Choosing the right chainsaw sharpener depends on several factors. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. These…
More people are turning to natural pest control methods for their home garden.
You’ll always get an argument about whether natural pest control is better than conventional pest control.
A lot of these arguments stem from “doomsday-style” news and commercial reports and whether you believe these or not, the truth is, if you can use natural, then do so.
Many gardeners are aware of the dangers of conventional pesticides. Conventional pesticides have been linked to various issues. These include pollution, water contamination, cancer and birth defects. Not to mention having other harmful effects on human and animal systems.
More and more gardeners are looking to natural pesticides. Reasons? They’re looking for a safer, smarter alternative to harmful chemicals. But there are so many options out there. How do you choose a natural pest control method that will work for your garden?
We’ve listed five of the best natural pest control methods that are all-natural, safe and proven to be effective.
Natural Pest Control Methods – Neem Oil
Neem oil is an all-natural pesticide. It comes from the seeds of the Azadirachta Indica tree which is revered as a medicinal tree.
Neem oil is also a “non-toxic” pesticide. It’s considered effective against harmful pests like mites and aphids. It’s also effective against fungal diseases like black spot or powdery mildew.
It is available for purchase in plastic bottles or spray bottles. You have a choice of either a concentrate or a diluted solution.
Since Neem oil solutions vary from product to product, be sure to follow the directions on the bottle before applying to your plants.
Look for Neem oil that has no additives or chemicals. Choose a product that is labeled “100% cold-pressed.”
Also be aware that this oil can be dangerous if not used per the instructions. Wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants when using it. Always wash your clothes after applying Neem oil to your garden.
Diatomaceous earth is an incredible natural pesticide. It’s made up of ground silica from fossilized algae and plankton.
It can be used as a natural insecticide inside and outside the home. That makes it extremely versatile for natural pest control.
Diatomaceous earth works by causing cuts in the bodies of insects that crawl over its sharp texture. This kills the insects in a short space of time.
Diatomaceous earth can be applied sparingly around the base of a plant. Or if you prefer, make a solution to spray onto the plant.
Be sure to choose food-grade diatomaceous earth. This product is widely available but carefully follow the instructions when using it.
Natural Pest Control Methods Should Include Horticultural Oil
Horticultural oils are another natural pest control option. These oils help keep your plants healthy and vibrant. Horticulture oils come in two varieties – summer oil and dormant oil.
Summer oils are safe for use on growing plants. They can be used in warmer seasons when trees still have their leaves.
Dormant oils on the other hand, are used to kill insects while they’re lying dormant in colder seasons.
Dormant oils are best applied after leaves fall off the trees for the season.
Be sure to choose a horticulture oil that is vegetable-based. It’s recommended to test the horticulture oil on your plant before administering a full application.
Horticulture oils are best applied at dusk. They shouldn’t be applied in direct sunlight.
Companion planting is an amazing method of natural pest control.
It uses the natural ecosystem of your garden to essentially control itself.
Companion planting means strategically choosing plants for your garden that naturally work together. This is for a variety of reasons including to attract or repel certain insects. Another major reason is to repel diseases as to support the growth of another plant.
Let’s look at when you plant corn and beans together. The beans will attract insects that destroy specific worms and beetles that like to feed on corn. This is a win-win.
Companion planting uses a plant’s natural properties to help your garden thrive as a whole.
This natural pest control method does take a little research. While this is work, the benefits are numerous. It will be well worth the effort.
Handpicking Is As Natural As You Can Get
Some gardeners are happy to use commercially-made natural pesticides, while other gardeners don’t want to use any chemicals at all, even if they’re natural.
One of the most natural methods possible is handpicking. In the handpicking method, you simply use gloves and your hands to pick harmful insects off your plants. This method requires a bit more knowledge about your garden’s ecosystem since you shouldn’t remove helpful insects.
Some insects like ladybugs, are predators that prey on harmful pests, so do your homework on which bugs to remove and which ones to keep around.
Natural Pest Control Methods – Final Thoughts
The top 5 natural pest control methods listed here are only the beginning.
For a vibrant and healthy garden this year, ditch the harmful chemicals and opt for natural methods.
Is this an endorsement for natural?
Yes. Conventional pest control methods will get the job done. However, there’s always the thought in the back of your mind of what are the side effects?
If you’re willing to take the risk then we urge you to follow the instructions to the letter.
Actually, being careful also applies with natural pest control methods that use substances you aren’t familiar with.
We mentioned how careful you need to be with Neem oil above and that applies to any natural product.
The bottomline is, natural is best but don’t take it lightly.