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How to Get Rid of Bugs in Your Herb Garden

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Hose or spray bottle
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Diatomaceous earth

Warning

  • 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.

About the Author

 

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.