When it comes to a pest infestation, there’s no one, cure-all way to take care of the problem. Most organic gardeners arrive at their methods through a great deal of trial and error, and what works for one bug won’t work for a different species.
Keeping that in mind, there’s no better way to deal with pests than through organic means. A chemical pesticide may give you immediate results, but you risk poisoning the plants you intended to protect, and you could easily throw your lawn or garden’s balance out of whack. If you’re looking for long-term results, it’s all about organic gardening.
Getting rid of pesky bugs doesn’t always involve spraying some questionable substance all over your garden. Here are a few alternate methods that have proven beneficial for many gardeners:
- Row Covers: Provides a protective barrier for your plants. White, translucent covers will keep bugs out while letting up to 80% of sunlight in.
- Chickens and ducks: Want to get rid of bugs? Introduce a few predators into the mix. Chickens and ducks are effective at gobbling down slugs, Japanese beetles, and many other types of insects.
- Plant flowers and herbs to attract beneficial insects: Not all insects are bad for your garden. Ladybeetles and hoverflies are known to feast on aphids, and you can attract these beneficial insects by planting zinnias, calendula, and other flowers and herbs among your vegetables.
- Beneficial Nematodes: microscopic organisms that are natural predators of pests.
If you’ve got an infestation, then you can still target specific insects with organic pesticides. Some options, which you can find at your local garden center, include:
- Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT): a bacterial spray that infects certain insects, causing them to stop feeding and eventually die.
- Soap sprays: dissolves the skin of your targeted insects. Be sure to get a soap spray that is specifically formulated as an insecticide.
- Oil sprays: designed to suffocate pests.
Keep your soil in balance
The best way to avoid an infestation in the first place is to make sure your soil has a good pH balance with plenty of nutrients and beneficial micro-organisms. The best way to find out if your soil is well balanced is to get a lawn analysis.
Photo Credit: Cristina_2