Organic Garden Pest Control

Mother Nature’s Natural Pest Repellants.

Organic Garden Pest Control

Health and environmentally conscience gardeners simply refuse to use chemical pesticides.  The common chemical pesticides can pose a health risk to you, your family, and pets when stored incorrectly.  They can also kill beneficial insects that actually help your garden plants.  Unfortunately, chemical pesticides usually find their way into our rivers, lakes, and municipal water sources.

Many gardeners who use basic organic gardening methods like companion planting often find that these pest control needs are just not enough.  If they have to deal with a large number of insects and other pests that attack their gardens they usually need more.  So what should an organic gardener do?  There are many tried and true organic gardening products available on the market today.  They can easily handle most ordinary garden pests.

There is quite a selection of organic pest control products available in the marketplace.  You will find products designed to control individual insects like organic fire ant killer and organic Japanese beetle killer.  There are also plenty of products for a more wide range of pest control.

So, how do these products work?  Mother Nature provides us with numerous plants and trees whose extracts make highly effective pesticides.  For example, many organic pest control products use citrus fruit base like oranges and lemons.

The active ingredient found in citrus oils (d-Limonene) kills many crawling and flying insects on contact.  It destroys the waxy coating of the insect’s respiratory system.  The insect basically suffocates.

Other products use garlic as a base to repel insects.  Hot peppers and essential oils of herbs such as cloves work wonders to repel pests and insects.

Look into some of the natural insect repellants if basic gardening methods or companion planting if you have a heavy pest issue.

Managing Insect Pests without Using Dangerous Chemicals.

There are a wide variety of insects in our gardens and landscapes.  Most of them are beneficial and we could not live without them.  The other 5% are pests that range from a nuisance to dangerous.  This is especially true for people with allergies.  Even some of the beneficial insects like ants, honey bees, and pillbugs can become a problem if they invade our homes.

Sometimes we are our own enemy.  People landscape their property with woody ornamentals.  These three types attract aphids and mealybugs.  These bugs are known to suck sap from these tree types.  It is also a favourite food of many ant species.  Basically, some folks attract the bugs and then wonder why they have pests in their home.

At the first sign of insects, most people run out to a home improvement centre and purchase an insecticide.  These insecticides usually contain harsh chemicals that endanger family and pets.

Long before pesticides, farmers and gardeners grew certain plants next to other plants such as herbs next to vegetables.  Flowering plants next to vegetables attract birds and beneficial insects.  These birds and bugs will prey on pests.  Smart planting like this is known as companion planting.

Herbs and flowering plants repel pests through their smell or root secretions.  They usually have a strong scent.  Insects rely on their antennae to “smell” a plant.  The companion plant masks the scent.  Plus, their oils can be an irritant also.

Using organics for pest control are not always 100% effective.  However, that can be said of some of the toxic chemicals on the market as well.  Consider companion planting and common sense first.

Choosing Green Pest Control.

Do you have pests in your home or garden?  Are you hesitant to introduce harmful chemicals to your pets and family?  You should be because chemicals can negatively affect plants, humans, and wildlife.  If you are looking for organic pest control options this article will provide you with a few things you can do to keep your household green and pest free.

Some people think organic pest control is expensive.  It doesn’t have to be.  In fact, there are plenty of organic options you can do without going to the store or purchasing anything. 

Mechanical Pest Control

Mechanical pest control uses no chemicals.  Often times, the big factor when it comes to pests are the cleanliness of your home or garden.  Do you have food or pests hiding in dark, small spaces that you can get rid of?  Clean up any clutter in the yard or garden.  Make sure food is in airtight containers and always well sealed.  Look out for excess water in areas like the floorboards and around the dishwasher and sink.  Check out pipes for leaks and water drainage systems for back-ups.  Areas with excess water could lead to insect infiltration.  These simple ideas can keep buts out of the home without chemicals.

Keeping your soil healthy is also important.  It makes a less likely nesting place for unwanted bugs.  Mulch and rotate your soil, plant beneficial plants, and use compost.

Organic Pest Control

If you have severe pest infestation you may need something stronger.  Many companies sell organic pesticides to help you get rid of your bugs.  Organic pest control helps you remove insects and keeps you green.

Safe Pest Control in Your Garden.

Pests are a problem in many gardens.  They can ruin flower beds or crops of vegetables.  If you have to deal with pests you will want to use methods safe for humans and plants.  Here are some tips on gentler methods of getting rid of garden pests:

Physical Pest Control

This is a time-consuming method but very natural.  This method means picking off pests by hand, creating barriers and traps, and plugging up holes.  For example, uncovering dark damp places under rocks to get rid of snails.

