Everyone has their own secrets about how to keep pests off their plants, and one permaculture farmer has a tip worth listening to.
On TikTok, Andre shows the devastation wrought in his cabbage patch by some rogue squirrels during the night. But rest assured, he has a fix to ward off any more visitors.
@andrethefarmer Organic critter control #organicgardening #naturalpestcontrol #organicpestcontrol #gardeningtiktok #fyp #foryou #andrethefarmer #permaculturelife ♬ original sound – Andre the farmer
To keep his brassicas safe from further destruction, Andre equips himself with two shakers of cayenne and cinnamon, which he says will keep the squirrels away.
The cinnamon also deters bugs, he explains, while encouraging root growth — a win-win for your plants.
Applying the spices to the brassicas is easy. Andre sprinkles a good dusting of each over the leaves and advises that you could spread even more if you choose to buy the cinnamon and cayenne pepper in bulk.
“It’s an organic way to control those pests,” he says.
How it’s helping
Sprinkling cayenne pepper over your vegetable patch basically uses squirrels’ sense of smell against them. The spice contains the compound “capsaicin,” which squirrels hate because it irritates their mouths, according to the Humane Society.
Because both are natural deterrents that do not harm your plants, they are considered more environmentally friendly than pesticides, which have been linked to biodiversity loss — particularly the decline of pollinating insects, which are vital for producing the world’s food.
However, learning to grow your own food without pesticides will help you avoid these hazardous effects — as well as reduce harmful pollution associated with food transportation — while enjoying the health benefits of gardening.
What everyone’s saying
TikTokers liked the clip more than 500 times and chimed in with their own advice.
“I also use wooden kebab skewers with pointy end up to create a fortress,” one person wrote.
“Cayenne water in a pump sprayer is more effective as a [repellent],” another suggested.
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