Alternatives to Pesticides

Susan Sanders-Kinzel

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). Pesticides are poisons, they can kill or harm more than just insects. Using pesticides are like taking prescription drugs. Sometimes the benefits must be weighed against the side effects. Using pesticides also is responsible for developing genetically resistant insect species.


Here's some natural insect solutions for trees and shrubs.

Pick off affected leaves and dispose of them away from the plant. This will control moderate infestations of lilac leaf miner, leaf rollers, and spruce bud worm larvae.

Scrape larger branches free of tent caterpillars. If it is early spring or fall, prune off branches. If they have hatched, hand pick the larvae on cool days or in the evening when they gather.

Using a garden hose, direct a strong stream of water against trees and shrubs to dislodge insects. This is effective against spider mites and pear slugs, as well as other pests.

Make your own safe insecticide by adding (2 tablespoons) of soap flakes to a quart of water and dousing the infested leaves. Use ordinary soap flakes (not laundry detergent) or an insecticidal soap, and apply the solution with a watering can. This works well on aphids and spider mites.


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By Judy (Guest Post)
September 23, 20040 found this helpful

Sometimes the key is PH.
When an area, person, etc., is stressed the ph changes.
when it changes it allow a host of pests in to invade, a healthy yard, has few predators, a healty animal has few predators, a healty person has few. etc...
Changing the ph, growth conditions, will usually solve most of the problems...
MORE baking soda, less acid...

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