Alternative Pest Control Methods

Keep your pests to a minimum with these pesticide-free approaches to home gardening.

| November/December 2017

  • Use a pesticide-free approach to maintain a healthy, vibrant garden without the use of harsh chemicals.
    Photo by Terry Wild Stock
  • Plant catnip and larkspur to repel aphids.
    Photo by Suzy Krone
  • Plant flowers around your garden to attract beneficial pollinators and repel certain pests.
    Photo by Chris Colby
  • Chickens can be another great resource for organic pest control in the garden.
    Photo by Linda Mae Baldwin

When applied correctly, most synthetic pesticides have come a long way, in terms of toxicity to humans and environmental damage, compared to their predecessors. However, many gardeners would prefer not to use synthetic pesticides in their garden at all. In addition to the possible health risks to humans, pesticides can also kill insect predators and insect pollinators (including bees) — insects that help a healthy garden. There are a number of alternate means to fight insect garden pests. So, doing away with pesticides doesn’t mean surrendering the garden to the munching insect hordes.

As a college student, I majored in chemistry and biology. As a gardener, I rarely use any pesticide — organic or synthetic — in my garden. This is because I like to use biology, not chemistry, to solve my garden pest problems. And, there are a variety of ways you can keep your garden completely pesticide free.

Alternate approaches

Before I get to biological controls, there are numerous methods to keep insects at bay.

Agricultural netting places a physical barrier between your plants and insects. Once the plants have sprouted, the gardener installs a series of hoops — they look like large croquet hoops or wickets — straddling the row. Then, ag netting is draped over the hoops and affixed to them. Done properly, it is 100 percent effective in keeping outside insects away. It cannot, however, guard against pests that live in the soil. (In other words, this won’t work against squash vine borers if you plant squash in the same patch as last year.) Ag netting allows almost all of the sunlight through, but is woven tightly enough that even the smallest insects cannot get through. It works wonderfully, but can get damaged in high winds or strong downpours.



Geology can also help you defeat insect pests. Diatomaceous earth, sometimes called D.E., is sedimentary rock formed by the compression of fossilized diatoms. Diatoms are a type of algae with a hard shell. D.E. has a wide variety of uses, including as a liquid absorber, a filtration agent for beer, an ingredient in cat litter, and a stabilizing component of dynamite. It also kills insects. When insects crawl across D.E., it absorbs lipids from their exoskeletons and the insects dehydrate and die. Diatomaceous earth is not toxic, but it is abrasive, and contact with the dust will irritate your eyes and lungs. As such, wear a mask and goggles when applying D.E.

Insect repelling plants

There are a variety of plants that repel certain insects. Encircling your vegetable garden with these plants will help deal with pests. The list of plants suspected of repelling certain insects is long, but here are some of the better-known examples.

OlgaSager
8/25/2018 1:08:38 AM

But controlling pests need time and effort and you may not be able to it on your own. So, it is best that you choose a professional Pest Control Antioch CA http://eastbaypestcontrol.com company, where the experts will be able to spend some valuable time on exterminating pests properly.


OlgaSager
8/23/2018 2:42:59 AM

To control pest you need to do some effective pest control methods.







Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February 16-17, 2019
Belton, TX

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE









Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds