Consider Organic Pest Control


Tim MacWelch, owner and head instructor at Earth Connection, is concerned that gardens get treated with organic products. These products produce better vegetables and plants, and are better for the environment. Everyone has pests in their garden and wants to control them; with organic pest control, you know that you’re using something that’s safe and natural.

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Remember that prevention is the best option. You want to maintain soil health for strong plants, and practice companion planting that can help; for example, plant garlic next to roses to keep the aphids away.

Natural organic pest control is actually less expensive than buying and applying pesticides. And it’s better for your family, your produce, your pets, and the environment. There are a number of different approaches that you can use. Experiment with them all and figure out which ones work best for you.

Slug control

For slugs, use iron phosphate pellets. Just put them into the soil. Slugs are attracted to the mineral combination and eat it; it’s lethal to them.

Many gardeners have found that the best control for slugs is to provide a predator or two. If you keep chickens, allowing them to range freely about your garden will reduce your slug population significantly. The best predators by far are ducks: if you can keep a couple of them for slug control, you’re in good shape.

image2Diatoms

Diatomaceous Earth is an insect control powder that you only need to spread around in your garden and among your vegetables. It’s pretty much effective on just about any and every bug out there.

Insect killing soap

You want to look for packages marked OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute). If the institute marks a product as an approved method for organic agriculture, then you’re all set; you don’t have to do any further research. Their seal of approval is enough. This particular product also has seaweed abstract. What you want to do is spray the soap directly on the plants. It won’t hurt your vegetables, but it will get rid of bugs.

image3Bug killing sprays

Here you want a pyrethrum and oil spray. It’s made from chrysanthemum flowers; they extract the oil and it’s that oil that kills the bugs. You can put it in individual sprayers or if you have a lot of ground to cover you can fill the bigger vats that you can strap onto your back.

Kill them all?

There’s one important thing to remember in regards to controlling pests in the yard and garden: total annihilation is not the answer!

A healthy ecosystem (as well as a healthy yard and garden) has to have some insects, whether you like it or not. These insects play a crucial role in the biological system and should not be totally eradicated. Control is fine; eradication is not.

The reality is that insects feed birds, lizards and other wildlife. Insects assist in pollination efforts. Insects help break soil nutrients down into compost. And in fact, insects become soil nutrients/compost themselves when they die.