From beetles to aphids, ants and scale insects, the “garden’s enemies” are numerous. Before using chemicals that are not always harmless to humans or plants, it is recommended to resort to natural pest control methods to fight off insect pests in the garden. Even soapy water can be a powerful weapon against these insects.

Prior to any treatment against garden parasites, it is important to make a distinction between unwanted pests and garden insects that need to be preserved. Among the latter, we can include ladybugs, dragonflies and praying mantises. Be careful not to eliminate them while treating against insect pests.

Natural methods against insect pests

The first method is to simply attract birds that feed on these insects by building bird feeders in the garden. One can also apply the method of companion planting. Example: Rose bushes are often infested with aphids. These attacks can be avoided by growing chives near rose bushes. It is possible to grow plants in a garden’s corner that kill insects “naturally”. These include the French marigold, rosemary, valerian, lavender, cosmos and nasturtium.

Some preparations, such as tansy or nettle manure, or thyme and wormwood infusions are very effective. You should know that even liquid soap, soapy water or oil can be used as real insecticides. For pesticides, rotenone and pyrethrum are particularly effective. These plants kill insects by affecting their nervous system. These substances are recommended in case of attack of whiteflies, acarina, large white butterflies, aphids and thrips. Given that rotenone is sensitive to light, it is preferable to perform the treatment at dusk.

Driving insect pests away

The following products are designed to fight off insects that attack the most common plants in our gardens. From vine to apple tress to rose bushes, potatoes and cabbages, aphid is considered the champion among insect pests. It feeds on the sap of the plant and, without human intervention, eventually kills it. Fortunately there are many natural methods to control aphids. Rotenone, pyrethrum, different types of manure (angelica, elderberry, etc..) are genuinely effective but you can also resort to methods that are more practical for everyone: cooking potatoes and spraying the cooking water on the infested plants, letting a few cigarettes macerate in water and then spraying the resulting mixture on plants. In the case of heavy infestation or if the plant is attacked by many different species, boil hot pepper garlic and onions in water and let them macerate. Spray the cooking water on the plant to treat it.

The onion is often the victim of thrips and the onion fly, which also attacks garlic, shallot and leek. To avoid this fly’s attack, do not use fresh manure to amend the soil before planting. Practice the art of companion planting by cultivating onions with carrots. If the invasion is confirmed, a tansy decoction quickly eliminates flies. In regard to thrips, increase the irrigation water’s pressure to keep them away. Water threatened plants more frequently because unlike most insect pests thrips appreciate extreme heat and drought. Otherwise, use pyrethrum, rotenone or a simple soap decoction to eliminate them.

The European mole cricket is an insect that digs burrows into a vegetable garden and wreaks havoc among the tuberous or bulbous plants. Just spread coffee dregs on the ground to keep them away. Another mechanical method exists to eliminate European mole crickets: bury containers of turpentine at ground level in the vegetable garden, and wait for adult crickets, which are irresistibly drawn to this solution, to fall into the containers. All you need to do afterwards is to remove them.

Do not ignore slugs (even if they are not insects) as lettuce is among their favourite foods. There is no shortage of natural products to eliminate them: spreading coffee grounds, sawdust, or wood ashes on the ground, laying down on the ground a receptacle containing a mixture of sugar water and beer, sprinkling the ground and plants with powdered herbs (sage, lavender, rosemary, etc.. ). Watering should be done in the morning because slugs are nocturnal animals.

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Published in Products by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011