Fire Ants, Grasshoppers, and Weeds

It’s the triple threat of summer, in Central Texas.  My goal is always to do things as naturally as possible, for many reasons, but the most significant is because, it’s the only thing that works long term.

If you’re like me, and you want to get rid of fire ants naturally, you try every new natural thing you hear about.  Whenever the menaces appear around the vegetables, I’m always trying some way to kill them without depositing chemicals that I clearly don’t want to eat in my veggies.  Mother Earth has a good formula that I’m ready to try.  Click here for the short article.

In my continuing battle with the grasshoppers, I’m winning, but it’s taking vigilance.  The bug zapper racket is kind of fun, but works best on the young grasshoppers.  Now, I’m using a cider vinegar spray.  Fill a one gallon sprayer with a mixture of 1/2 gallon water, 1/2 gallon cider vinegar, and 2-4 TBSP dish soap.  Put the top on the sprayer and shake to mix.  Use early morning, to keep damage to your plants to a minimum.  Make sure you add the soap last, otherwise you get too much sudsing.  I have very few grasshoppers in the yard, I check, and spray what few there are, every morning.  Some of your foliage may brown slightly, but it’s that, or get eaten by the hoppers.

For weeds, I’ve been using 10% vinegar and getting really good results.  It comes in gallons, you just pour it into the sprayer.  You’ll have to buy it at a nursery or feed store, usually.  You can get up to 20% vinegar, if you need something stronger.  It’s best to spray it in the heat of the day, to get the best results.  I particularly love this for the garden areas.  Just be careful not to hit the plants you really want.