Natural Pest Control for Gardens

By bsozak | March 7, 2013

LadybugSociety has seen a growing trend of ordinary people wanting to take part in the “going green” effort, while at the same time living the same lifestyle they’re used to living. Keeping and maintaining a natural garden is great for preserving native plant species, and fighting invasive ones. However, a major component of gardening is pest control. In the past, chemical pesticides have been used to control unwanted garden visitors such as insects, rodents, or weeds.

While these pesticides can be effective, their impacts on the environment are not worth it. Pesticides infiltrate water supply and groundwater, and rush away into rivers and lakes. Anglers and charter boat captains alike know that keeping the water free of pesticides means a healthier reef or freshwater habitat, which is crucial to the health of their fish stocks.

Pesticides also contaminate the soil, sometimes rendering that land useless. Even with crop rotation, if the soil is over-contaminated, it cannot be used for crops again. Pesticides may also lead to the elimination of key species or to the over-population of other species. This loss of biodiversity can most recently seen in honeybees, which have seen a major decline in its population. Pests may also become chemical resistant, needing more pesticides to get rid of them and increasing our dependency on the chemicals.

Fortunately, there are several ways to fight pests using more natural methods. One way is to use plant-based pesticides. Many indigenous tribes throughout the world depend on tropical plants to be pest-free. There is even an item in the typical kitchen that is useful in ridding a garden of pests: garlic. Puree about fifteen cloves of garlic in a blender with a pint of water. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth into a spray bottle and spray the tops and bottoms of plants.

Another way is to introduce a natural pest predator, the ladybug. It is easy to attract ladybugs by planting the right kinds of flowers. Geraniums and tulips work particularly well. While this method is best since it will bring ladybugs already in the area, ladybugs can be purchased at local nurseries or online

Obviously, going as natural as possible is ideal when it comes to gardening, and it can be done without the use of pesticides. It seems counter-intuitive to have something as organic as a garden, while introducing harsh chemicals to the mix. Not only are natural alternatives earth-friendly, they are wallet and health friendly too. With a bit of work and care, it is absolutely possible to garden and be environmentally safe.


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