These days more and more people are getting inspired by the importance of organic farming and are discovering the joy of gardening. Many households have started to cultivate their own organic vegetables and herbs in their backyard gardens. Gardening is not a boring or an old hobby anymore, youngsters have also started to soil their hands for the love of growing organic plants and food products. The increasing importance on healthy food consumption has once again shed light on in-home and organic farming, resulting in many youngsters takings up farming as their major studies or occupation.
One of the greatest challenges faced by any gardener is pest control. It’s natural for the pests to dwell in good plants for their survival needs. Not all pests are dangerous and one or two bugs might not be a problem at all. They would simply chew on a few leaves and wouldn’t cause any major damage to your plants. But there are also other types of invasive pests that damage your plants entirely, making it wilt and die, or unfit for human consumption. It’s quite important for every gardener to keep the pests at bay to safeguard the plants.
Why choose natural pest control?
When you’re having your own in-home garden or growing some organic vegetables, pests might bring in big trouble. Going for chemical pest control techniques will get rid of the pests, but did you know that chemicals are also poisonous to us? If a chemical can be toxic to a living organism like bugs, beetles, insects, and other pests, it would definitely be harmful to our health as well. Recent studies show that the high-grade vegetables and fruits that are widely being consumed today are all genetically modified and exposed to high degrees of chemical pollutants for stopping the pests from invading the plants.
If you follow the same at your home garden, then remember that these chemicals don’t just wade away the pests. But they can also lead to other complications, like polluting the soil and water in it, might also affect the birds that are natural pest controllers, pets and children around the house might get affected and face some health issues when they are exposed to these harsh chemicals, and more.
These pests can be controlled in a more natural, chemical-free way and it’s the best for your surroundings and your plants. Natural pest control also ensures the safety of the food you consume and long-term it helps avoid many health complications that arise due to consumption or exposure to chemical gardening products. You also get to play a part in saving the ecosystem by stopping the soil, food web and ecosystem from getting polluted.
Top natural pest control methods
Pests in your gardens and vegetable plants can easily be controlled if you are aware of some all-natural pest control techniques. Many household materials and products can be used to eliminate pests from plants and even safeguard your plants in a more natural and organic way. Many herbs, essential oils, and some common household things can be used as all-natural pesticides and they are also very safe for your family and the environment. Here’s a list of few common household plant products, and other things that can be used for natural pest control:
Common dish soap
Common dish soaps and dishwashing liquids can be used as pesticides. You can make some homemade soap sprays and use them to control soft-bodied insects lurking in your garden. Many insects and pests, such as aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, common moths, and more can be reduced using dish spray soap . The soapy solution would break down the soft outer protective skins of these bugs and kill them in the process.
It’s also found that soapy sprays, especially the ones containing some detergents, might greatly assist in pest control by affecting the skin of these insects and killing them. Some pests are simply allergic to the odor of soaps and stay away from your garden. However, there are chances for the soap spray to damage your plants as well. They might break down the cuticles on the plants or even leave a layer of soapy coat on them hindering their respiration. So make sure you don’t make any damage to the plants while driving away the pests.
Try and test the spray by applying it on a few leaves and see the results. If the plants aren’t damaged then apply the spray all over the garden on the leaves and stems of the plants. Avoid using anti-bacterial or any other flavored dish soaps and stick with the less chemically treated ones. If your plants look dull after the treatment, you can very well wash them off while you water the plants.
Common household cooking oils are great and safe way to control pests on plants. Buy any cheap salad oil or cooking oil from the supermarket and mix a few drops of these oils together. Make a spray by diluting the oil with water or some salted lime juice and spay the mixture on the leaves of the plants. This oily mixture works best on mites, nematodes, and many other hard-shelled insects, like beetles, grasshoppers, and more.
The oily mixture will suffocate the insects and pests leading to their death or the lime scented oil will simply drive them away from your garden plants. This works best for indoor plants that often have some beetles or bugs crawling over them. If you’re planning to use the same on outdoor garden plants, make sure you spray them during the early morning or evening hours when the sun is down. Otherwise, the oil mixture might trap heat and burn the leaves during the afternoon.
Coffee grounds have a great reputation when it comes to solving some garden troubles. It has been proven that coffee grounds and nuts have the ability to reduce a number of diseases in plants, get rid of some pests and plant worms, they also help in fertilizing the soil, and even ward off the slugs from your garden. They are also widely used as mulch that doesn’t give way for the growth of weeds.
Snails and slugs might prove to be a big trouble, especially during the mid-rainy and the winter seasons. They might cause a bit of nuisance by eating the plant leaves and any new foliage that arises. This will greatly reduce the growth of the plant and over time they might start wilting. Caffeine works best against these slugs and snails; it will simply kill the slugs or deter them from getting onto the plants. You can spread them on the soil over your garden or simply spray some on top of your plants. They last only for a few days and you’ll have to repeat the process quite often.
Not only vampires from mythologies are allergic to garlics, some pests also detest garlic. Using garlic for pest control is one of the non-toxic, low cost methods that yields great results. Garlic is full of natural fungicidal and pesticidal compounds that are very effective against some major plant pests, such as beetles, ants, borers, caterpillars, armyworms, slugs, and more.
You can both extract the garlic juices and dilute it to make a spray, or use it on the surface of the plants or even make a garlic drench for your plants. While you use garlic tea or diluted garlic water as a soil drench, it’ll greatly help in controlling the nematodes. When they get absorbed by the roots of the plants they’ll naturally start repelling codling moths, Japanese beetles, root maggots, and other such pests.