This garden idea may appear unconventional, but it is an effective way to maintain your exteriors this springtime (and beyond) – and it has it’s approved by those in the know. This is how to use orange peel to deter pests, for good. 

Why do orange peels deter pests? 

According to chef (opens in new tab) and garden expert Laura Ritterman, pests are repelled by the smell of citrus that lives on your leftover peel. However, its benefits don’t end there.  ‘Orange peels are great for your garden, as they can help to add nutrients to your soil – aiding in the growth and maintenance of your plants,’ Laura explains. This kitchen garden idea will deter pests and improve your soil’s health at the same time – but where should you begin? 

How to use orange peel to deter pests  

Expert Kevin Rodrigues from Gardening Mentor (opens in new tab) suggests there are two key ways to bring orange peel into your garden: using a spray or placing chopped-up orange peels near your plants.  

1. Use orange peel spray on your plants

‘Spray this every 3-4 days to get rid of pests like slugs, aphids, ants, whiteflies, and fruit flies – and to keep them away,’ Kevin says. This option also works equally well indoors, so you can protect your best indoor trees around your home too. 

2. Use chopped up orange peels near your plants 

Alternatively, you can chop up (or grind) your orange peels into small pieces. ‘Spread these pieces or scrapes near the base of the plants. The pungent smell of orange peels can help deter some pests and rodents away from the plants,’ Kevin explains.  However, Kevin urges you to ask fast and ensure you cut when the pieces are still fresh. ‘You need to replace them once they have dried out,’ the expert adds.  Gardener Josh Tesolin of RusticWise (opens in new tab) also urges you to ensure you’re placing only the peels and not the orange flesh, as this could have the reverse effect. ‘The sugars and juices from orange flesh may actually attract some backyard insects,’ Josh warns.  It’s time to think twice before throwing away your orange peel, but remember, with this tip, the timing is key.