Thuja Pest Control

Today I tried something new in the garden for natural pest control.  I’m trying to use the resources that are readily available to me, so I thought to start with Thuja plicata, or Western Red Cedar. It produces a strong aroma when crushed and I heard that it might have qualities that repel insects.  I snipped a few new leaves from the trees in my yard, crushed them in the Cuisinart, simmered them on the stove in about four cups of water and then let the mixture sit for approximately four hours.  I then strained the leaves out and  poured the steeped water into a spray bottle with about 1/2 Tbsp of horticultural oil.  I used this spray on my roses, especially the areas that have been attacked by aphids.  I can’t wait to see what happens.  The oil might smother the insects and kill some that are living on the plant, but I’m hoping for more.  I would like to see the chemicals from the Thuja repel any new insects from establishing on the roses.  I sprayed mostly the new growth and the buds.  That’s where the aphids have been building up. This is just the first try, I plan on changing and adapting this recipe as I work with it and see the results.

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