Controlling Pests Organically
Always remember you want a healthy garden with the many insects and creatures keeping each other in check without you rocking the boat too much. As with all things in nature, there is a balance. Gardening naturally/organically doesn’t upset that sensitive arrangement too much. Good soil produces good plants and keeps their carbohydrate, protein, chemical (including pest deterrents) and other nutrient ratio in balance. Poor soil under nourishes plants which hampers their production. Among other things, they produce more carbohydrates which insects thrive on. So keep your soil healthy and pests will not flock to feed on them. Below I have provided lots of information that will help you control –naturally/organically those pesky little pests in your garden-so you might want to just print this page and keep it in a safe place.
Essential information about controlling garden pests organically
Here is a summary of exactly what organic garden pest control mixtures consists of and how they work:
- Gases and odor molecules: Many plants give off natural odors or have oils which some bugs find unpleasant. Often these odors or oils are a warning to bugs that the plant contains its own built in insecticide. Sprays or fertilizers made from these plants will deter pests.
- Heat or fumes: Chilies, kerosene, methylated spirits, salt etc, will burn, harm or kill pests.
- Smell: Garlic, tobacco, rhubarb, fish and other strong smelling substances are great to repel pests.
- Soap: Natural vegetable based soaps or detergents added to sprays in small amounts help them stick to plants. Many insects dislike and are harmed by soap also.
- Oil: Mineral oil, vegetable oils and proprietary oils, such as those made with cottonseed oil, will suffocate soft-bodied pests.
A few simple rules to remember
Never use spray on plants during hot sunny weather as it may cause the leaves to burn. Natural soap is tolerated by plants better than detergent (which may have other ingredients such as enzymes and softeners added). A small dash of detergent is okay to give a spray some ‘stickiness’. Beneficial bugs, birds and critters, including kids, pets and you too can suffer toxic effects of organic potions and lotions. From bees to butterflies, ladybirds to long-tailed lizards, they all have the potential to get caught in the crossfire. Don’t let that happen! Hand picking beetles and caterpillars off of your veggies is the first choice as long as you’re vigilant and have a small area.
- If you can’t re-locate them and they must be killed, squash them, or drop into a bucket of soapy water, or suck them up with a vacuum cleaner or dust buster.
Play fair. . . are these pests really out of control? Remember THEY think it’s THEIR garden, leave THEM alone if no harm is being done. Decide what you need to do and do no more.
Grow more of your successful veggies and buy others, or better still, swap for ones that others grow better than you
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