Organic Pest Control
Pests. It’s summer and they’re out wreaking havoc. Let’s talk common pests and organic pest control:
- Neem Oil is a great product for any gardener’s arsenal. It’s a broad spectrum insecticide that does not affect beneficial insects (bees included!). Neem is a hormone inhibitor that prevents growth and reproduction when the treated plant is consumed by the pest. Excellent for use against aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, certain beetles and certain worms. Spray in the morning or in the evening. Azamax, derived from neem, is powerful and highly recommended.
- Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) is a bacterium found naturally in the soil and in the stomachs of caterpillars. A longstanding tool in organic farming, and especially useful in greenhouse production, BT is very effective against hornworms, loopers, tent caterpillars, gypsy moths, etc. and is also safe for beneficial insects. Try Safer Caterpillar Killer if you prefer a foliar spray or Dipel Dust for dry application.
- Spinosad is a pesticide containing two naturally occurring compounds derived from S. spinosa, a bacterium originally found in rum barrels in the Caribbean*. It attacks the central nervous system of a broad spectrum of bugs. There’s nothing better for flea beetles, thrips or leaf miners. Monterey Garden Insect Spray is another organic product that is safe against beneficials but should be sprayed in the morning or evening to prevent wet contact that could result in leaf burn in direct sunlight.
- Sluggo Plus: Slugs and earwigs have been really bad this year. Granular shaker cans of Sluggo Plus will take down slugs, snails, pill bugs, and earwigs. Sluggo Plus is easy to apply and very effective.
- Diatomaceous Earth is composed of fossilized marine algae and volcanic dust. It rips, tears, and dehydrates bugs with exoskeletons. D.E. is great for use against ant, roach, and flea prevention. Our Diatomaceous Earth is also feed grade and good for chickens and other livestock as well. Because this product’s mode of action is physical (as opposed to chemical), insects will not become resistant.
- Red Pepper Wax is great for discouraging squirrels. Be careful, those rodents will take your berries and steal bites out of every tomato and fruit they can reach. Hot Pepper Wax is loaded with pepper-derived capsaicin, and deters pesky nibbling.
While all of our pest products are organic and safe to use up until the day of harvest, you still wouldn’t want to drink or bathe in them. Wash your hands and be safe!
Questions are welcome!
By Anna Haupt