It never fails; you spend hours planting your garden in the hopes of growing beautiful plants, only to find it destroyed by pests a few weeks later. While you enjoy gardening, the thought of having to redo all this hard work is annoying and may cause you to give up on your hobby. Have no fear though! There are ways to keep pests out of your garden without resorting to pesticides or other harmful chemicals. If you find your garden infested with pests, try the following:

Make it hard to get in

If you make it difficult for bugs such as slugs, caterpillars, or snails to get to your plants, they can’t destroy them. Try spreading some crushed eggshells around the base of your plants, which are sharp enough to hurt bugs.

Attract predators

If you're having trouble with bugs, try introducing natural predators into your garden. Bugs as ladybugs and beetles prey on plant-destroying bugs.

Use a natural poison

Many substances that aren’t hazardous to humans or plants can be detrimental to bugs. Things such as salt, beer, or flour all kill bugs without harming you or your plants.

Make sprays

Hot and smelly foods tend to repel both bugs and larger pests such as rabbits. Grind up foods such as garlic, cayenne pepper, or onions with water and essential oils. Then, spray the mixture on your plants.

Bleed them

Animals such as rabbits and deer are frequently preyed upon by larger animals. The smell of blood in an area can be a sign of a fresh kill (and therefore a predator), so these animals wisely avoid any area that smells like blood. To keep these larger predators at bay, sprinkle blood meal (a flaky byproduct of meat packing plants) in your garden liberally. Just make sure not to get any on your plants.

Predator urine

For the same reason they avoid areas that smell like blood, deer and rabbits avoid areas that smell like predator urine. You can get bottles of coyote or fox urine and most gardening centers; sprinkle it throughout your garden. You don't have to worry about your garden smelling like coyote or fox urine, however; deer and rabbits can smell even a tiny bit of predator urine, so a few strategically placed drops should do the trick.

Use chicken wire

Rabbits can burrow deep underground and are small enough to slip through the links on some fences. Installing chicken wire around your plants (and burying it deep underground) will keep rabbits from turning your plants into a snack.

Take away access to fruits and vegetables

Birds love to snack on budding fruits and vegetables. When fruit and vegetables begin to bloom, cover your plants or trees with netting to keep out the birds. To avoid losing fruit and vegetables to bugs such as yellow jackets, make sure to pick it as it ripens. Building a fence around your garden will often cause pests such as raccoons and opossums to search elsewhere for an easy meal.

Create movement

Movement startles most big pests such as rabbits and deer, so setting up a motion detector to a sprinkler is a great way to scare away unwanted dinner guests.


Animals and bugs don't like the smell of coffee grounds, so spread some coffee grounds around your garden to repel them. Coffee grounds also contain nitrogen, so not only will they keep pests away, they will also nourish your plants.


Author's Bio: 

Dr Aviva Hill Romm, Board Certified Family Physician, freelance editor and writer.