Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DIY pest traps

There are a quite a few websites giving information concerning natural methods of pest control in the garden, so I'm not attempting anything comprehensive in this post. However, I want to mention two methods that you might not be aware of - I wasn't until recently!

Unless you are really very new to natural pest control methods you would have heard of using beer traps to lure and kill slugs and snails. Actually, I don't find these all that effective for snails, but in my garden they do trap a reasonable number of slugs. The huge surprise to me, though, was that beer traps are an excellent way of trapping and drowning millipedes (they made an awful mess of my potato patch last year).

I bury some sort of container (here it is a plastic dessert dish) so that the lip is roughly level with the surrounding soil, pour in a little beer, then place something over the top to keep out rain (an ice-cream container in this case) with a window cut out for easy access by pests. I usually put a small stone on top to keep it in place.

Earwigs can be just as destructive as slugs and snails, but until recently I had not seen a good method of trapping them. You need an arrangement similar to the beer trap above, but for earwigs you pour a little raw linseed oil (available from hardware shops) into the trap. The linseed oil is about $10 for a 1L bottle, but it will last you a long time.

Most of the dead things in there are earwigs, but I also see some millipedes, some sort of beetle, and a cricket as well. That's the first time I've seen a cricket in these traps - I didn't mean to catch that!

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