Are you looking for safe and pesticide-free ways to get rid of unwelcome pests in your garden? Here are a few ideas we’ve formulated below having discussed pest control with Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control.
1. Use Beneficial Insects and Birds
This practice is quite common with organic farmers and gardeners. They use insects that feed on pests to keep their gardens and farms pest-free. Damsel bugs and ladybugs are the perfect examples – they attack small insects and other pests that might be feeding on your plant’s foliage or sap. You, however, need to be sure what insects are pest and which aren’t for this practice to work.
Chicken and ducks may also come in handy in getting rid of pests in your garden. They are particularly attracted to slugs and other pests, hence worth introducing to your garden. You however don’t want to introduce chicken to your garden during the flowering stage, as the chicken may pick the flowers.
2. Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is unbelievably effective in eliminating insects and pests from your garden, especially in the soil. All you need to do is spread it on the ground. It works by penetrating the pest/insect’s exoskeleton, dehydrating the victim to death. While deadly to insects, diatomaceous earth is relatively safe for humans and the environment.
3. Choose Your Crops Wisely
Some crops/plants are more resistant to pests than others. Onions, for example, may help repel specific bugs and insects. Royal acorn and butternut are also resistant to pests; hence they can be intercropped with other plants for an even better yield. While choosing pest-resistant crops may not eradicate a possible pest problem, your plants will certainly grow healthier.
4. Use Physical Barriers
Physical barriers help provide added protection from pests by ‘denying’ them access to your garden. Think of it as sleeping in a mosquito net, only for your garden in this case. Floating row covers are some of the most commonly preferred forms of physical protection for your plants. The covering is made of a fabric that helps protect young plants as they grow. It however needs to be anchored to the ground to prevent insects from getting through. While practical, you want to remove the protective covering when your plants are just about to flower to allow for pollinators to access the garden and plants.
5. Consider Intercropping
Growing the same plants each season will not only result in lower yields but also attract more pests. Intercropping however helps eliminate this problem by repelling certain pests and even enriches the soil. Although some pests may penetrate, it will be a lot harder to affect all your crops, all thanks to the barrier provided by the different species of crop. Experts also recommend intercropping and rotational farming as a way to keep pests away and avoid leaching soil nutrients. Intercropping, such as growing monocots and dicots, will help replenish soil nutrition and profile, enabling the plants to benefit symbiotically.
6. Pick The Pests By Hand
While it may seem rudimentary, picking the pests by hand is also an option as well. Although time-consuming and tiring, most organic gardeners find it quite effective in getting rid of larger pests. It also allows you to care for the plants and even identify problem areas in the garden. The idea is to eliminate the pests before multiplying and inflicting damage to your plants and yield. Some of these pests, including slugs, snails, grasshoppers, among others, might be easier to pick when in smaller populations and at their tender age.
Picking pests by hand may prove to be quite a challenge in extensive gardens. Whatever the solution is, don’t yield to the temptation to use chemical pesticides on your garden and plants. Doing so will only introduce toxic compounds that will affect the quality of produce produced. Organically produced food also has a higher nutritional content and is healthier to eat, hence worth every effort.
It might take some time before you can master the art of organic pest control and organic farming in general. When done right, organic farming can prove to be beneficial and quite advantageous in many ways. Practising the art of organic farming also means your family will eat healthy and ‘uncontaminated’ foods free of chemicals and other compounds that might affect their health in the long run. Follow the tips outlined above to start your journey to pesticide-free gardening. There are numerous resources on the internet that you can use to learn how to control and get rid of certain pests organically too.