Getting rid of pests ORGANICALLY is the most challenging task. So, here are 10 sure-shot organic pest control approaches to make things easier.
Organic pest control is a term referred to the way of controlling pests in a bio-organic and natural manner; this means that you will remove any pests from your garden without using any chemical pesticides or commercial non-organic pest control products. The products you’re going to grow, the soil you are growing in & the plants that come to fruition are much healthier and stronger.
Here is a list of 10 most effective pest control solutions in an organic manner:
- Taking the help of poultry as Poultry predation
- Seeking the help of Beneficial Insects & birds
- Taking the help of Beneficial nematodes
- Applying crop rotation strategy
- Handpicking the pests during smaller infestation
- Use of Diatomaceous earth (earth that is made of tiny fossilized aquatic organisms remains called diatoms)
- Garlic-pepper spray (make out of garlic, oil, dish soap & water)
- Insecticidal soap spray (liquid soap like Castile plus water)
- Horticultural oil (a mixture of dishwashing detergent & vegetable oil)
- Proper garden sanitation (*prevention is always a better solution)
Common Pests & solutions for Organic Pest Control:
There are hundreds of garden pests that need to be treated, but the most common ones are listed below:
Aphid: For a small infestation, use physical removal or cleaning with water pressure. Otherwise, use insecticidal soap, bug-eating birds like the bluebird, neem oil.
Armyworm: Use of beneficial insects like Trichogramma wasps, ladybugs, lacewing & beneficial birds, use of horticultural oils & neem oil.
Asparagus beetle: Handpicking & using soap water spray on them, applying Neem oil on plants, use of beneficial insects.
Blister beetle: Taking the help of beneficial insects like praying mantis, flicking them into soapy water (avoid handpicking, or you may get blisters on your hand).
Cabbage root maggot: Try insecticide to cover the soil around the base of your plant, use birds to kill cabbage root fly, and prevent them from laying eggs.
Cabbage worm: Covering plants with row covers to prevent butterflies from laying eggs. Handpick them if possible, or use yellow sticky traps. Also, take the help of predator wasps like Trichogramma wasps.
Carrot rust fly: First, you need to cover the seedbeds with row covers and avoid leaving any carrots in the ground over winter, use crop rotation strategy & plant them in raised beds.
Corn earworm: Lure the beneficial insects like Trichogramma Wasps, soldier beetles, green lacewings, or use insecticidal sprays, but be aware that these sprays may harm honeybees.
Also Read: How to Make a Bee-Friendly Garden
Cucumber beetle: Poultry predation like using chickens around the garden, use of neem products, handpicking.
Cutworm: Rigid collars, Bt (Bacillus thuringiens), diatomaceous earth from fossilized aquatic creatures.
Flea beetle: Insecticidal soap that works well on most plants, garlic-pepper spray, row covers.
Harlequin bug: Handpicking, good garden sanitation, neem oil.
Japanese beetle: Handpicking, covering plantation rows by row covers, milky spore disease.
Mexican bean beetle: Handpick the adults if possible, remove the eggs, bring beneficial insects to your garden, such as ladybugs, green lacewing, and minute pirate bugs.
Slugs & Snails: Handpicking, Use of poultry & Birds.
Squash bug: Handpicking, good garden sanitation, neem.
Squash vine: Growing resistant varieties, crop rotation, beneficial nematodes.
Stink bug: Handpicking, good garden sanitation, neem.
Tarnished plant bug: Handpicking, good garden sanitation, neem.
Tomato hornworm: Bt (Bacillus thuringiens), handpicking, row covers.
Whitefly: Insecticidal soap, attracting beneficial, horticultural oils.
Beneficial Insects & how to attract them:
Predatory bees: can be attracted by many plants like bee balm, pineapple sage, dandelion & parsley.
Ladybugs: or ladybirds are very beneficial for eating aphids & mites & can be attracted by Chives, Angelica, Dill, Cosmos, Cilantro.
Minute pirate bug: They eat small bugs & eggs & can be attracted by Carvi, cosmos, Alfalfa & Spearmint.
Assassin bug: They may look a little creepy, but they are beneficial insects and attack many other unwanted insects in your garden like termites, ants, aphids, bedbugs, or anything it can.
Damsel bug: They are from the family of mantis & eat almost any insects smaller than them & this is something not quite good when your garden is not infested but pests. They are attracted by goldenrod, fennel, spearmint.
Mealybug destroyer: They are a healthy, beneficial garden insect that eats aphids, mealybugs & soft scales and can be attracted by dill, angelica, sunflower & yarrow.
Soldier beetle: This insect is from firefly’s family, but with no light, they are predators and eat almost any eggs, larvae, caterpillars, spider mites & so on. They can be attracted by growing milkweed, goldenrod, marigold, and daisy varieties.
Birds that helps Organic Pest Control:
Besides being a predator having birds come to your garden is a real joy. Gardeners attract them by placing feeding boxes in between their garden & providing them with shelters & native plants for them to feed on.
Here is a list of beneficial birds for your garden:
- Purple martins
- Quail, pheasant, and turkey
- American goldfinch