Organic pest control is an important part of maintaining a healthy garden. Maintaining a thriving garden requires more than just planting seeds and providing water and sunlight. It also involves protecting your plants from the various pests that can wreak havoc on your hard work. In this blog post, we’ll provide tips and techniques for controlling pests in your garden without the use of harsh chemicals. Learn how to identify common pests, how to use natural remedies to keep them away, and how to create a healthy environment for your plants. Get the information you need to keep your garden free of pests and full of life!
Home-Made Organic Pest Control Recipes
Caution: These natural home pesticides are exactly like chemical pesticides. Organic bug spray for plants will kill any bug it comes in contact with, whether pest or beneficial bugs. It is always best to consider how much damage pests are really causing before trying insect-repellent recipes.
Recipe #1 – Garlic, dish soap, oil & water
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tbsp of dish soap (It must not contain bleach)
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 480 ml of water
Peel the garlic cloves and puree with oil and water. Leave it to sit overnight then strain the mixture. Now add the dish soap and mix thoroughly. Pour into a spray bottle and apply to affected plants.
Recipe #2 – oil, baking soda & water
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp Baking soda
- 1.9 litre of water
Combine all ingredients and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray on the affected plant. This spray works great to kill aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies, but it doesn’t harm beneficial insects. It can be applied to almost any flower or vegetable.
Recipe #3 – Chilli, water & dish soap
- 120 ml chopped chilli peppers
- 480 ml of water
- 2 tbsp of dish soap (It must not contain bleach)
Puree the chilli peppers and water, then let it sit overnight. Carefully strain, as this could cause skin irritation, and add dish soap. Pour into a spray bottle and spray onto affected plants.
Other Organic Pest Control Methods
Certain plants have natural repellent properties that can help deter pests. By interplanting these repellent plants with your susceptible crops, you can create a more pest-resistant garden. For example:
- Marigolds: These vibrant flowers repel nematodes, aphids, whiteflies, and other pests. Plant marigolds near susceptible crops or around the perimeter of your garden.
- Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums act as a trap crop, luring aphids away from other plants. By planting nasturtiums near susceptible crops, you can help protect them from aphid infestations.
- Mint: Mint plants have a strong aroma that repels a wide range of pests, including ants, aphids, and cabbage moths. Plant mint near vulnerable crops or create a border around your garden.
Encouraging beneficial insects to take up residence in your garden is a natural and effective method of pest control. Many beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies, feed on garden pests. Here are some ways to attract beneficial insects to your garden:
- Plant diverse-flowering plants: Beneficial insects are attracted to a variety of flowers that provide nectar and pollen. Plant a range of flowering plants, such as daisies, cosmos, and yarrow, to attract and support beneficial insects.
- Provide habitat and shelter: Create a welcoming environment for beneficial insects by incorporating features like a small water source, rock piles, or a diverse range of plants with different heights and textures.
- Avoid chemical pesticides: Chemical pesticides not only kill harmful pests but also harm beneficial insects. Minimising or eliminating the use of chemical pesticides allows beneficial insects to thrive and maintain a natural balance in your garden.
Using physical barriers and traps can help protect your plants from pests without the use of harmful chemicals. Here are a few examples:
- Row covers: Lightweight fabric covers can be placed over susceptible plants to prevent insects from reaching them. Ensure the covers are securely fastened to prevent pests from finding their way underneath.
- Copper barriers: Copper collars or tape can be wrapped around the base of plants to deter slugs and snails, as they are repelled by the electrical charge created when they come into contact with copper.
- Sticky traps: Yellow sticky traps can be hung near plants to capture flying insects like whiteflies and aphids. The bright yellow colour attracts them, and they get stuck to the sticky surface.
Controlling Specific Pests
It is crucial to familiarise yourself with common garden pests. By identifying these pests, you can implement targeted control measures and prevent damage to your plants. Here are some of the most common garden pests:
Slugs and snails
Plants with succulent leaves, such as hostas, seedlings and young plants are more susceptible to being eaten away but slugs and snails. The most obvious but tedious solution is hand-picking the snails and slugs off the plants. Slugs and snails hate the sunshine and hot dry weather, so the best time to find them is at nighttime with a torch.
If you do not wish to kill these pests, a good solution is to collect them and let them out far from your garden as they are likely to find their way back.
Copper tape around the rim of pots and copper collars placed around hostas both work well. Crushed eggshells and grit around a plant are also common suggestions.
Scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies, aphids, spider mites, and aphids can weaken plants, bleach the foliage, make it distorted, and cover it with sticky honeydew.
To prevent red spider mites, keep the atmosphere of a greenhouse moist. Use sticky plastic traps for whitefly. Dab scale insects and mealy bugs with s tiny paintbrush dipped in whiskey. For greenflies and blackflies, use your fingers to rub them off, or spray them with mild soapy water.
Bugs and beetles
Lily insects assault leaves and blossoms of lilies, earwigs eat dahlia blossoms, and grouped different creepy crawlies eat up a scope of plants, including rosemary, mint and viburnum.
It is difficult to remove these pests as they are tough-coated blighters and quick movers. Trap earwigs in vases that have been modified on sticks among dahlias and loaded down with straw.
Lily beetles can be nipped between the finger and thumb and their larvae squirted off with a powerful get from a hose.
Other beetles are more difficult to control, but growing plants that are well-fed and not allowed to go short of light and water can make all the difference to their ability to shrug off attacks. Keeping an eye out for attacks before they escalate is helpful.
Birds and mammals
Mice, squirrels, rabbits, deer, moles and pigeons can also become a nuisance. Plants are eaten from above or below ground and damage is often rapid and severe.
A crop can be destroyed overnight by these massive brutes. Mice can be humanely trapped, but the traps must be reset frequently. It is nearly impossible to control squirrels: If they dig up bulbs, use squirrel-proof bird feeders and wire netting just below soil level above the bulbs.
Rabbit-proof fencing is made of wire netting that is strewn vertically into the ground 45 centimetres below the ground level of garden fences. Deer-evidence fencing should be no less than 2.5m high. Moles can be deterred with powdered mothballs driven into their molehills, yet in the event that your nursery is close to farmland they’ll continuously return and a mole catcher or mole traps might be the main response.