Using pesticides on your garden kills beneficial soil microbes and creates an unhealthy environment. Human contact to pesticides has been linked to fertility issues, childhood cancer, and Alzheimer’s as even “safe usage” still puts the chemicals into your bloodstream. Pesticides cause a lot of damage to you and to your garden; that is why you need to know how to use organic garden pest control.
Using natural and organic pest control is less expensive and much more beneficial to your garden. It is safer for you, your family, your garden, natural wildlife and the environment.
The best way to prevent pest damage to your garden is to start with preventing the damaging insects from getting into it.
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Organic Pest Prevention
Discourage those pests that will come into your garden and cause damage to your crops.
- Inspect your crops and pull out any that appear weak. If they are not already infected, they will be targets for predators. Pull them out and dispose of at a distance away from your garden.
- If you’ve found a plant infested with pests, clean off any tools you’ve used to remove the plant from your garden. This will prevent the pests from traveling to another part of the garden on your tool.
- Water your garden in the morning so that it will be dry for most of the day. When your garden is wet it encourages insects and fungal growth. There is a drip irrigation that works well in watering the roots of the plants while keeping the foliage dry. This makes the plants less inviting to a lot of pest.
- Do not let debris or weeds collect in the area of your garden. These are breeding places for insects.
- There are several types of smells that you can apply to your garden to keep pests away. They do not like the smell of garlic, rhubarb and substances that have a strong odor.
- There are also many plants that give off natural scents to scare them away; basil, lavender, lemongrass, mint and rosemary.
Beneficial Insects for Natural Pest Control
A lot of gardeners get so focused on getting rid of pests in their garden they forget there are some that are actually beneficial to their plants. Some of those are:
Ichneumon Wasps, Chalcids, and Brachonids
These insects will eat the leaf destroying caterpillars. You can actually attract them to your garden with carrots, parsley, caraway, and celery. These are easy plants to grow. When you harvest them, leave some in the garden to reach their flowering stage as it is the flower that will attract these beneficial insects.
These are great consumers of the aphids and other pests. They like flowers such as; black-eyed susan’s, and asters.
These are another great insect to help reduce your aphids. They too are attracted to flowers like goldenrod, black eyed susan’s and asters.
This common bug consumes aphids, mites, whiteflies and scale. The ladybug will be attracted to your garden with daisies.
Nematode eggs are so tiny you’d need a microscope to see them. They are available in some garden centers or through the mail and come a million at a time on a sponge. You mix them with water and apply to soil. If some land on the leaves, wash them off. They will hatch and go to work against cutworms, beetles and root weevil larvae.
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Homemade Remedies to Conrol Pests Organically
It is less expensive to make homemade remedies for controlling pests in your garden. Many have had successful garden control using sprays made from non-toxic ingredients normally found in your home every day.
DIY Remedies to Get Rid of Soft-Bodied Insects
Soft bodied insects are your; mites, aphids, and mealybugs. Take a tablespoon of canola oil and few drops of ivory soap and mix together in a quart of water. Shake well to mix and pour into a sprayer. Apply to plants from the top working down, making sure to get the underside of the leaves.
Insects and Fungal Disease
Take a tablespoon of cooking oil, add two tablespoons of baking soda a just a few drops of Ivory soap. Mix together and pour into sprayer. Apply to plants from the top working down, making sure to get under the leaves.
Grub Control Home Remedies
You can use a natural remedy for getting rid of slugs called, “milky spore“. It is sold as a granule and can be sprinkled on your lawn or garden to kill grubs. This will only affect the grub and not harm any beneficial organisms. The product will sit inactive waiting for grubs. It is said just one treatment will last up to 40 years.
Powdery Mildew Home Remedies
Mix together equal parts of milk and water to cover your infected plants. Spray directly onto plants covering them from top to bottom and under the leaves. Applying three treatments a week should keep the disease controlled.
DIY Remedies for Mites and other Insects
Take two tablespoons of hot pepper sauce with just a few drops of Ivory soap and mix with a quart of water. Let the mixture sit overnight, and then pour into a sprayer. Apply to plants as directed in above treatments. Give the mixture a few shakes to keep mixed while applying.
Earwigs, Slugs, and other Soft-Bodied Insect Home Remedies
There is a non-chemical product called diatomaceous earth or DE, that you can purchase in Home and Garden stores and over the internet to sprinkle around the edges of your garden. This is made of tiny particles which are very sharp and will only harm small exoskeletons of insects, and slugs and snails. It is a mechanical killer, not a chemical one.
If you do not want to try and attract other insects or spend the time mixing up different concoctions; there is still another route you can try in organic pest control. There are various traps you can set or barriers you can put up to control pests.
Yellow Flypaper DIY Remedies
For controlling aphids and whiteflies the old-fashioned fly-paper can be hung out in your garden. If you don’t have any of that, you can also use any board or heavy paper coated with a sticky substance the flies cannot get out of once they land on it.
Barrier Paper – DIY
Take the waxed cardboard from milk cartons and cut into two-inch squares, slitting one side into the center. Make another slit crossway at the end of the center slit. Open the slit and place seedling in the center. The cabbage moth will then not be able to lay their eggs at the base of the plant. You can leave this protection on the plant; it will push it apart as it grows.
Row covers are made of lightweight opaque material that you drape over the garden. Water and sunlight can get through, but birds and insects are kept out. The plants will push it up as they grow.
The next time you go to look at your garden; don’t get discouraged if you see insects have been nibbling on your plants. These are a lot of solutions for you to choose from to control them while at the same time not endangering your family or the environment.