Organic Garden Solution: Herbs as Pesticides?

Organic Garden Solution: Herbs as Pesticides?

Susie Nadler
Aug 25, 2009

Over the weekend we read about some recent studies showing that plant essential oils from common herbs—specifically rosemary, thyme, clove, and mint—can be effective as natural pesticides. Apparently just a few drops of the plant oils mixed with water can repel or kill destructive aphids and mites. This seems like great news for those trying to grow veggies and fruit at home without the use of harmful chemicals...

The BBC reports that while the herb-based oils may not last as long or be quite as potent as chemical solutions, they do repel, or in some cases kill, potentially damaging pests, and they're safer for farm workers (or, for that matter, home gardeners and their kids and pets). Scientists are studying ways to increase the potency and durability of herbal essential oils for this purpose, so that they might become more widely used for commercial crops.

In your home garden, do you experiment with natural pest control solutions? Have you tried herbal oils? We'd love to hear the results!

To read the full story on the recent studies, visit the BBC online.

(Images: Flickr members ccharmon and Jasmine&Roses, licensed under Creative Commons)

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