Biological Pest Control

You can get rid of pests by inviting natural predators into your garden to eat them.  If you encourage predatory bugs like green lacewings or dragonflies into your garden they will eat aphids and other insects that attack your plants.  If you want to attract them to place a shallow bowl of water in the garden.  Dragonflies will hover around it.

Safe Pest Control Recipes

You can mix up low-cost pest control solutions that are safe from household items.  To get rid of mites and green aphids mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and 1 cup vegetable oil.  Next, dilute a teaspoon of this solution in a cup of water.  Then, spray this on the mites and aphids.

No matter what many people think, organic pest control methods can be a success and are much better for you and the environment.  However, sometimes you cannot get rid of pests organically.  Therefore, you must turn to chemicals as a last resort.  If you must use chemical sprays get the least toxic like horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps, and dehydrating dust.

Sometimes You Should Keep the Pests in the Garden

For the most part, you don’t want any pests in your garden.  However, there are some occasions that you don’t want to kill the pests either.  There are numerous insects that are beneficial to a garden in the long run.  For example, spiders usually help in eating dangerous and annoying pests.  This includes mosquitoes.  Most of the time insects like standard garden spiders are not harmful to pets and humans.

If you are dealing with this kind of situation, there are quite a few natural ways to repel the pests that can be used regularly to minimize the presence of specific insects in specific locations.  This usually fits quite well with the overall environmentally friendly concept of organic gardening.  This is also an opportunity to combine organic pest control with biological pest control.  Biological pest control allows predator species of insects to maintain the proper balance of the garden eco system.  Use the predator insects to get rid of the other annoying pests.

Combing organic and biological pest control makes the most sense in an outdoor and agricultural setting.  However, this may not be the best idea in a home.  The outside garden setting allows you to learn the concepts and knowledge that farmers have used for years.  There are many benefits to having multiple types of insects.  So, it makes sense to invest in products that repel harmful bugs rather than kill them.  You will avoid the bad side effects of chemical repellents and those that remain will have to deal with predatory insects.

Natural & Organic Pest Control Solutions for the Garden.

Check out these tips for controlling garden insects and plant disease.  Using the tips listed here you can better control your organic garden.

Integrated Pest Management– Integrated pest management (IPM) is great for controlling garden pests and diseases in your vegetable and plant gardens.  Controlling vegetable garden pests and problems using IPM blends the flow of the seasons with the garden’s growth.  The garden pests come and go.  So, when it comes to IPM, gardeners must keep the following in mind:

Horticultural Oil– This is one of the most effective and ecologically friendly ways to take care of garden insects and sometimes plant diseases. Most horticultural oils are a type of mineral oil.  Mineral oil is a refined petroleum product.  The oils get combined with different types of emulsifying agents so it can be mixed with water and used as a spray.  Oils usually get labeled as summer, dormant, all-season, and superior oil.

Acetic Acid (Vinegar) as a Herbicide– One of the most effective weed killers is household vinegar and other concentrations of acetic acid.  Using vinegar is a cost-effective and organic weed controller.  It is environmentally safe and manages unwanted weeds in the garden and the yard.

Using Worm Compost for Pest Control in the Vegetable Garden- New studies show that adding worm compost to a garden seriously cuts down on damage to the yield by sucking and chewing insects.  This includes caterpillars, aphids, and mealy bugs.  This is just another means of organic control to add to your vegetable garden arsenal.

Prevent Insect Damage in Your Natural Garden.

First and foremost, the easiest way to avoid insects damaging your garden is discouraging them from coming in the first place.  A healthy garden is the best defence against insects.  In this post, we’ll discuss how to maintain a healthy garden to prevent insect damage.

Pull out and dispose of weak plants.  Weaker plants may already be infected.  If they are not infected they will attract predators.  Remove the plant and get rid of it away from your garden.

Create healthy, organic soil.  Use natural composting methods like mulching and top-dressing soil with compost or natural fertilizer.  This is the best way to build up strong plants.

Use seaweed mulch or sprays.  Seaweed has elements like iron, zinc, barium, calcium, sulfur and magnesium.  All of these trace elements promote healthy plant development.  These seaweed fertilizers enhance growth and give plants the strength they need to withstand diseases.  Seaweed mulch is also known for repelling slugs.

Clear your garden area from weeds and debris.  Weeds and debris are breeding grounds for insects.  Make sure to use a clean mulch to minimize the insect habitat.

Rotate crops and interplant.  Most pests are plant-specific.  When the plant’s species get mixed, pests are less likely to spread through the crop.  Rotating crops is a solid common method to avoid pest re-infestation.

Keep the foliage dry.  Make sure to water early in the day so that the foliage is dry for most of the day.  Wet foliage is another great way to encourage insects and fungus to damage your plants.

