Your Questions About Does Pepper Spray Work On Bees

Jenny asks…

Cucumber and Plants turning yellow?

My Cucumber plants leaves are turning yellow and 1 squash plant next to them. I have checked for pests.None that I can see. I water every 2 days for about a 1/2 an hour. Is this some kind of ” Blight”? I have a 460 sq. foot garden with Tomatos, Peppers,Onions, Herbs, Cucumbers , Squash, Corn, Sunflowers, Greenbeans and Pumpkins. Everything else is doing fine except the Cucumbers and 1 squash plant. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

admin answers:

If it is just cucumber and squash and they are in the same place: it’s one of two things:
Too much water (cutting down your nitrogen content) or wilt.
Your garden doesn’t need to be watered every 2 days. They whine at you when you do a walk through, turn up their leaves in disdain for the absent hose, and can even pout like a small child………but they’ll get over it…….
As to all the water: The tomatos and herbs will like it, but beans/cukes/squash/pumpkins are very prone to wilt and other fungus that the little bees and beatles carry on their little footsies. Having constantly damp leaves just lets them wipe it off onto a new plant more easily. That would be “wilt” or the beginning of powdery mildew.
If the cukes and squash are together on one side of your garden and are doing this, but the others are someplace else and not doing this… sounds like too much water. I did that once. I didn’t realize that because of the time of day/location of sun, I was actually watering one section of my garden more than the other (because I didn’t want to look into the sun, and the afternoon bees were always on the herbs…..long story…) It could also be that the area where these plants are has a higher clay content and therefore is holding onto more water and less nutrients: it doesn’t need to watered as often as the other part, which may be more sandy or loamy.
So…..what I would suggest: cut down on the watering: it will help with either. If the squash, beans, pumpkin etc in the other part of the garden start to do the same and the others (the first to succumb)…..continue to get worse…. Then spray with a fungicide (even though I HATE chemicals), put japanese beetle traps across the yard from your garden (they are the worst culprits)….and if it gets really bad, cut/remove infected areas of plants and dispose (do NOT compost fungassy green matter)
Sunflowers are great….but they also attract a lot of different bacteria laden buggies….check for spotting on your plants. Just to trick them, make a hot pepper spray. Won’t hurt the beasties and your bees will still pollinate, but it confuses the heck out of the critters that are just stopping off for a rest (and infecting your plant with their muddy feet)
Next year, plan your garden so that plants that want a lot of water (tomatoes, herbs, beans etc…) are together…in that area that seems to hold the water (if that’s the probelm)….and things that like to get their toes dried out are together….(peppers, eggplant etc…)….of course….if you collect seeds for the next year, that can create havoc with your peppers due to cross pollination….nothing like a Giant Bell with a Habenero bite to it…but that’s another story!

Happy Gardening!!

Linda asks…

My herbs were coming up and now it looks as though something is choking them out at the soil level?

I planted my herbs late but they were doing just fine. Now my dill and my thyme look as though something is killing them. I just noticed yesterday that there are many of the young stocks lying on their sides and the base of the plants are at least twice as thin as the rest of the plant. What would do this?

admin answers:

A couple of things look like this and with planting late they are more likely to succumb to one or more, so…..a list:

I’m sure you didn’t plant them too deeply, but watering can shift soil. Make sure they are buried to the proper depth.

Not many bugs go for dill AND thyme, but the do walk across it to get to their preferred snackage, and then they carry fungus with them on their buggy little footsies, so keep picking them off and chasing them away. You might try spraying hot pepper juice on the leaves to deter the meandering miscreants. This spray misdirects them-if they can’t smell their favorite food, they won’t eat it….kind of like Hawkeye on M.A.S.H. The good part is that it doesn’t deter or harm the benificial buggies; bees will still land an polinate-they enjoy a little spice in their life! Soak dehydrated hot peppers in water, strain, put in a spray bottle, and wash them down. Just make sure you don’t do it on a breezy day…this stuff may not hurt the bees, but it’s killer on the eyes and nose of the humans using it!

Over watering; I know it’s hot and you are worried about them being thirsty-especially since they were just planted, but over watering immature plants makes their stalks rot at ground level. Don’t water them until they look wilty…trust me….they will survive it. Dill is particuallary prone to this when young.

