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Plant expert demonstrates perfect solution for controlling garden infestations without harmful pesticides: 'You will have way less problems with bugs on your hands'

"[They] are like ice cream sundaes for bugs."

"[They] are like ice cream sundaes for bugs."

Photo Credit: TikTok

If you're tired of bugs treating your garden as a free buffet and want a chemical-free method to eliminate them, one gardener has the perfect solution.

TikToker Shoots & Roots (@shoots.and.roots) shared how two trap plants can keep bugs away from the rest of your garden. 

@shoots.and.roots Pesticides are not the best way to get rid of pest species in your garden. The best way to handle pest species in the vegetable garden is using trap crops. Trap crops are like ice cream sundaes for bugs they love them and would rather eat your trap crops than the ones that YOU plan to eat. In this video, I'm going to show you two different trap crops I use in my garden. ##growyourownfood##gardening101##gardentok##growveggies##gardenpests##trapcrops##aphidseverywhere##cabbagemoth ♬ original sound - Shoots & Roots

The scoop

If you're not a fan of cabbage, this hack may change your perspective on the bitter vegetable.

"I wanted to tell you why I am not upset that this cabbage is full of holes," the creator says in the video, showing viewers the hole-covered cabbage she'd planted.

She explains that it serves as a trap crop, attracting pests away from plants you plan to eat or want to protect. For instance, cabbage can attract cabbage white butterflies, which lay eggs that hatch tiny green worms that are notorious for devouring cauliflower, broccoli, and other cabbage family plants.

However, green worms are a welcome sight on cabbage plants if you're using them as trap crops. You can squash the worms when you see them and remove entire leaves once they've eaten too many holes in them. The creator suggests adding the holey leaves to your compost to reuse as fertilizer.

She said that nasturtium is another excellent trap crop that attracts aphids, tiny, sap-sucking insects that can damage plants or infect them with viruses. 

"If you want to avoid pesticides, try trap crops … you will have way less problems with bugs on your hands," the creator says.

"Trap crops are like ice cream sundaes for bugs — they love them and would rather eat your trap crops than the ones that you plan to eat," she said in the caption.

How it's helping

This genius gardening hack saves time and money by eliminating the need to buy replacement plants. You'll also keep your wallet full by avoiding pesticides, which can be pricey depending on the kind you buy. 

Plus, if you grow your own food (aside from trap crops for bug visitors to munch on), you'll save some green on groceries. 

Not to mention, gardening can impact your mind and body in profoundly positive ways, such as by boosting your self-esteem and helping you get more fiber

In addition, homegrown food can help the planet by lowering demand for globally shipped, commercially grown produce. Growing fruits, veggies, and herbs and keeping nuisance bugs away without pesticides will earn you even more environmental brownie points. 

Studies show that pesticides can contaminate soil, water, and plants and kill both beneficial and harmful insects in your garden. According to the World Health Organization, eating crops with pesticide residue can cause adverse health effects with long-term exposure, so it's best to avoid using them when possible. 

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What everyone's saying

One commenter was surprised to learn about the destructive nature of white butterflies. 

"Omg, the white butterfly, I never knew they did that; they are so pretty!" they said. 

"I know! But naughty!" the creator replied.

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