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Easily control garden pests with these earth friendly tips
Unwanted insects in your garden are just that: unwanted. Unwanted insects
may eat and destroy your crops, something shared by any farmer or home
gardener. Organic gardening is a means of controlling unwanted insects
naturally, without the use of dangerous pesticides. There are many ways
to control garden unwanted insects naturally that are also cheap, easy
and good for the earth.
Protect your organic soil and beneficial insects
While pesticides may eliminate the pest, they most often cause
more harm than good. Unfortunately, many home and commercial gardeners
are unaware of alternatives to pesticides. That’s because s are
a big part of our culture. Reaching for a quick fix—albeit a dangerous
fix—is a deep seeded and detrimental habit.
Yet apart from damaging the soil and being a health hazard to people—including
our children—pesticides present a major problem. They eradicate
species indiscriminately, causing helpful garden co-habitants to disappear
along with the harmful ones.
An organic garden with beneficial insects
Indeed, the fact remains that not all insects are unwanted insects. Any
kindergartner can tell you that bees help flowers. He or she could also
tell you that a ladybug is good luck. But more than just
good luck, ladybugs are a highly helpful natural pesticide to have in
your garden, feeding on a myriad of insect unwanted insects including
aphids if you ever see little alligator like insects around your garden,
leave them be! These are the larval stage of ladybugs. Obviously, s are
not as intelligent as your average kindergartner—they kill bugs
on a wholesale level while upsetting ecosystems and ruining your plants
as well as your soil.
Are your garden pests resistant to pesticides?
Commercial farmers today have a strong reliance on pesticides. Large companies
sell pesticides to farmers who use them on their crops. Over the years
the unwanted insects become resistant to the pesticides and increasingly
larger amounts must be used. So it is that the farmer pays more and more
money and dumps more and more of them onto his/her crops-our food. The
result is a coated crop and a pesticide resistant bug, a crop that is
more susceptible to the insect pest.
Are you harming the local bird population?
Recent studies have been conducted concerning pesticides’ effect
on local bird populations. Birds eat the insects, which have ingested
the pesticides. Because the pesticide is an indiscriminate poison, the
bird is targeted as well. Furthermore, if the birds do not immediately
disappear, their eggshells become thinner and thinner and often break
when parent birds sit on the eggs. This is a huge problem with bald eagles
in North America. With no insects and no birds those predators which live
off of the birds disappear too, causing a huge disruption in the local
ecosystem which is never beneficial to growth of any kind.
Birds eat insects!
Encourage birds to come into your garden by placing a bird bath in the
garden and by planting plants that will attract birds such as sunflowers.
There are even perennial sunflowers that not only attract birds year round
but, can also be planted like a hedge and repel deer and other animals.
Natural pest control is rooted in a vigorous, balanced ecosystem. Years
of pesticide use may be so disruptive to a local ecosystem that the land
may become unusable after only a few years. They remain in the soil and
become more concentrated with each year of use, eventually rendering the
soil unable to produce vigorous plants.
The soil can heal
However, there is hope. Some products like methyl bromide can be amended
by simply adding organic matter to the infected soil. The result is addition
of the organic portion of this pesticide to the organic matter that you
already added and liberation of the bromide ion. At the very least, you
can add organic matter to a laden soil to simply dilute the concentration.
However, you can also look up the MSDS online for that to learn how to
Organic alternatives to pesticides
There are many natural, organic alternatives to pesticides that are more
long lasting, safe, vigorous and generally effective.
One of the simplest pest control devices is a barrier. By covering a
row of crop with a light netting (which allows the sunlight to come through)
flying unwanted insects are effectively kept away from the plants. These
are generally used for food crops. Cabbage can be protected from flea
beetles and green beans from Mexican Bean Beetles.
Another simple method of pest control for a small garden is handpicking.
Many slugs and Hornworms can be handpicked off of plants with great success.
Drop unwanted insects into a dish of soapy water to kill them. Certain
moths and bugs can be knocked out of trees with a stick; allow them to
fall onto a large piece of cloth so that they can be gathered and, later,
submerged in a soapy solution or incinerated.
Beneficial Insects Will Control the Bad Insects
Some insects like the Ladybug and the Green Lacewing
are called beneficial because they are the good guys who are on the hunt
for the bad guys that are feeding on your plants. Here is a list of beneficial
insects, with links to where they are offered by an Earth friendly distributor.
Green Lacewings Chrysoperla carnea
Green Lacewings are an all purpose beneficial insect that feed on insects
such as aphids and other insects that will come and feed on your plants.
Green Lacewings are perfect for a backyard garden, larger garden, or a
Easy way to get rid of slugs and aphids!
Certain varieties of plants are more resistant to insects. Some research
into the types of plants you grow and the unwanted insects common to your
area could prevent a lot of pest problems. Also, some plants themselves
are pesticides. For instance, planting tobacco around your vegetable garden
is an excellent way to discourage slugs and aphids!
How native plants can revive your garden
Buy local transplants to avoid bringing non-native unwanted insects into
your garden. Add mulch and other simple barriers around your crops, check
your garden regularly. Healthy plants are naturally more resistant to
predators; just like having a strong immune system. All of these methods
are natural and easy preventative measures to help you obtain a pest free
If your preventative measures did not work, there are many, natural and
organic plant sprays that can control unwanted insects. A mixture of Petroleum
oil and water sprayed onto a plant is a natural pesticide that has been
used effectively for hundreds of years. Many oils, shells and plant extracts
can also be used as safe, effective, natural pesticides.
Natural pest control is a safer and, ultimately, more effective means
of keeping a vigorous organic garden. With a little more knowledge it
becomes obvious that the use of non-organic pesticides is not only ineffective
but dangerous and irresponsible. By understanding your native habitat
ecosystem and working in partnership with establishing a balance of beneficial
insect predators such as ladybugs, praying mantis, and birds, as well
as planting species that naturally prohibit invasion by unwanted insects,
you too can have a vigorous garden by working in partnership with your