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Organic Pest Control in the Garden

Category Pest Control
Using organic pest control methods is a great alternative to the use of harmful pesticides. This is a guide about organic pest control in the garden.
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Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

July 15, 2010

Do you have cockroaches lurking around your home? This works like a charm - Diatomaceous Earth. It sounds like a big name, but it is simply a total natural sea fossil ground to like talc powder. Spread it around your entryways and you will find the rascals belly up and totally dessicated.

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By pamelaw from Sun Lakes, AZ

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By 6 found this helpful
February 28, 2012

I hate any kind of bugs or spiders, even ants. If you can see them, it's so much easier to control. I was looking into smaller units that send out radio frequency that you just plug into outlets. I have known about these since the early 90's. They work really well with rodents and roaches.
In my garage which is not attached to the unit, there isn't an outlet near where the mice would be. With weather changing this year, I was very afraid to even open the cabinet doors! Not only am I terrified of them, they are so dirty leaving behind many germs.

The solution I found was so easy, cheap and works. Cajun pepper sprinkled around doors and next to the wall gets rid of any problem without poison or finding a dead mouse in those traps. The man who told me about this has it sprayed all over his attic. He re-does it one time a year. I'm amazed at ideas I would never have thought of.

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They don't eat it and die where you put the pepper, it appears they can't stand being around it at all. Make sure you have things covered that could be ruined from the Cajun pepper. If it's where there is no chance of getting wet, it isn't different than a layer of dust. It can be sprayed over large area or put against walls, doors and openings straight from package.

Source: Organic pest control company employee in San Diego area.

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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By 6 found this helpful
August 16, 2011

Keep several bottles of bubbles on bricks around the parameters of your garden if you have lots of bug problems. Let the kids play with the bubbles around the garden, not really blowing them directly on the plants but above them. When the soap mixture falls indirectly on the plant, it will act as an insect deterrent.

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By Robyn F. from TN

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By 1 found this helpful
August 10, 2006

Most gardeners encounter pest problems at some point during the growing season. Organic gardeners "control" (within tolerable levels) these insect pests without the use of synthetic chemicals. Successful insect pest control, however, begins long before you spot the first leaf holes and slime trails. It starts with a good garden environment.

Build Healthy Soil

Healthy soil produces plants less susceptible to damage and disease. To provide good growing conditions, enrich your soil with organic compost and maintain the proper balance of nutrients necessary for optimal growth.

Start With Healthy Plants

Study catalogs and books to learn which cultivars are best adapted to your climate and growing conditions. Acquire your plants and seeds from a local, reputable source. The healthiest plants and seeds sometimes cost more initially, but the bargain plants become costly if they're unhealthy or harbor pests.

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Water Wisely

Most plants suited to your region will come with a baseline tolerance for drought. Excess watering accelerates damage from insects and disease by providing pathogens with a vehicle to spread easily throughout your garden. A good rule of thumb for vegetables and flowers is one inch of water per week and a half inch for trees and shrubs.

Play Musical Crops

Keep good records and rotate your crops each year. Crop rotation helps maintain proper nutrient balance and avoids buildup of soil-dwelling pests and pathogens. Good notes also help you record what does and doesn't work in your garden.

Practice Interplanting

Planting large rows of similar plants (monoculture) is laying out a free buffet for insect pests. Plant groupings of similar plants in several different areas around the garden and leave ample room between rows to make host hopping more difficult.

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Know Your Enemy

Learn about the types of insects your plants are susceptible to, their life cycle and the chemical-free options to control them. Most insects are beneficial to your garden-even critical to its success. You need to be able to identify the "good bugs" from the "bad bugs."

Encourage Backyard Biodiversity

Birds, bats, toads, snakes, lizards and predatory insects are your best allies to pest control. Make your garden environment attractive to them with diverse plantings and by providing the food, water and shelter they need to take up residency.

Plant Companions

Certain vegetables, herbs and flowers help each other repel pests. Plant corn near melons and squash to suppress melon flies. Mustard plants near cabbage help repel cabbageworms. Onions, garlic and strong smelling herbs like peppermint and spearmint curb insects as well.

Hand Picking

If your garden is small, consider removing pests by hand. Removing only a small amount of the offenders often keeps pests below damaging levels. Dispose of them in the garbage or put them in a jar with water and let them decompose. If similar pests reappear, set out the jar near the invaded plant and repel them with their own waste.

Easy Homemade Sprays

A spray bottle filled with Ivory dish soap (3-4 Tbsp per gal.) is safe for the environment and one of the most effective tools of pest control. Sprayed directly onto insects, it dislodges the pests and then smothers them. Make sure to rinse the plants off after a few hours to avoid burning the leaves. A strong spray of water from the garden hose works well, too.

Traps and Barricades

Snails and slugs (and some worms) dislike crossing anything with sharp edges. Create a ring barrier around plants with cat-food or tuna cans (opened at both ends), crushed eggshells, sand paper, thumbtacks or other sharp objects. Using wood ash or lime may alter the pH and nutrient balance of the soil. Other simple traps include inverted boards, seedling pots tipped on their sides (with drainage holes for entry) or shallow saucers filled with stale beer.

