Pest problems can be a nuisance in your vegetable garden. That’s why, as a sustainable gardener, you need to master the best ways to manage common pests.
While many gardeners may want to use store-bought pesticides, the truth is that most of these products are highly toxic and can damage your plants and harm the soil. Fortunately, there are various natural remedies to help you get rid of these annoying bugs. If used properly, natural ingredients can help repel insects from your garden, leaving the plants and soil healthier.
So, before you can plunge to applying the natural solutions, check out some of the common pests and how they can cause harm to your plants.
Flea beetles are dark-coloured little creatures and jump the same way as fleas. They are mostly found in North America and can cause massive damage to your plants. Usually, their larvae attack plant roots so you can expect significant damage to your plants.
You can control flea beetles by using insecticides, especially during the early stage of development, but avoid using chemicals when they are adults. Remember that too much use of chemicals can destroy the soil as well as plants. Alternatively, you can dust the plants with talcum powder to repel the pests on plants like potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes.
Similarly, you can try some homemade spray to repel the beetles. Create a mixture of five cups of water, two cups of rubbing alcohol, and one tablespoon liquid soap. Spray the mixture on a few plants and leave it overnight, and if you don’t notice any adverse effect, use it on the rest of the plants.
Snails and slugs can be problematic. They not only invade your garden but can be regular visitors to your home, especially during cold seasons. These creatures terrorize your plants, particularly those hanging in shaded areas or damp conditions. Snails and slugs can also be a menace to your pets.
In order to get rid of slugs and snails from your garden and home, it can be efficient to handpick them, and if doing so feels squeamish, you can use gardening gloves. Similarly, you can wrap copper foil across tree trunks or planting boxes to keep the creatures off your plants. You can as well thin out the affected parts and expose them to sunlight. Alternatively, you can spray chemicals to minimize invasion and keep them away.
If you are not familiar with mealy bugs, you can easily confuse them with molds. What you need to know is that mealybugs are live creatures and functioning just like any other bug in your garden. With a preference for indoor plants, mealybugs suck the sap from plants and breed rather quickly. They survive well indoors because of the protection from external harsh weather conditions.
There is a wide range of control measures to eliminate mealy bugs. For instance, you can wash the creatures away with water, especially for light infections. Alternatively, you can use insecticidal soaps that are available in the market or create yours using Ivory Liquid. However, avoid products with additives or perfumes because they may harm your plants.
You can also use Neem oil to eliminate the meal bugs from your plants. Neem oil is extracted from the Neem tree and should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Neem oil is known for its fungicide benefits as well as insecticidal properties.
Vine weevils are among the most common and disturbing bugs in your garden. They attack both the garden and indoor plants, and their damage is massive and can cause the destruction of plants in your garden. In most cases, adults feed on leaves during summer, and the vine weevil larvae eat plant roots hence destroying the plant.
To get rid of vine weevil, you can start by destroying the adults whenever you see them. You can also pull out mulch and other hiding areas on the ground and water when the time is right. Also, exposing immature weevils to beneficial nematodes can help destroy them.
Alternatively, you can use effective crack and crevice sprays around vents, windows, and doors to repel adult weevils from invading structures. Additionally, using less toxic botanical insecticides is another way to control vine weevils. Botanical pesticides are derived from plants believed to have and are less harmful to the environment.
Aphids are similar to miniature pears and have a spiked tube and long antennae at their back. They have a high preference for flowers, fruits, shaded trees, and vegetables because they suck the sap from the plants. Feeding on the sap of these flowering plants can cause distortion and decay. Similarly, they can enhance the growth of mildews if they excrete honeydew to plants, which might spread viral diseases.
To eliminate aphids, you can spray cold water on the leaves of the plant to send them away. Similarly, if they have invaded in large numbers, you can use flour to dust the plants; it constipates the aphids. Neem oil, horticultural oils, and insecticidal soaps can also help in controlling the aphids.
If you’re not having a whole lot of success with SIY solutions, it may be time to call in the pros to save your garden.
Fortunately, it’s easy to find local pest control companies with organic, sustainable products that won’t harm your garden. For example, check out Moxie pest control in St George Utah.