Insect control – you CAN eat more than they do!

When it comes to controlling common garden pests, there are several effective methods that can be used. Here are some common ones that might help you end up with more on your plate than they do!

  1. Handpicking: For larger insects, manually removing them from plants can be an effective control method. This can be done by wearing gloves and physically picking off the pests and disposing of them.
  2. Water spray: Using a strong spray of water can help dislodge and control certain pests, such as aphids or spider mites. Direct the spray towards the affected plants, focusing on the undersides of leaves where pests often hide.
  3. Beneficial insects: Attracting beneficial insects to your garden can help control pest populations naturally. Ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises are examples of beneficial insects that feed on garden pests. Planting flowers that attract these insects or purchasing and releasing them can be beneficial.
  4. Natural predators: Encouraging natural predators, such as birds or frogs, can help control pests in the garden. Providing birdhouses, bird feeders, or a small pond can attract these predators and create a balanced ecosystem.
  5. Barriers and traps: Physical barriers, such as netting or row covers, can protect plants from pests like birds or insects. Sticky traps for flying insects are not recommended as they also catch lizards and other creatures you want to have around!
  6. Companion planting: Some plants have natural repellent properties or attract beneficial insects. By strategically planting these companion plants alongside susceptible crops, you can help deter pests. For example, marigolds are known to repel certain pests.
  7. Organic insecticides: If non-toxic methods are not sufficient, organic insecticides derived from natural sources can be used as a last resort. Examples include insecticidal soaps, neem oil, or pyrethrin-based products. It’s important to carefully follow the instructions on the label when using any insecticide.

Remember, the specific pest control methods used may depend on the type of pest and the plants being grown. It’s always a good idea to identify the specific pest and research targeted control methods for the best results.