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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 page about organic pest control in the garden.


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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.

By Pamela Rochelle Woodworth from Sun Lakes, AZ

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Controlling your garden pests is easy with natural pest control. Natural pest controls allow your plants to grow in natural harmony with nature. Even though the insect eats your plants they are a crucial part of the system. When finding insects in your garden, take time to watch what they are doing. Are the insects destroying your plants or just nibbling? Healthy plants can outgrow minor damage. Insects normally attack stressed out plants. Look around the area of the stressed out plants and determine if you have enough healthy ones to spare the sickly ones. Can you restore the sickly plants and bring them back to health so they can resist insect attacks? The best defense against insect attack is to take preventative measures. Follow these preventative measures to control the insects in your garden.

Preventative Measures:


Grow plants best suited to the area you live in and they'll be less stressed out. Do not let your plants become too wet, too dry, or receive too much shade. Plan your garden, so that insects associated with a particular plant won't infest an entire section of your garden. Healthy soil conditions produce healthy plants that are resistant to insects and disease.

Sprays and Powders:

Insecticidal soap is made from sodium or potassium salts and combined with fatty acids. When using the soap spray both sides of the leaves and all crevices. Soap sprays only kill insects that are sprayed directly. Repeat the application every five to seven days to control aphids and hatching whiteflies. Do not spray insecticidal soap around tomatoes and pea plants, the spray will damage the plants. Pay attention to spraying the soap on leafy greens, which tend to pick up a soapy taste.

Bacterial spray known as Bacillus thuringiensis is a stomach poison that releases toxins in the stomachs of insects. This causes the insect to stop eating and starve to death. The product is available in powder form that you dust on the plant. The dust must be eaten by the targeted insect.

Neem spray is made from the seed kernels of the neem tree fruit. Spray it on the plant leaves to upset the insect's hormonal system and prevent it from developing into its mature stage. Neem spray is most effective on immature insects and species that undergo complete metamorphosis.

Horticultural oil is made from refined petroleum oil and mixed with water. Mix in spray bottle and coat both sides of the leaves. The spray coats and suffocates the insects and disrupts their feeding.

Rotenone and Pyrethrum are made from the roots of tropical legumes. Both normally come in powder form that is dusted onto the plants. The powder inhibits the cellular process and deprives the insect of oxygen to their tissue cells.

Animals and Bugs:

Invite different animals and bugs into your garden who then become your best friends for pest control. Birds, ladybugs, and praying mantises control the insects in your garden. Encourage birds into your garden by hanging feeders, birdhouses, and a birdbath.

Ladybugs are sold by the pint, quart, or gallon at most local nurseries. An average sized garden needs less than a quart that contains 25 to 30 thousand ladybugs. The average adult ladybug consumes 40 to 50 aphids each day.

Praying mantises can be purchased at your local nursery in cases. One praying mantis hatches up to 400 young. The praying mantis disappears from the garden rapidly and it is recommended that you purchase 2 or 3 cases to begin with. The praying mantis will eat any insect they can catch.

Inviting frogs and lizards to your garden also controls pests in your garden. The frogs and lizards eat the insects in your garden. Plant small blossom plants like sweet alyssum and dill. The plants attract predatory insects that feed on the flowers' nectar between attacks on insects.

Organic pest control is the preferred approach over chemicals. Create a healthy biodiversity garden so the insects and microbes will control themselves. Using natural products and building healthy soil is the best long term treatment for insects in your garden.

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I hate any kind of bugs or spiders, even ants. 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.

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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.

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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.

Bug Off on ground next to host

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Susan Sanders-Kinzel
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, 2005

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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February 8, 2006

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

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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.

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


By Keri Stallings (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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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 Karen (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 true bug 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?

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By karen (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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Answer this Question...

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


By Gina (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!

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Answer this Question...

July 12, 2012

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

By Terry from Harrison county

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May 30, 2017

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

Marigold Flowers

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August 31, 2017

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.

CDs Hanging on Clothesline to Keep Birds Out of Garden

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May 23, 2017

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 page about organic pesticide information.

Organic Pesticides Being Sprayed on Rose

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May 22, 2017

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 page about eco-friendly critter control.

Squirrel in Tree

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May 22, 2017

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

Woman Spraying Insecticide on plants

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December 20, 2016

This is a page 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.

head of cabbage

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Home and Garden Gardening Pest ControlFebruary 28, 2012
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