Tips To Control Garden Pests Naturally
Planting vegetables and fruits in your own personal garden is becoming more and more popular these days especially with many households choosing to eat organic. By having your own organic garden you are able to see exactly what is going into your fruits and vegetables. This means no pesticides or herbicides and that you only use natural sources to fertilize your crops. One of the big complaints that are often voiced regarding organic gardening has to do with pest control. With that said this article will be speaking directly about insect pests that can adversely affect your fruits, vegetables and a lot more.
When it comes to organic pest control it is preferable to take a proactive approach rather than a reactive one. Before putting vegetables into the ground it is good practice to place some plants that naturally repel those harmful insects. For example marigolds are good at repelling aphids, nematodes and several other types of pests. Thyme has been known to ward off whiteflies, cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, whiteflies, tomato hornworms and small whites. Fennel helps repel aphids, slugs, and snails. Chives are not only good to eat but they are known to keep Japanese beetles and carrot flies away from your garden. The beneficial plants mentioned are just a few of the many plants that can help you keeping your garden pest free. After these plants are in the ground go ahead and put your vegetables in the garden.
There are several types of insects that will prey upon the vegetable and fruits in your garden. The types and amounts of insects you get in your garden will largely depend on what geographic area you live in. Some insects will be more of an issue for people living in warmer climates where others will be more prevalent in the cooler environs. To name some of the most common garden pests we have ants, aphids, green vegetable bugs, worms and caterpillars, mealy bugs, spider mites, slugs and snails, squash bugs, stink bugs, thrips, and whitefly. The pests listed are just some of the annoying creatures that can destroy your garden if they are not kept in check. With organic gardening the main goal is to do your best to eliminate ants, bugs, etc pests to insure the highest possible crop yield. The next couple of paragraphs will outline some natural methods to controlling some of the garden pests listed above.
Unfortunately there are times when these pests just ignore the beneficial plants and will still end up attacking your precious vegetables. When this occurs it is time to take the reactive approach and hit them hard with some natural remedies. For the purpose of brevity let me share a few of my favorite DIY organic insecticides that you can create at home.
For example if you are having an issue with ants you can mix 10 drops of citrus oil with one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 cup of warm water. Shake well and spray over the effected area. This method worked for me last year to eradicate some pine needle worms that were attacking my conifers. The point here is that this concoction can be used to repel many different types of pests. Another mixture that is sure to upset those insects is to mix garlic, cayenne pepper and mineral oil. When making this mixture you take around 12 cloves of garlic and put them in a blender or food processor. Use a cheesecloth or strainer to remove any solid chunks of garlic that remain. Add the pureed garlic to a spray container with 4 tablespoons of mineral oil, and 1 or 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper. Shake properly and lit sit overnight. Also make sure to shake the container again before using. Its best to spray this mixture on your plants in the evening after the strong sun is gone. Word of advice when working with cayenne pepper or any strong pepper is to use gloves and keep the spray away from your face, especially your eyes. This mixture should work on a variety of insect pests that may be attacking your vegetables. If you find that none of these mixtures are fighting off those pests then you may want to search for remedies related to the specific pest you are battling.
If you are not 100% sure about the identity of the insect or pest that is eating your vegetables you can check out the pest control library online provided and run by the National Gardening Association. They have some great pictures to help you identify most nuisance insects. If you find yourself still stumped you can always send a photo of the bug or the actual bug itself to Cornell University’s Insect Diagnostic Lab. They will surely be able to identify that annoying garden pest so you will be best prepared to defend your garden.