Deercreek Daisies share homemade sprays and traps

By Barbara Vance

Deercreek Daisies met in April at the home of Marty and Fred Cook to learn about Bug and Critter Catchers. The Daisies enjoyed a meal of quiche, salad, and key lime pie prepared by Barbara V. and Marty C. as they visited and enjoyed friendship time.

By using simple “around the house” items anyone can get ready for spring and all the insects/bugs it brings. Members learned how to build a “bug trap” using an old plastic bottle, liter or water bottle size. Cut off the top quarter and invert it inside its base to make a funnel, holding it with tape if necessary. A hanger can be made using twine or heavy string. Pour sugared water into the bottle and hang it near where yellow jackets or hornets are bothersome in the garden. The wasps will climb in to reach the liquid and will drown or be unable to get out.

Anyone can protect plants and flowers using simple household ingredients and avoid commercial products that can kill friendly bees needed for pollination of plants. An insecticide is used to suffocate, paralyze or poison insects on contact or by indigestion. A simple recipe for insecticidal soap can be made with simple household ingredients. Use one gallon water (four liters), two teaspoons (10 mL) dish washing liquid and a few drops (5-8) of vegetable oil. Mix together. Use a plastic spray bottle to apply it–but wash the bottle thoroughly if it previously held household cleaners. Do not spray in direct sun or during drought, as it may harm plants.

Another helper can be a fungicide, which must be applied before disease starts to develop notice. Use this with plants that were prone to attack by fungus in prior years. To make a homemade Fungicide use one teaspoon (five mL) of baking powder and several drops (5-8) of vegetable oil dissolved in one quart of water (one liter). Spray this on leaves of household plants to prevent powdery mildew on houseplants. On roses it protects against black spot. The source for the recipes: All Natural Gardening Secrets 2017

Daisy members each went home with a sample of these bee friendly homemade solutions to use in their gardens.

They also learned how to make a simple “sticky traps.” Use yellow construction paper that you coat with petroleum jelly and place on a stick or hang over a tray. Place these near plants to catch whiteflies or other pests and save money.

When holding the next cookout, another “fly trap” can be made with one cup water, one cup vinegar and one cup sugar dissolved. Put it in jars whose lids have holes punched wide enough for the flies to get through. Place in a jar on deck or porch so flies are caught before entering house.

Some tips to remember when doing spraying:

Always read pesticides labels and follow directions.

Apply sprays on dry, calm days with relatively low humidity.

Keep children away when you spray anything.

Cover as much skin as possible, wear gloves, eye protection.

Avoid touching your face and eyes.

Never eat or drink when handling sprays, avoid inhaling them.

Never apply to food plants, unless labels state it is safe to do so.

Clean equipment after use, wash face and hands thoroughly with soap. Launder and wash clothing separately.

Keep all pesticides labeled clearly. Store in cool dry place.

Three members won door prizes of herb plants after they finished making their solutions and listening to garden facts. Enjoy the coming spring/summer and try some of these bee friendly ideas in the garden.

By Barbara Vance