Bug Juice: Bye Bye Bugs!
A Differnt Way to Repell Garden Pests
In my own garden I use more than one natural pest repellant with success. Garlic and onion spray being a couple of my favorites. They are easy to make, use and even store well in the fridge. But now, I want to talk about another useful home remedy for pests. Bug Juice! No... it's not refreshment for all those pests you want to get rid of. It's another way to get rid of them!
Bug Juice is a bit more time consuming to make, because you have to actually collect the bugs to make the juice. What it is, is simply a slurry of mashed bugs, and water. But the way it works is a bit of a mystrey to me, as it seems to be to others who use it.
The USDA told folks in California how to make and use Bug Juice way back in 1960. But 12 years later the EPA put a stop to it, because the process wasn't registered as a PESTICIDE! (Idiotic yes, I know)!
A researcher in Biological Control, and former head of a pest control management company in Florida named Mike Seip used Bug Juice COMMERCIALLY, and found it worked very well! He once treated 500 acres of farmland with only THREE QUARTS of mashed bugs, successfully! Mr. Seip noted that, (curiously), Bug Juice remains effective over a long period. Even up to two to three months. This can mean season long immunity! Mr. Seip believes these long lasting results are due to an inoculative effect. But he's not sure.
Some folks think the ground up bugs either repell live bugs, or attract beneficial ones. Some people think when bugs are gathered for Bug Juice, some of them are likely to have disease and THAT'S what makes it so effective. I'm not sure why it works. But taking the last suggestion into consideration, I believe it's better to use one tenth of a solution containing 200 bugs, rather than to use all of a solution using 20 bugs. This way if you have even one sick bug, the possible obtained pathogen will be swished, mixed, and distributed all through the juice. So look for sluggish and dead bugs while collecting for your spray. But remember, since pathogens are probably host specific, you probably won't be able to control aphids with sick beetles.
Even if you have a very strong stomach, please don't use a family blender to grind up bugs! Always use a seperate blender which no human or pet food will ever touch. And since some folks have an allergic reactions to bugs, use a fliter mask, rubber gloves, and wear clothes to protect your skin while grinding bugs, and spraying Bug Juice.
A simple recipe for Bug Juice is:
1/2 cup of ground up bugs
2 cups of water
Blend until liquified
Drain through cheezecloth
And that's it!
When you're ready to spray your Bug Juice, cut it with between four to eight cups more water. Any leftovers can be frozen and saved until next season. Treat tops, and undersides of foliage, and I think it's best to wait until after a rain to spray.
If you prepare and use Bug Juice, I believe you will see amazing results! Not only will you have, (specific), pest control in your garden, you will not be polluting your soil with chemical pesticides, or ever have to worry about chemicals in your water run off. So this really is a great way, in my opinion, to help the envirnment to stay healthy and productive, while ridding your garden of unwanted bugs. And since Bug Juice tends to be specific to the bugs you use in the juice, your beneficial bugs, like ladybugs, will very likely not be bothered a bit, and can continue doing their job happily!
Have a plentiful and green garden!