Organic Pest Control

Organic care includes using good insects to battle the bad ones. The lady bug is an example of a good insect. (Courtesy of Christoph Polatzky)

Organic care includes using good insects to battle the bad ones. The lady bug is an example of a good insect.
(Courtesy of Christoph Polatzky)

Those of you who have been tending to your garden and lawn are probably using chemical pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides to get rid of the small, nasty critters that can damage a lawn or population of a garden. It appears that these products are the means by choice for most lawn and garden aficionados to get rid of pests.

For a while now a growing minority of lawn and garden care enthusiasts has been advocating an organic or natural approach to caring for their lawns and gardens. In advocating for their favored form of care many of them are noting that the chemical pest killers are adversely affecting the environment and hurting wildlife, our kids, our pets, and us.

For example, they note that pesticides in the U.S. kill 60-70 million birds each year and make people sick over time. Experts say that a person will not get sick due to these chemicals immediately. However, they could over a period of 5, 10, 20, 30 years or more of regular exposure. It takes less time for them to affect children, but it has been noted that that they can start to affect babies before they are born while the mother is pregnant and in contact with these products.

Pests can be managed in a whole lot of ways organically.

For example, you can use barriers to keep the bad critters from getting to members of a garden. Cutworms can’t get to carrots planted within toilet paper rolls and you can use such plants as peppermint, spearmint, and pennyroyal to block aphids and ants. You can simmer cedar twigs in water, then pour the cooled water over plants to prevent cutworms, corn earworms, and other pests from tormenting them. Lime is a great barricade against snails and ants hate cayenne pepper. Iron phosphate, which is a natural material that is used as a nutritional supplement, can also be used to deter slugs.

You can also use good insects to battle the bad ones. The good guys include lady beetles, green lacewings and praying mantis. The good guys can be attracted into your garden with food; shelter and water or they can be purchased, and then released into your garden.

Using good critters to eradicate the bad critters are ideal over the long run because they are safer and work better than chemicals. However, you need to do some studying to find out what specific pests you have and which of the good pests can be used to battle them.

You can also purchase and use natural pesticides that are made from plants that have insecticidal characteristics. These substances have fewer toxins and are degradable. Keep in mind, however, that these products still contain poisons, so use them as a last resort.

Just like mousetraps, there are also insect traps that you can use. However, instead of cheese, insect traps use visual lures, pheromones that insects use to attract mates, and food.

Other items that can be used to rid your garden of pests include natural pesticides and soaps and oils.

Consult with your lawn and garden care supplier for advice on what natural pesticides and soaps and oils are best for your circumstance.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.