Pests destroy your lawn, kill your trees and eat your garden. What can you do besides poison them? It turns out there’s quite a bit you can do with chemical-free pest control. As long as we have had gardens, we have had to deal with pests. Here are a few tips to deal with pests safely for you and your yard!
Pest Control Insects
Use insects? Aren’t we trying to get rid of insects? Yes and no. Some insects are good for your garden, they help promote plant and lawn growth as well as deter the pests that aren’t. Here are just a few of the insects that should bring a smile to your face when you see them in your yard, many of them can be purchased!
- Green Lacewings
- Praying Mantis
- Orius (Minute Pirate Bugs)
- Decollate Snails
Tired of those pests eating your garden? In addition to planting flowers and plants to attract the right insects you can plant something pests prefer to the plants you want to keep. Adding plants that attract pests to your garden will keep pests off of the plants you like by giving them a “throw away” plant that they love. This is an old farming method that is still highly effective and safe today for home gardens. Here are a few popular trap crops and the pests they “trap”.
- Nasturtiums – aphids
- Nettles – aphids
- Chervil – slugs
- French Marigold – slugs and thrips
- Radish – flea beetle and root fly
- Purple Majesty Millet – squash bugs
When using natural pesticides it is good to remember that not all natural pesticides are safe. Nicotine, a natural pesticide in tobacco, is much more toxic than most synthetic pesticides. If you must use pesticides here are some safer methods. As with all substances meant to “deter” make sure you read all warning labels.
- Neem Oil
- Insecticidal Soap
- DE (Diotomacious Earth)
- Coffee Grounds
Have a safe, pest free summer!