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Gardener shares simple one-step hack for keeping plant-destroying pests at bay: 'I needed this'

Those who have tried are excited about the results.

Hack for keeping plant-destroying pests at bay

Photo Credit: @theashtonhomestead / Tiktok

A brief TikTok video shows viewers a natural and highly affordable way to keep pests out of their garden. 

The video, which so far has garnered 16,000 likes and was posted by @theashtonhomestead, starts with the image of the peel of an orange on a cutting board, and that's how the trick begins.

"No matter how hard we try to be proactive in our garden, pests will always be around," the narrator declares.

@theashtonhomestead 🍊 peels in the garden! #backyardgardening #homesteadgardens #gardenhacks #gardeningonabudget #gardeningtips #oranges #orangepeels #gardenideas ♬ Little Bitty Pretty One - Thurston Harris

The scoop

The narrator explains how orange peels contain a natural insecticide, which she says can help repel a host of insects that are detrimental to gardens. 

"It's even been known to keep out furry critters, including our cats and dogs," the narrator states, claiming that the animals also don't like the smell of the citrus. 

She also reminds viewers to hold onto the peel the next time they eat an orange to use it for this very purpose. 

It may not all be straightforward, though, as one study has found that limonene in orange peels can attract some pests to the potential existence of rotting fruit, even if it may deter others, like some types of fruit flies. So as with many things, your mileage may vary.  

How it's helping

Using natural and organic materials, like orange peels instead of insecticides, could have many benefits that go beyond your garden. 

For one, today's insecticides almost always come in disposable plastic containers, and plastic can be a problem. 

The world produces close to 300 million tons of plastic waste each year, of which only a fraction is actually recycled

A considerable proportion of this material finds its way into our waterways and oceans, where it eventually degrades into tiny particles known as microplastics. Extensive studies have revealed the existence of at least 24.4 trillion microplastics trapped in the world's oceans.

What is particularly alarming is the prolonged lifespan of plastics, since they can persist in the environment for several hundred years, posing a severe threat to marine life. 

Countless sea animals, including whales, dolphins, and sea turtles, fall victim to these plastics as they mistakenly consume them, resulting in fatal consequences.

The prevalence of plastic in our surroundings has reached the point where a significant portion of the human population now carries plastic particles in their bloodstream

This reality has raised profound worries among health experts.

But regardless of the container, pesticides themselves can be problematic. For one, these solutions are poison, and when sprayed in gardens, they seep into the soil and can end up in our waterways. 

Research has found that around 90% of all U.S. water wells are affected by pesticide contamination. 

Also, traditional pesticides can indeed do a great job getting rid of pests, but they can also hurt or kill your pets.

Using orange peels as a substitute for the stuff you find at the store is a much better bet. 

What's everyone saying?

With 184 comments, TikTok fans seemed quite expressive. 

"I needed this," one person wrote. "Excited to try this! Some of our plants are being destroyed," said another. "I just read about this, and mint leaves. I'm getting ready for this season, I'll have to try it!" said a third. 

However, one admitted they may have a problem: "My dog eats lemons and oranges!"

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