Organic Pest Control

by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 15, 2009)

Today, more than any other time in history, we are aware of how important it is to be eco-friendly—or green. To conserve energy and lessen our carbon footprint we drive smaller, more fuel-efficient cars; we turn our thermostats down and replace incandescent lightbulbs with fluorescent varieties; we recycle at home and at work; we use energy-efficient appliances, install low-flow shower heads and toilets to use less water, and buy organically-grown foods. Yet there is another way to be eco-friendly that most people never consider, and that is organic pest control. Some of the most environmentally friendly people I know still reach for a can of bug spray to rid their homes and gardens of pests, instead of opting to use organic pest control methods.

Exposure to pesticides have long been linked to health problems and diseases, such as birth defects, cancer, infertility, and encephalitis. If you're searching for ways to control the pest population in your garden and landscape, consider these organic options before using harsh chemicals that are not only harmful to the environment, but also detrimental to your health over long periods of exposure:

  • Use copper tape on trees and saplings to prevent infestations of slugs and snails.
  • Process garlic cloves and mineral oil in a blender and then add the substance to your garden to kill harmful insects.
  • To control aphids, mealy bugs, beetles, grubs, and caterpillars, introduce ladybugs and praying mantis to your garden since they are natural predators of those types of pests.
  • To deter deer, rabbits, and other animals from eating your plants, place crushed jalapeno peppers in your garden.
  • Fill a spray bottle with undiluted vinegar. If you spot aphids or other harmful insects when walking through your garden, spray them with the vinegar to kill them. The leftover residue and scent will deter other insects from abusing your plants.
  • Place sticky traps for caterpillars, mice, and other harmful animals and pests and replace the traps as necessary. Place beer traps to catch slugs and snails.

In instances where you need to use bug spray, seek out organic varieties, such as Orange Guard and Milk Spore. Both products can be found online. Search online for organic pest sprays, visit your local library and search the horticulture section, and visit your local cooperative extension office to find other solutions for controlling the pest population organically.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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