Commercially Supplied Predators

Certain insect predators, parasitic organisms and insect microbials (they make pests sick) can be obtained commercially. These vary in degrees of effectiveness and are often used with mixed results. Unnaturally tipping the predator balance in your favor can throw off the natural order of things and cause worse headaches in the future. Use care when introducing these immigrants into your garden ecosystem.

Above all, be patient and don't give up. Controlling pests without chemicals is an exercise in balance and one of the many joys of learning to gardening organically.

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May 30, 20171 found this helpful

Marigold flowers have many effective natural pesticides that can be beneficial around your garden. This is a guide about using marigolds to control bugs on your tomato plants.

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Susan Sanders-Kinzel1 found this helpful
April 22, 2005

Instant solutions to pest problems can be harmful to the environment, pets, wild birds, fish (when the run off goes downstream) and beneficial insects (ladybugs, honey bees).

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April 14, 20051 found this helpful

Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of Dr. Bronner's liquid peppermint castile soap in 1 quart of water. Fill a spray bottle and use on your outdoor plants. Will not harm plants. Dr. Bronner's liquid peppermint castile soap can be purchased in health food stores.

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August 31, 20170 found this helpful

If you don't want birds in your garden, especially if you have fruit trees, CDs can provide a bright flash that many birds avoid. Using CDs to keep birds out of your garden is a common and effective practice.

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May 23, 20170 found this helpful

You don't have to use dangerous chemicals to control pests. There are many organic options to use as pesticides in your garden. This is a guide about organic pesticide information.

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May 22, 20170 found this helpful

When used incorrectly, even solutions made from common household ingredients can damage beneficial organisms and the environment. This is a guide about the right way to spray insecticides and fungicides.

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May 22, 20170 found this helpful

Our gardens are attractive not only to us, but typically to a variety of wildlife as well. To encourage your guests to not make a smorgasbord of your flowers, shrubs, trees, and vegetables try some of the eco-friendly suggestions on this page. This is a guide about eco-friendly critter control.

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February 8, 20060 found this helpful

Sprinkle flour over plants and flowers to keep bugs off and rabbits away.

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December 20, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about using tobacco juice to control garden pests. Tobacco leaves or cut tobacco can be mixed with water and sprayed on veggies to control some garden pests.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 3, 2008

I would like to know how to get rid of stink bugs and these red and black bugs on my tomato plants without using a lot of chemicals

Hardiness Zone: 8b


Karen from Pensacola, FL

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
June 3, 20080 found this helpful

You might want to try an insecticidal soap (usually approved for organic gardening) available and some major home improvement stores or local co-ops. Also, you can mix 1 part ivory dish soap with 3 parts water and spray directly onto the plant. I've heard this one from several gardener friends who swear by it for a quick-fix for bugs and a safer fix than heavier insecticides.

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June 3, 20080 found this helpful

I agree an insecticidal soap is the only way to get rid of stink bugs but you have to spray it directly on the bug and keep spraying every time you see them. If you make your own soap solution make sure you are using soap and not detergent, detergents can damage or kill your plants.

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June 5, 20080 found this helpful

The only red and black bugs that I get on my tomato plants are both mature and immature lady bugs, neither of which you want to kill. Please identify the immature ladybug before you kill them, since they look really different from the mature ladybug.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 5, 20080 found this helpful

I am sure these are not lady bugs. They look like a immature version of the larger stink bugs only they are red and black.

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June 11, 20080 found this helpful

Could be that your "bugs" are Harlequin Bugs....another <I>true bug</I> belonging to the same order as the stink bugs...Hemiptera? These suck sap from plant leaves like aphids or white fly leaving white and yellow blotches. If problem is severe enough plants can wilt and die.
Do they look like this?

http://creature  arlequin_bug.htm

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 6, 20090 found this helpful

We have had stink bugs in our home for about 4 months and I cannot get rid of them in our house, curtains, carpets, etc, etc. It is winter here in the east, but they are still around.

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

Just thought I'd post a pix of the ladybug nymph because they look so different from the adults.

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July 11, 2007

For the second year we are having a problem with blister beetles on our tomato plants. Last year they were pretty much confined to the tomatoes and we treated with pesticides. This year they seem to have spread. I just saw them on plants on the other side of the house. They are eating the leaves, leaving the veins. I forgot to plant marigolds, and now I wish I had. I would like to treat the beetles organically this year if possible. What are some good, fairly inexpensive, organic, nontoxic pesticides I can use?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Camilla North from Atchison, KS

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
July 26, 20080 found this helpful

Here is a site I found. I'm fighting off a Japanese Beetle infestation right now so I am sypmathetic with your plight. Good Luck! Next year I'm planting cat nip & an herb garden along the outside of my veggie garden. The beetles are getting everything! Cukes, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Strawberry. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do this year if the suggested organic deterrents don't work, but I'm going to give it a try!
http://organicg  den_pest_control

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July 12, 20120 found this helpful

Is there any natural remedy I can use to get rid of these bug?

By Terry from Harrison county

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