Make sure to disinfect your tools before moving to other garden areas.  This is especially true if you have been working with infested or infected plants.

Garlic: Natural Garden Pesticide.

 Most people never think of using garlic for anything other than as a food seasoning.  However, it is also an awesome natural garden pesticide.  There are a multitude of uses like as a pesticide.  When garlic gets used as a natural and organic pesticide you don’t have to worry about putting toxins in your family and pets.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about harming the environment, either.  It is also easy and inexpensive to make.

 Some people think that using garlic is far-fetched and that vegetables will taste like garlic.  This is false on both accounts!

 Garlic is actually an Allium (a bulb-type plant that smells like an onion).  It is a solid organic garden pesticide and can be prepared a few different ways.  Here is the most common solution:

 Chop around 3 ounces of garlic and soak it in mineral oil for a day.  After that, add one teaspoon of fish emulsion.  FYI: fish emulsion is great for plants.  Mix this with 1 pint of water then add it to the garlic mix.  Stir it up and strain it.  Remix the liquid solution 1 part to 20 parts water.  Congratulations!  You have made your own natural garlic pesticide.

 Now that you have made the garlic pesticide, spray your plants at least once a week.  If your garden is infested with bugs make sure to spray more than once a week.  Garlic pesticide is great for ants, aphids, armyworms, caterpillars, Colorado beetle, diamondback moth, pulse beetle, whitefly, wireworm, false codling moth, imported cabbageworm, khapra beetle, mice, mites, moles, Mexican bean beetle, peach borers and termites as well as fungi and bacteria.

 A few words of caution: garlic is a broad natural insecticide.  It will kill beneficial insects also.  So, spray only affected areas.

Use Good Bugs for Organic Garden Pest Control.

So, you have taken the time to create your organic garden and put in the correct additives.  Now, you must consider organic pest control.  It is important for your garden.

If you are anything like us, you want to keep your organic garden free from nasty pests that damage plants like beetles and cutworms.  There are many natural solutions we can use to keep our plants free from pests and not worry about harmful toxic ingredients that seep into our crop of vegetables and plants but also destroy the environment as well.

One good idea that must be utilized is allowing good bugs into your organic garden.  Good bugs benefit your garden and help control the infestation of the bad bugs that destroy your hard work and garden.

The most common good bug for your garden is the ladybug.  The ladybug feeds on all kinds of pests like aphids, chinch bugs, whiteflies, and mites, as well as many other soft-bodied insects and their eggs.

Another strong predatory good bug is the Cryptolaemus Beetles.  These resemble the ladybug but are a darker colour.  When they are released into the garden they seek out pests and eat them.

Wasps and bees are also important to our organic gardens.  If you want to attract good bugs that eat bad bugs use plants to attract them!  Here is a list of plants that attract good bugs:

  • * Alyssum
  • * Butterfly weed
  • * Caraway
  • * Clover
  • * Coriander
  • * Dill
  • * Fennel
  • * Marigolds
  • * Nasturtiums
  • * Wild carrot
  • * Yarrow

However, you can also purchase “good bugs” to help keep your control pests in your garden.

Organic Pest Control for Organic Gardens

Organic gardens are chemical-free and loaded with a rich organism diversity.  If you happen to be new to organic gardening controlling nasty pests minus the chemicals can be daunting.  However, practising specific cultivation methods and utilizing beneficial organisms can control pest naturally.

Healthy Soil

Healthy soil promotes organism balance in the garden.  Compost use adds nutrients to the soil and encourages beneficial organisms that fight diseases.  Using mulch also maintains moisture and buffers soil from temperature changes this helps keep these organisms alive.  Crop rotating reduces pest buildup and improves soil health in vegetable gardens.

Cultural Methods

There are several cultural methods that help reduce pests in an organic garden.  First, one of the most important things you can do is select the correct kind of plants in your area.  These plants easily adapt to the climate and resist local pests and diseases.  One way to reduce the chances of disease from settling in is keeping foliage dry.  Use drip irrigation instead of overhead irrigation.  Keeping the garden clean is also very important.  Make sure to remove plant debris and diseased plants or branches.  This makes it tough for pests to create a home in the garden.

Physical Controls and Botanical Pesticides

If you happen to have pests in your landscape it is ok to use botanical pesticides.  Botanical pesticides are derived from the plant material and break down much quicker than synthetic chemicals.  However, some botanical pesticides are toxic.  So, these chemicals must be handled carefully.  It is also a good idea to protect your organic garden using insect traps.  Some examples of insect traps are yellow sticky paper and pheromone traps that release odours that attract and trap certain pesky critters.

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Charles Selvage
Hey, this is Charles Selvage Hollywood, CA. I have 5 years experience about gardening, planting, and others. If you have anything to know, please email me here.
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