Vegetable garden is definitely not the place to use harmful chemicals in the name of bug control. When we control pests naturally we take advantage of the checks and balances nature has already had in place for millions of years. Just because you have some critters munching on your food doesn't mean that you have to break out the chemicals. |
Pest control in the natural/ organic garden is more straightforward than when using potentially harmful chemical pesticides. The goal is to keep pest insects form eating all of our veggies and that's it. There is no need to apply napalm to the garden to do this, and lest we forget, pests develop tolerances to pesticides if they are applied regularly.
Planting more seeds than needed is one of the better pest control methods. This means that some seedlings will carry on to produce a healthy crop. You can also move along crops past the seedling stage by tilling the soil with good organic matter. Assess the success of preceding crops in order to determine soil fertility. Eradicate plant debris in the winter because adult beetles survive the winter on these easily. Floating row covers will protect the seedlings against beetles.
Among the better pest control methods for these insects is insecticidal soap; three tablespoons per gallon of water. Replicate every three days to maintain the population. Wash the treated vegetables well prior to eating. Till the overwintering plants into the soil in order to protect against aphids that survive winter. With pea aphids on the other hand, most problems show up once its natural enemies, such as ladybird beetles, parasitic wasps and syrphid flies, have been destroyed. Hose your plants with an extra-strength spray or use insecticides (three tablespoons to a gallon of water).
If you are the DIY type, you can make your own insect spray. One common recipe uses garlic, onions and cayenne pepper. You'll want to mash up the garlic and onion real good. Then add it to a quart of water and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Allow it sit overnight. Then pour it into a spray bottle and shoot the suckers down.
These beneficial insects are just a mere few of the dozens of buzzing and crawling helpers in the natural garden. Some beneficial insects are specific in their pest diet and some just eat bad guys anywhere they can find them. The key is that these beneficial insects do not recover very well when chemical pesticides are applied to the garden. And their recovery time is much slower than the pest's. So don't spray pesticides in your garden, plant companion plants that draw beneficial insects to your garden.
Biological Control With Predators
In biological control, you introduce natural enemies such as parasites, predators, pathogens or competitors, into the garden environment to get rid of the pest. The method of introducing a predator to control pest populations is now called classical biological control concept. Beneficial insects like lady bugs can be a gardener's best friend since they consume insect pests. Other predator insects are: spiders and lacewings.
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