Image: Photo by David McNew/Getty Images
About This QuizAll of us have to deal with pest control at some point -- whether it's ants in the kitchen, aphids in the garden or roaches in the bathroom. But you don't have to go all toxic on the little buggers -- there are kinder, gentler ways to eradicate them.
What's a natural way to get rid of ants?
Put a little pile of sugar at their entry point.
Spray them with lemon juice.
Set cucumber slices around your kitchen counter.
Ants apparently don't like cucumber, especially bitter cucumber, so you can put some slices of it around problem areas.
What's a plant that I can put in my backyard to repel mosquitoes?
Thai lemongrass contains citronella, so some of that might do the trick.
What's an effective cockroach killer?
Cockroaches like high places, so you can put boric acid on top of cabinets or other lofty perches.
Give me another cockroach killer. I hate those things.
You can kill cockroaches with a squirt of soapy water. Fun!
red pepper powder
How can I get rid of the fleas on my poor dog?
spraying it with decaffeinated tea
bathing it in lavender water
sponging it with a water-and-lemon mixture
Fleas don't like citrus, so you can pour boiling water over a sliced lemon, let it cool overnight and then sponge your dog with it.
Aphids are destroying my garden. How do I destroy them?
Water your plants with a mixture of water and canola oil.
Spray your plants with soapy water.
Here's that soapy water again -- so useful! It dehydrates aphids by removing their protective coating.
Sprinkle salt on your garden.
How do I keep squirrels from eating my tomato plants?
Remove all stakes so the squirrels can't climb up.
Sprinkle the plants with cayenne pepper.
Cayenne pepper is said to do the trick on squirrels -- you can sprinkle it on the leaves or spray cayenne juice on the ground around the plants.
Erect a plastic tent over the tomato plants.
My garden is infested with slimy slugs. What's an easy way to kill them?
Apparently, slugs love beer. If you put out some small bowls filled with beer, the slugs will flock to them at night and drown.
I've heard of companion planting as a natural pest control method. What is it, exactly?
working with a friend so one can look out for pests while the other plants
planting in groups instead of rows to discourage weeds
planting pairs or combinations of plants together to repel various insects and weeds
When certain combinations of different plants are put side-by-side, one of the plants can act to repel pests from the other. One might release a scent that discourages bugs on the other, for example.
Why is African marigold known as a good companion plant?
because its leaves shade other plants
because it attracts flies that eat pests from other plants
African marigolds (which are actually from Mexico) are often planted with fruits and vegetables because the flowers attract hoverflies, which eat pesky aphids off the fruit and vegetable plants.
because its strong roots strangle weeds that might kill other plants
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images