Easily Remove Larvae Eggs From Your Plants With This Tape Hack

Small pests can lead to big problems for your plants. Sometimes, you don't even see them until they've already done significant damage. Aphids, whiteflies, and other tiny insects can overtake a plant very quickly — one day, you're outside, enjoying your healthy garden, then, a few days later, you discover holes in the leaves or wilting plants. As the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," and that certainly holds true in a garden. Who would guess that a bit of tape and a little time with your plants could make pest prevention so easy?

There are many ways to prevent and deal with pests in a garden. Pesticides are always available, but if you are trying to keep your produce organic, that limits your options. Even if you do use organic pesticides, they are non-discriminate — they will kill both problematic and beneficial insects, including bees and other pollinators. This simple hack is one way to keep potentially harmful chemicals (and pests!) out of your garden.

How to try the pest control tape hack

To use tape to remove eggs, larvae, and adult pests, all you need is some sticky tape — as in, the kind you use to wrap Christmas presents, so be sure to check your junk drawer. While that's the kind of tape used by TikTok user @kia_urbangardener in this viral TikTok video, painter's tape should work just as well. Avoid anything made for heavy-duty tasks like duct tape or Gorilla tape, which will certainly remove the pests, but will likely take most of the leaf with it.

Wrap the tape around your hand, with the sticky side facing out. Get as close to the tips of your fingers as you can so you can access those tight spaces, like the spots near the stem where pests like to lay their eggs. Gently touch the top and bottom of the leaves with your tape-covered hand to pick up all the tiny eggs, larvae, and small pests. The best thing about this process is that you can use it as often as needed without using chemicals or waiting a certain number of days between pesticide application and harvest.

Other natural ways to manage pests

Before you break out the tape, you may be able to remove aphids and white flies with your garden hose. Use a hose-end sprayer on the "jet" setting — or a similar setting — and work your way from the top of the plant down to the ground, in order to knock off small pests and drown them. If you have a significant infestation, it may take a few tries, but this method of pest control is about as organic as it gets.

If you find yourself rummaging through your drawers, but you just can't find the right kind of tape, there are a few other options that will work. Do you know that lint roller that you use before you step out the door? It can also be used as a valuable garden tool to remove eggs, larvae, and pests. If you feel that you have tried everything, a thick layer of diatomaceous earth is an environmentally friendly pest control option.