Keeping your garden looking beautiful and producing healthy fruits and vegetables can be hard work. You certainly don’t want pests wreaking havoc with your plants and spoiling all of your efforts. Pesticides are very effective at what they do, but they could also end up killing beneficial insects that we want to see in the garden. We wouldn’t want to lose the wonderful butterflies that we have been trying to attract! So, how do we get rid of the most destructive garden insects without pesticides?
Here are just a few methods to keep destructive insects out of your garden without using pesticides.
That’s right. Plain old water is one of the most effective ways of removing pests from our plants. The major advantage here is that you do not have to worry about the water affecting any of your other plants or causing damage.
Some sticky insects such as aphids are easily removed with a strong jet of water. The strength of the spray you use depends on how delicate the plant is, but a hand sprayer set to jet can be very effective. We often overcomplicate removing destructive garden insects with harsh chemicals and complex methods, but we can save time and money by just using water.
If you find that the water jet is not successful, try adding a few drops of soap to a spray bottle. The soap disrupts the outer membrane of insects and they should start to die off. It also renders their eggs non-viable.
It is possible to buy special insecticidal soap, which you can use to target concentrations of aphids and other sucking insects. When using any soap, it is a good idea to first try it on a couple of leaves to make sure it doesn’t harm the plants you are trying to protect.
Encourage Native Predators
Most insects are on the menu for some other wildlife visitors in your garden. There are birds and other insects that enjoy eating the destructive insects we want to get rid of.
You can now buy what are known as predator insects, which are a great way to control insect pests organically. These do not pose a risk to your pets, other plants, or the beneficial insects in your garden.
Some examples include:
- Ladybugs who eat aphids, leafhoppers, mites, mealy bugs, and scale.
- Beneficial nematodes who feed on underground pests including flea larvae, grubs, slugs, snails, and root weevils.
- Lacewings who prefer to eat soft-bodied insects such as aphids, insect and moth eggs, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites.
These insects are a valuable tool and a vital constituent in our army against pests without resorting to harmful chemicals.
Putting your Plan into Action
Now that you know how to get rid of the most destructive garden insects without pesticides you are ready to tackle those garden pests without causing harm to other wildlife in your garden.
If you need assistance with your garden, get in touch with Fox Hollow Landscaping and Design at 973-263-8106 for all of your garden-care needs.