth is safe, the abrasive powder can irritate the mouth and nose until the dust settles. For this reason, it's important to wear a dust mask when applying. Gloves will prevent the dust from drying out the skin on your hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose or spray bottle
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Diatomaceous earth

References

  • Caring for Your Herb Garden
  • Gardening Without Chemicals
  • Diatomaceous Earth
Keywords: herb garden, bugs, aphids

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.