- Organic Gardening
Biological Methods of Pest Control for Your Organic Garden
Natural or biological pest control for your organic garden is not as difficult as you may think. Have you ever wondered if there was a way to get rid of those pests in your garden rather than using unhealthy pesticides?
Alternative pest control is becoming more and more popular as people are realizing how harmful pesticides can be for the human body and for the environment. There are many ways to get rid of pesky insects and weeds without using chemicals. These methods often take a little more time but in the long run they are worth it.
Usually organic methods are the least effective the first year and increasingly more effective after that. As the garden and its micro-environment become healthier it is more able to fend off the pests, diseases, and weeds that plague the unhealthy garden. Mother nature's methods are focused on long term results rather than short term; keep this in mind when using them.
With consistency, and some patience you are going to have the best garden of your life.
Nematodes are microscopic worm like multi-cellular organisms. They search for and kill pests living in the soil.
Nematodes can be extremely effective, and they will reproduce and spread, providing you with long lasting pest control. They will continue to work through the winter so your soil will be safe year round. Nematodes are natural predators to:
- Flea larvae
- Spider mites
- Fungus gnat
Ladybugs are beautiful insects but fierce predators. An adult lady bug can eat about 80 aphids per day and they can help pollinate areas; an important benefit where there are decreased bee populations.
They are natural predators to pests such as
- Various larvae
- Mealy bugs
- Leaf hoppers
- Spider mites
- Other soft bodied insects
The praying mantis is an amazing creature. They are not only graceful but quick too. A great asset to have in your garden, the praying mantis feed on a variety of garden pests. These include:
- Grass hoppers
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More Natural Pest Control for Your Organic Garden
There are many more beneficial insects that you can attract to your garden. Remember, pesticides will kill both the beneficial insects and the pests you want to get rid of. Choosing biological methods of pest control protects the environmental balance.
- Crab spiders
- Hover flies (also known as the flower fly)
- Green lacewings
- Minute Pirate bug
- The polistes paper wasp
- Plant earlier or later than the pests average life cycle if you live in an area with a long growing season
- Allow growth of the pests’ natural predators
Some plants attract predator insects.
Planting your garden diversely with a variety of plants can “help” the plants to protect each other. Small flowered plants like rosemary, daisies or mint can attract insects that will eat the pests. Plant your garden diversely so that it provides different food sources and habitats. By doing this you can attract a variety of beneficial insects to your garden to help it stay pest free. However it is important to learn to distinguish which insects are beneficial and which ones are pests.
The best way to combat weeds is still getting in your garden regularly and pulling them out before they have a chance to mature. For every weed that matures there will be hundreds of weeds the next season.
Chemicals Are Not the Way to Go
Alternative methods of pest control are extremely beneficial to you. Most methods are more inexpensive than buying chemicals or having an exterminator come out to treat your plants. In some cases you can treat a larger spectrum of pests. Because there are no chemicals used with these methods of pest control is safer for people, animals or plants. Most chemicals can be absorbed by your plants so especially if you are planting a fruit or vegetable garden it is important to find alternative methods so that you are not affected by pesticides.