Humane Methods to Rid Your Garden of Pests

Garden Snail

Humane Methods to Rid Your Garden of Pests

If your garden is being attacked by all manner of pests but you don’t want to harm the swarming creepy crawlies and furry visitors, it may feel as though you have reached something of an impasse. A loyalty to all things living could see you sacrifice your beloved garden, or at least your favourite plants.

But fear not, for we have put together a list to help you rid your garden of all manner of pests in a humane fashion.


There is an estimated 10,000 trillion in the world, so it is not surprising when a few hundred seem to turn up at will in your garden. Fortunately, there are a number of completely natural ways to coerce ants into leaving your favourite plants alone:


Ants communicate using sounds, touch and pheromones. These pheromones are chemical signals, in essence they are scent trails. Using their antennae they can determine the direction and intensity of scents. If a forager ant finds food, they will make a trail leading back to the colony so that other ants will follow to the source of the food. Every time another ant uses the trail, the smell is intensified. If you use white vinegar on any paths that you know of their scent trail will be disrupted.


Ants really dislike chalk! They have to stumble and crawl through the chalk, getting covered in it. Simply draw a thick line where necessary, and repeat as needed.

Essential Oils

Ants really dislike strong smells. Not only will they disrupt the scent trails and communication, but will cover their bodies when they crawl through it. Peppermint and eucalyptus oils should do the trick. Fill a spray bottle with fresh water and mix in the peppermint oil. Spray liberally around your garden paths and repeat as necessary. Alternatively, you can cover cotton balls in the essential oils and place around the garden.

Natural Repellents

Cream of tartar, Cinnamon sticks, Chilli Peppers, Paprika, Cloves and Dried Peppermint leaves are perfect for repelling ants. You can also squeeze lemon juice and leave the peel in the garden or even place garlic cloves around the ant pathways.

Black ant climbing in colorful spring garden flower bud


Many people will be aghast to see cats listed as a pest, but their litter and snacking habits can quickly ruin a garden. And they’re tricky to deter the clever little tinkers, so you’ve got to be even sneakier. The Concept Research Cat Free emits a series of modulating ultrasound frequencies which will deter cats without harming them – and the sounds are completely inaudible to humans.  You should also remove any sources of food and shelter from your garden.

– Do not feed any cats. If you have any bins in your garden make sure they are sealed properly. If possible, remove any sources of shelter. Cats seek warm and dry spaces, fence off your porch or deck area and keep your shed door tightly closed.

– Install a motion sensing sprinkler- cats hate water and so they will happily stay away from your lawn when your sprinkler is on.

– Sprinkling pepper around your garden will cause their paws to become spicy which they will hate when it comes to grooming time and they will gradually learn your garden is the culprit.

– Garden netting or chicken wire is a known cat repellent as they do not like to walk on them.


Although not as common as some other pests in the UK, grasshoppers may be prone to eating grasses, shrubbery, leaves, bark, flowers and seeds. If you spot a growing grasshopper population, a quick spray of garlic oil should deter their presence.


Mice can eat a lot and repopulate quickly, making it hugely important that a mice shanty town is quickly moved on.

– Be sure to block up any holes in the exterior and interior walls because you do not want any mice making their way into your home.

– Keep your garden and home clean. Make sure your bins are sealed tightly and if possible keep them as far away from your home as possible.

– Mice absolutely hate peppermint so be sure to grow a few peppermint plants and they’ll soon be packing their bags.


Some people may be reading this and actively wanting rabbits to hop into their garden. However, if you’ve experienced the ‘thrill’ of watching cute bunnies munch through your vegetable patch with gay abandon, you’ll know otherwise. A sprinkling of chilli pepper around the plants the bunnies are dining on will act as an effective deterrence.

Slugs and Snails

The traditional method for deterring slugs and snails has been a line of salt, but this dehydrates and kills the molluscs. Simply placing mint, lemon balm or even human hair (this can be removed from a hairbrush, so you needn’t give yourself a #1) can deter slugs and snails without draining them of their bodily fluids.

Copper is another repellent used by many gardeners. You can buy copper tape and wind it around the perimeter of your vegetable patch, or sprinkle some copper pennies around the base of the plants you are protecting. The copper reacts to the mucous produced by the snail as it moves. This gives the snail or slug a slight electric shock.

Ticks and Fleas

Cedar wood chips can look and smell great in your garden, but can also be an effective method of repelling ticks and fleas. Simply spread a few around the problem plants, and you’ve got an aesthetically-pleasing solution to a problem with ticks and fleas.

We hope that these tips help you protect your garden from invading pests. If you require any additional assistance, please visit one of our locations listed on our homepage or call our dedicated team on 0208 874 2037.

Share this post

Comments (3)

  • Ann Eastman Reply

    Thank you very much – all useful.
    However, my main garden enemies are London’s large population grey squirrels, (we live near Regent’s Park).
    Have any good ideas on how I can stop them eating my apple blossom, camellia buds and tulip bulbs – I cannot permanently rush out clashing saucepan lids!

    29/05/2016 at 11:06 pm
    • Chris Brown Reply

      Hi Ann,

      Thank you very much for reading and responding to one of our blog posts. The easiest way to deter squirrels away from eating items you don’t want them to is to provide an easier source of food elsewhere in the garden. If they have a high fat (like peanuts) source of food readily available elsewhere they are less likely to bother your bulbs. It would be extremely difficult to eradicate a squirrel presence in your garden, especially in London, but hopefully this is a way in which their presence will become less of an annoyance.

      31/05/2016 at 2:48 pm
  • Tips That Will Make Your Spring Garden Flourish | TomatoInk Blog: Eco-Friendly Ink, Toner, Printing, and Related Topics Reply

    […] may include getting a little more creative. But please keep in mind that there are multiple humane ways to get rid of garden pests, so use the resources in the linked sites and accumulate some good karma […]

    21/03/2017 at 10:02 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *