Pesticides in your garden are a quick fix to any household infestation. However, due to their negative environmental impacts and their harsh chemical contents, which can expose your children to accidental poisonings, a gardener may want to think twice about applying pesticides. While some gardeners believe that both professional-grade and store-bought pesticides are the most efficient way to repel bugs away from their tomato plants, the reality is that chemicals can damage your garden in the long-term.
The good news is that there are tons of gardening alternatives to chemical pesticides that can exterminate existing colonies of bugs while preventing future infestations. The alternatives listed below are eco-friendly and cost-efficient options to consider when combating pests wreaking havoc in your garden. If you’re struggling with these destructive creatures in your garden, try the following alternative methods to ensure your garden and law are pest-free.
However, in some cases, these natural alternatives fail to get the job done as anticipated. If your natural pest control methods fall short, expert gardeners recommend that you seek professional pest control services from a team of trained exterminators.
Although the handpicking method is time-consuming, it’s one of the most effective ways to ward off unwanted pests. Use pointed bamboo or a wooden stick to pick visible pests, such as a caterpillar, off these leaves’ surfaces. Alternatively, you can improvise with tweezers or even your fingers to handpick these harmful creatures from unsuspecting plant life.
Another way to mitigate pest-related damage in your garden is to pluck the infected leaves by hand. This method can help prevent the spread of pest-transmitted diseases to other structures of the plant.
Encouraging predators such as ladybirds, birds, frogs, lacewings, and fireflies can spare your garden from these pests’ ruinous effects. These predators can also protect your lawn from being destroyed by various insects, including cutworms and aphids. The most notable benefit of this pest control method is that you don’t have to devise a strategy to attract the predators that feed on these household pests, as almost all garden supplier outlets sell them.
Once you’ve identified the predators necessary, you can buy them, release them into your lawn or garden, and wait for them to feed on the destructive insect types.
Ladybird larvae are highly effective in resolving aphid infestations faster. Additionally, these adult ladybirds are known to feed aphids, helping reduce your garden’s pest population significantly.
Birds are also incredible predators of garden pests. Some bird species, such as blackbirds, feed on a multitude of insects like grubs and caterpillars. Similarly, frogs and toads can feed on snails, slugs, and other insect pests known to munch on your precious fruit-bearing plant life. Lacewings, on the other hand, will target whiteflies, aphids, and blackflies. By introducing a population of predatory insects, you’ll notice that the number of pests terrorizing your garden will start to dwindle.
If given a choice, insects will opt to eat a specific type of plant over the others. For instance, tomato worms have an affinity for dill over tomatoes, while maggots prefer radishes over corn. With these preferences in mind, a gardener can plant a particular plant type to lure dangerous insects away from more high-profile plant life.
Once you plant the trap crop, these insects will infest the area in no time. After you’ve reached a certain point of infestation, pick off the insects and drop them soapy water. Plopping these household pests into the soapy solution will suffocate these insects, eliminating any opportunities for multiplication. Alternatively, you can uproot the plant and dispose of it immediately.
Crop rotation is another way to minimize the severity of a pest infestation. You can plant a wide range of vegetables and other plants in different parts of your lawn every year to reduce the likelihood of infestation.
In most cases, insects lay eggs a few inches below the soil’s surface during the fall season. The eggs will then hatch during the spring. After hatching, larvae will immediately begin to look for food. Most of these insects feed on a specific type of vegetables. If their preferred plant is located many yards away, the pests must travel to the food source. Luckily, a whopping majority of these insects will fall prey to predators or die during their journey due to environmental causes.
Keep in mind that some plant families like peppers and potatoes can attract or encourage the same pests. Be mindful of these plant families when planning your produce for the upcoming season.
Netting your garden can help protect germinating seeds from looming pests. You can use cheese cloths for these pest control purposes by placing them on the topsoil to prevent insect penetration. Netting can also help keep birds and cats away while discouraging flying insects from hatching—keeping the seedlings safe and secure.
Most gardeners utilize conventional planting methods, such as planting a single crop type for a given season. However, if you want to capitalize on the benefits of a backyard garden, you should avoid these conventional methods as much as possible. Unfortunately, traditional planting methods essentially encourage insect infestation by facilitating nearly effortless movement from one plant to another.
Adopting diversified planting by intermingling different crops can force the insects to find a new host plant, hindering the ease of their movement and exposing them to predators. Remember, the easier it is for your pest populations to hop from plant-to-plant, the more severe your garden infestation will be.
In the interest of pest control, you should consider planting insect-repelling plants to discourage certain types of pests from occupying your garden spaces. For instance, placing garlic plants between vegetable plants known to attract aphids, spider mites, and Japanese beetles can help repel tomato marigolds and hornworms.
Coffee can trap
Using a coffee can trap is an excellent way to trap non-flying pests. To achieve this purpose, simply bury a coffee container in your garden’s soil bed and allow the can’s lip to rest along the soil surface. Remember that some pests will fall and get stuck in the container. For optimal prevention, ensure you empty the can as often as possible.
As a gardener, you understand the importance of patience and dedication. So, why would you ever take the easy way out when it comes to your pest control strategy? Instead of rushing to your nearest home improvement store, consider opting for these natural methods instead—especially if you have young children at home who can accidentally consume these harmful pesticides.
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