Fungus; if the soil was already warm and you introduce plants and suddenly water it too much, dormant fungus will take off in leaps and bounds. This usually gets the thyme rubbed out quickly. Lift the plant, wash off the roots, and plant elsewhere…someplace you KNOW has clean dirt. And don’t overwater it. (seems to be a theme here….gosh….)

Water from the bottom and not the top. Sounds silly, but dirt splashing up on the stalks can actually smother the plants….spread fungus…….etc….

Water is good for thirst, but like with people; too much cuts down on the nutrients stored in the body….or stalk…..

Happy planting and good gardening!

Daniel asks…

What eats the leaves off of rose bushes?

One of my rose bushes pretty much has no leaves left. What ever is eating it is eating like circles and half circles out of the leaves. I dont want my bush to die what can I do? I have roses on the other side of my porch that nothing is touching. Any tips or ideas on this. I live in Michigan if that helps at all.

admin answers:

There’s several pests that can be eating your rose leaves.
Leaf-Cutter Bees: Small, perfectly circular holes cut into the foliage of your rose is caused by the Leaf-Cutter Bee. It uses the leaf cuttings to build its nest. Chemical controls are not necessary as they do not harm the plant and are rarely more than a minor nuisance.

Pear slugs are slimy, dark green and about ½ inch long. They are the larvae of the sawfly. You will most often find them in the spring eating holes in your rose leaves from the undersides. Slugs can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time, so act quickly. Galic spray is great for getting rid of slugs, cutworms, wireworms, & whiteflies. Blend well 1garlic bulb & 1 onion add 1Tbsp cayenne pepper & 1 quart water. Steep ingredients for 1 hr, then strain & add 1 Tbsp dish soap and your non-toxic spray is ready to use.
Long-term prevention & deterrants for slugs: Spread coffee grounds( in moderation) around base of bush. Use repellent mulches: Wormwood, prostrate rosemary, basil, rue, hot pepper, acacia bark, and oak leaves are disliked by snails and make good repellent mulches. Wormwood is also effective as a spray. Use barriers with scratchy material, hydrated lime, wood ash, sharp sand, crushed egg shells, or diatamaceous earth.

A Japanese beetle infestation can be quite distressing as they have an insatiable hunger for rose blooms and sometimes even foliage. These pests lay eggs on your lawn and around your roses and return year after year. You can use a neem-based product to get rid of them or you can position a bowl filled with dish soap and water under the rose and tap lightly. They should fall out and drown in the solution. This procedure seems to be most effective in the morning or evening when the beetles are resting. Another procedure is to spray infected plants with a mixture of 1 tablespoon isopropyl alcohol to a pint of pyrethrin mixture every 3 to 5 days. Long-term prevention for Japanese Beetles is simular to that used to kill the Rose chafer larvae… Biological controls such as beneficial nematodes or a product called “milky spore.”

Earwigs: If you see signs of chewing on your rose blooms and young leaves, you may have earwigs. They are a large and soft-bodied yellowish-brown insect with a pair of curved pincers. They hide during the day and come out at night to climb into your rose blooms and feed. Traps such as corrugated cardboard; rolled up newspapers; small cans with openings punctured in the ends can be collected in the morning & the earwigs disposed of.

Caterpillars, the larvae of moths and butterflies. Some, such as budworms, attack only the flowers; others eat the leaves and stems. These can be picked off & discarded. Or sprinkle with flour when the plant is wet & they’ll become coated with flour, suffocate & fall off the plant.

Rose aphids seem to go after the rose buds & suck the life out of the plant. Knock them off with a strong spray of water & use baby shampoo or mild dish detergent spray. The recommended dilution rate is 1 oz. Ivory Dishwashing Liquid to 1 gallon of water

Laura asks…

Ants! How to get rid of ants starting to come in our house?

The heat is really on outside and we have ants starting to come in our front and back door …. pepper? chili powder, orange peels?

admin answers:

It sounds like you are looking for an all natural repellent for ants. While many species of ants that are prone to entering homes are fairly difficult to eradicate, there are some useful tips for homeowners to consider:

Ants appear at inconvenient times, so when you need immediate (but only temporary) relief mix ½ part vinegar to ½ part water in a spray bottle and spritz wherever you see the ants. This all-natural repellent material will deter ants, but only for short periods of time.

Ants will take any opportunity to find a way into your home once they’ve located a food or water source. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for pest “bridges” on the exterior of the home by maintaining bushes, ivy, and other foliage areas that may grow to touch the siding, brick, or other façade.

Maintain a “mulch-free” area around the perimeter of the home that it is at least 12” wide and comprised of rock or gravel.

Keep gutters and all downspouts clear of leaves and other debris that will retain moisture and attract ants.

Do not store garbage or recycling bins against the side of the home or inside garage areas as the residue will attract ants and other pests like fruit flies.

In pet households, do clean pet food bowls frequently and clean up any spills with soap and water.

In the garden plant perennials such as bee balm, catmint, rosemary and other “strong-smelling” herbs thought to deter ants and other pests.

If you feed hummingbirds, remember sugar-syrup spills will attract loads of ants and other insect pests. Maintain feeders away from the home.

When all else fails, ant species like the Odorous house ant, generally requires professional assistance because their exterior colonies can grow to some 40,000 plus individuals. Good pest control companies know what to look for and how to manage these populations around the perimeter of a home.

Good luck!

Ruth asks…

What is an organic way to get rid of Leaf Miners?

I have a very small patio veggie garden, and it appears that i have leaf miners infecting my tomato plant and my bell pepper plants, what is an organic solution to this and where can i get it?! thanks!!

admin answers:

Good evening Clcody87,

I hope you had a nice day.

You must understand that Leafminer is a generic term for many/wide variety of insects whose larvae tunnel inside plant leaves. In California and Florida, the most common is the citrus leafminer. I have had to fight leafminers many times. Most of the time they will not kill the plant but they do a lot of damage especially with the plant’s crop yield and appearance. The website below is from the University of Florida which explains the difference species.


I have had to fight leafminers many times. I have developed many organic ways to fight them. I believe most diseases and insect invasions are caused by lack of nutrients, improper soil pH levels, and a lack of maintenance. A plant is the same as a human. When they become weak or lack a vitamin (nutrient), they get sick.

First solution: Hit your tomato and pepper plants with “SPINOSAD” also called “Spinosyn A and B”. It is an organic/natural insecticide. Adult leafminers emerge from the leaves when your plants are young. The female leafminers immediately begin laying eggs in the new growth. Spinosad must be eaten. Prune off old growth and destroy. Spray bottoms and tops of leaves. Spinosad will kill Leafminers in one (1) or two (2) days. IMPORTANT: Although “Spinosad” is organic, it is deadly to bees. If you have bees in the area, do not use.

Second Solution: Because you have a small garden, I would mix one third (1/3) cup Murphy Oil Soap to one (1) gallon of water. Again spray leaves on tops and especially the bottoms. Spray twice. This mixture is not as toxic but it works. I used it for many years on tomatoes and citrus trees before using spinosad.


TIP 1: Your invasion of leafminers could have started with a bad winter. I believe plants and trees stay healthy under the right conditions. Again, plants are just like humans. If they get weak, they get sick.

Therefore check your soil’s pH level. You can fertilize, water, and sing to your plants, but they cannot access nutrients from the soil when your soil’s pH level is not right for that plant/tree. Your tomatoes and peppers should stay around pH level 6.5.

You may wish to invest in a pH Soil Testing Meter. The meters are very easy to use. You can use the meter for other plants/trees. The meter will last you for years. A good one will cost under $20. I have included my favorite website which explains soil pH, and why it is important. Please read website below.


TIP 2: Clean out ALL debris from under and around your plants. This debris can harbor viruses and fungi which can harm your plants roots and stems. Your plant’s leaves may look healthy, but the roots are weak. Prune away the bottom leaves making sure NO leaves tough the soil.

Tip 3: Plant a few cloves of garlic near your plants. Garlic is a wonder plant which has been used for centuries. Garlic will help fight off many insects and diseases. I plant garlic around every fruit tree, especially peaches. You can also use for cooking (smile).


I am an organic backyard gardener. I have nine (9) rare fruit trees, a 20×20 vegetable garden, and a front and backyard with hundreds of shrubs and flowers. I research all my trees and plants before I plant them. Right now I am researching and trying to get approval to plant a “Peanut Butter Tree”.


I wish you and your family a beautiful week. Peace, from Los Angeles.

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