Gardening is a fun activity for many people but along with fun comes dealing with pests. Controlling pests in a garden often includes applying chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and to your family. Luckily, anyone that wants to practice eco-friendly gardening has many options when it comes to natural, organic pesticides. Instead of contributing to issues such as surface water contamination that can result from the use of pesticides, take a look at some of the following natural pesticide options.
Homemade Pesticide Options
In addition to looking for natural, organic pesticides at your local gardening supply store, you can use items found around the house. Not only does using household items help you save money, you will know exactly what you are putting in your garden.
- A mix of canola oil, Ivory soap, and water can deter soft-bodied pests such as mites and aphids. Simply mix the ingredients together and thoroughly spray all plants.
- Milky spore is a substance that is natural and can kill grubs. The milky spore actually causes grubs to contract a disease that eventually kills them. It works well as it only affects the grubs and does not harm plants or beneficial organisms in the garden.
- Cayenne pepper or hot sauce mixed with water can take care of mites and other similar insects. Simply spray the mixture on plants, making sure the shake the bottle frequently so ingredients are well mixed.
- Baking soda mixed with water and applied to plants with a spray bottle can help control issues with fungal diseases on plants. This process however must be repeated every few days to be effective.
- Lime sulfur, which is available at most garden centers and nurseries is effective for getting rid of pests on fruit trees. Simply spray the trunk and branches of dormant trees to suffocate insect egg cases and keep them from hatching. It is important that this method is only used on a dormant tree, or you risk killing it. Another option is to mix vegetable oil with liquid soap and water, and spray the mixture on your fruit trees. This tends to be a less toxic method and is therefore preferred.
- For anyone dealing with pests such as rodents, a good remedy is to soak cotton balls in peppermint and place them around your garden. Rodents do not like peppermint and will stay away. Rain will dilute the peppermint oil so make sure to replace your cotton balls after it rains.
When using homemade remedies, it is important to keep in mind that many things that will kill harmful pests can also kill beneficial insects. These homemade pesticides should be used with caution as beneficial insects are necessary for your flowers and other garden plants to thrive.
Natural Pesticide Options That Can Be Purchased
If it is easier for you to go to the store and purchase pesticides, have no fear as there are many natural, organic options available. Some of the following are popular with gardeners who prefer to use natural pesticides.
- Floating row covers are made of porous, white polyester fabric. They act as an insect barrier while still letting in sunlight so that plants can thrive. This material is normally sold by the yard and can be placed in your garden over metal hoops. The covers can also simply be laid over your plants but should be secured with u-shaped pins. Floating row covers are best used as a temporary pest control method.
- Flypaper is a very cost effective, and environmentally friendly pest control option. Fly paper can be purchased for very little money and will help rid your garden of aphids.
- Pheromone traps are great for attracting pests. They work be secreting a scent that attracts the insects to the trap where they get stuck in a sticky substance. Because these traps actually attract insects, they should be placed on the perimeter of the garden as opposed to directly in the garden.
In order to effectively get rid of pests in your garden, you need to have knowledge of the pests that may cause you problems. Learning about common pests when you are deciding what flowers to plant will help you when it comes time to choose a pesticide option. It also helps to know what type of pests are prevalent in the area in which you live. To learn more about getting rid of nuisances in your garden with natural remedies, check out the resources listed below.