Garden and Orchard - The Frugal Homestead - The Green Homestead

How to Make Natural Pest Traps for Your Garden

Protect your fruit crops with natural pest traps for your orchard!

Natural Pest Traps for Your Garden

Are you tired of patrolling your garden and orchard for pests? Sick of handpicking or spraying your vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers with toxic chemicals? I know how you feel! It seems like there is never enough time to do everything necessary for keeping a healthy, organic garden and preventing pests, disease, and weeds from taking over our plantings. Honestly, I dream of being a little bit lazy sometimes! That’s why I use natural pest traps in my orchard and vegetable garden to help attract pests, trap them, and prevent them from laying their eggs on or eating my plants.

One of the great things about setting these traps is that they do the work while I plant, tend, and reap the rewards of my organic garden. They even work while I’m asleep! It’s important to me that my garden is productive and healthy, without needing constant attention. Pests don’t take a vacation or feast on our plants just part-time… this is a full-time gig for them. I don’t have time to spend the whole day on pest control. But I also don’t want to spray toxic chemicals on my food. You might feel the same!

That’s why I’m sharing these tips to help you set these traps to attract and capture slugs, spotted wing drosophila, and other fruit and veggie pests.

There are some traps and baits that work for different pests but they all have one thing in common. You’ll need a container or object to hold the bait or sticky substance and you’ll need bait or a color that lures pests to their untimely demise.

Recipes for Your Garden eBook
Save money on homemade pest control, fertilizers, peat-free potting mixes, and more in my eBook ‘Recipes for Your Garden’!

Creating Traps and Baits for Pests

You might need to purchase a couple of things to create these traps and baits before you can start luring those ‘bad bugs’ to their fate. However, you might have everything you need on hand already!

Let’s get started…

Traps for Flying Pests

These pests are common in fruit and nut plantings and they can wreak havoc on apples, cherries, blueberries, almonds, and many other crops.

In the home orchard, we have an advantage over commercial growers. We can plan a diversity of crops to confuse pests and plant native species that attract beneficial insects to prey on the bad guys.

Want more info? Sign up for my newsletter and get a free copy of my eBook… ‘How to Attract Beneficial Insects to Your Garden.’

However, this isn’t always enough to keep flying pests from laying their eggs on our fruit and nut crops. If you have fruit trees, these guys are often one of the biggest pest problems you’ll encounter.

Apple Codling Moth Trap

Coat a green or red ball with either Tangle-trap or petroleum jelly (make your own petroleum-free jelly) and hang it in your fruit trees. The codling moths are attracted to the ‘fruit’ and then they are trapped in the sticky substance. This prevents them from mating and laying eggs on your fruit. (A green ball mimics unripe fruit while red mimics ripe fruit.)

Flying Fruit Pest Trap

Check out the free recipes (below) for bait to attract flying pests. Pour the mixture into a clear plastic bottle with a narrow mouth. This will allow pests in easily but makes it difficult for them to find their way out. A plastic one-use water bottle works well for this. Hopefully, you don’t purchase bottled water often, but maybe you can scrounge up a free bottle. Poke a small hole in either side of the neck, then thread a thin wire through those holes. Twist the wire ends together, fill the bottle with bait, and hang it in your fruit trees within a few days of the flower petals dropping. Check the trap often to make sure you aren’t luring beneficial insects, too.

Scroll down for a handy freebie you can download to create two different recipes for bait to use in your homemade trap! I’m also including a vintage blank recipe card you can use for your own garden supply recipes or even for food recipes. You can get my entire eBook, ‘Recipes for Your Garden: Save Money & Create Natural Garden Supplies,’ from my Etsy Shop!

Traps for Slugs and Snails

Already heard about the organic gardening trick of setting out shallow dishes of beer to attract and drown snails and slugs? Spoiler alert: I’ve tried this method with mixed results. It doesn’t usually attract as many pests as I’d like, so I came up with some other suggestions to take care of these pests.

Slugs love gluten… I guess they haven’t heard about the gluten-free diet! You can add a bit of bread to your beer trap to help entice these slimy pests to take the plunge. You can also add gluten flour and sugar to water, mix well, and place it in a dish at ground level.

If you don’t have any gluten flour, try the recipe for the Vinegar Trap on the recipe card in the free download to lure snails and slugs in for their last meal.

Gardening Naturally with Pest Traps & More!

Leave a comment and let me know if these suggestions are helpful. Trapping and killing pests in your orchard and veggie gardens is great for reducing damage. These non-toxic methods are a great way to save money and reap the reward of fresh veggies, herbs, and fruit from your own backyard.

Natural gardening methods are dear to my heart because I’ve been an organic gardener for over 30 years!

I’ve shared many suggestions for keeping an abundant garden and you might find some of these useful, too. Check out some of my posts for more helpful tips!

How to Choose the Best Plants for Pollinators

10 Best Tips to Speed Germination in Your Garden

How to Plant the Best Vegetable Garden for Your Needs

Start Eco-friendly Seedlings for Your Garden

How to Choose the Best Garden Space

Free Spring Chores Checklist for Your Garden

How to Plan for the Most Productive Garden

50 Tips to Save Money on Your Garden

How to Join a Community Garden

Want to learn a little bit more about preserving the harvest? Check out my post How to Preserve Your Harvest Like a Pro for a ton of helpful information!

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