Natural Pest Control For The Yard And Garden
There has been a real concern about the use of ‘harsh’ chemicals for the control of insects in the landscape and vegetable garden. So I have been wondering is there a real working Natural Pest Control available to us?
So what may we do for natural pest control in the garden? I have always been the proponent of a ‘kill them quickly’ commercial product, however, I have found out there are safer and cheaper ways to kill or repel those pesky insects using some old-time remedies for pest control.
We may start with some tips from the Middle Ages. Long before the days of Dow Chemical.
1. To keep bugs away from strawberries, try the plant borage
2. Plant a species called lovage next to or near tomatoes
3. Keep the hyssop plant close to grapes
4. Catnip branches can repel Japanese beetles
5. Something called Valerian brings worms up to the top of the earth and aerates the soil
6. Marigolds smell and usually, bugs are repelled by their odor
Natural Pest Control Definition
Natural pest control is a method of controlling pests without using those popular harsh chemicals. Instead, other natural ways such as insects, birds, animals, plants, or mechanical techniques are used.
Using biological control is a method of controlling pests such as insects, mites, weeds, and plant diseases using other organisms. Such as other insects or plants. Natural enemies of the unwanted insect pests, known as biological control agents, include predators, parasitoids, pathogens, and competitors.
Plants As Natural Pest Control
Let’s take a look at some of the plants available for natural pest control in the garden and landscape.
Marigolds The marigold is probably the most well-known plant for repelling insects. Marigolds will help in the scaring off of whiteflies and will kill bad nematodes, however, it might also attract spider mites and snails. Make sure to use the scented varieties.
Borage This plant is not well known, however, it’s a real effective repeller in the garden. It will repel tomato hornworms and cabbage worms and will also attract beneficial bees and wasps. Borage also adds trace elements to the soil. This is an annual but readily comes back each year from seed.
Lovage will also help in the fighting of harmful organisms to your tomato plants. Also as an added plus, it can help our own health. It has been used for pain and swelling (inflammation) of the lower urinary tract, for prevention of kidney stones, and to increase the flow of urine when urinary tract infections or fluid retention is present.
Hyssop Growing grapes? Consider planting some hyssop for natural pest control in your vineyard. And like lovage, it also has additional properties such as an antiseptic, cough reliever, and expectorant, it has also been used in traditional herbal medicine. Another plus? It attracts bees.
Catnip is a perennial herb that is a member of the mint family. It will repeal those pesky Japanese beetles in addition to making your cat feel good about him or her self.
Organic Control Using Bugs
Ladybugs or Ladybird Beetles are the most common bugs known as a deterrent to invasive pests such as aphids. However, to go out and purchase them is most likely too little too late.
If your aphids or other pests are already abundant, the ladybugs may stay around, but it will be too late for them to make a dent in the pest population. You should release the ladybugs when pests are at moderate levels.
And staying around is the point. I would only go through the time and expense if your garden is in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse or cold frame. The same goes for other beneficial bugs such as:
Let nature take its course here. Bugs will attract bugs. If the spiders are hungry for your unwelcomed garden pests, they will have a feast if they are in the area.
List Of Natural Organic Pesticides
Natural pest control organic pesticides are made by other organisms usually for their own defense or are derived from a natural source such as a mineral or plant. Plants produce many natural pesticides that they use for their own defense against insects and disease organisms.
Oil spray insecticide
Soap spray insecticide
Neem oil insecticide
Diatomaceous earth as a natural pesticide
Garlic insecticide spray
Chile pepper insecticide spray
Neem oil and diatomaceous earth are packaged ready to use and available here.
Homemade Garden Pest Control Recipies
Natural pest control can be produced with simple on-hand pantry items.
An easy and basic homemade insecticide that can be made from vegetable oil mixed with a little mild castile soap can have a controlling effect on certain popular insects, such as aphids, mites, and thrips.
To make a basic oil spray insecticide, mix 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of soap (cover and shake thoroughly), and then when ready to apply, add 2 teaspoons of the oil spray mix with 1 quart of water, shake thoroughly, and spray directly on the surfaces of the plants which are being affected by the little pests.
The oil coats the bodies of the insects, so the insects must be present to effectively kill them by suffocating, as it blocks the pores through which they breathe.
Another natural pest control is garlic It is well-known for its pungent aroma, which is delectable to some and yet repellent to others, and it is this strong scent that comes into play when used as a natural insecticide.
To make a basic garlic spray, take 2 whole bulbs (not just 2 cloves) and puree them in a blender or food processor with a small amount of water. quart of water. Let the mixture sit overnight, then strain it into a quart jar, adding 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of mild liquid soap, and enough water to fill the jar.
To use this homemade insecticide, use 1 cup of mixture with 1 quart of water and spray liberally on infested plants.
Natural Pest Control Pros And Cons
Benefits of using natural pest control
They are more friendly to the environment Using natural pesticides a way to stay organic and reduce your chemical footprint. Generally, pesticides created from natural means are much more friendly to the environment.
Natural pest control works better over the long run because pests are less likely to develop a tolerance to them. This means that over a long period of time, these pesticides will be more effective than one’s pests have developed a resistance to.
Natural pest control may be healthier for you, your pets, and your children. This is especially true if you are using pesticides in a food garden, like ones with vegetables and fruits that you intend to consume.
Natural pest control can be better for the quality of your soil which will result in better overall plant growth. It may also mean fewer chances of contamination. This is a big part of why natural pesticides are considered a solid step in the direction of going green.
Cons of natural pest control
Sorry to report this, however, nothing is ever completely perfect, especially when it comes to the use of pesticides. So, here are some of the cons of using natural pesticides.
Natural pesticides may be more costly than synthetic ones So unfortunately, many people who want to use only natural products may not be able to use them. This is part of why synthetic pesticides still remain popular.
Not all products will be effective. Some natural products may be much less effective than synthetic ones. This largely depends on the ingredients used in the pesticide.
Delay of effectiveness. When you use natural pesticides, it may also take much longer for them to work than with conventional synthetic products. And with the delay, you might see an increase in pests during this time.
These natural chemicals may not be as strong as their laboratory-grown counterparts, so this means that you may require more knowledge to properly use them. This is so you are able to make sure they are effective enough to work.
You should not assume that it is completely safe It is also important to note that just because a product is labeled as “natural”, you should not assume that it is completely safe for humans, pets, or the environment.
When using natural pesticides, you should take any of the same precautions that you do with synthetic ones. And as always, call your local poison control center if you accidentally consume or breathe in any natural chemicals.