Organic pest control involves the use of natural substances to control and eliminate insects. These substances can include a variety of plant-based chemicals and other nontoxic products such as soaps, salt and vinegar.
Pests can be a serious problem for anyone who grows food, and they can make it difficult to get a healthy yield. If you’re growing fruits and vegetables, it’s especially important to protect your crops from the harmful effects of insects.
Getting rid of pests can be expensive, but organic pest control solutions are affordable and effective. In addition, organic pesticides are safer for you and the environment than their synthetic counterparts.
Some of the most popular organic pesticides are insect growth regulators (IGRs), which inhibit a pest’s ability to grow. These pesticides come in liquid, granular or powder forms and can be applied directly to the soil or used as a spray.
Other effective organic pesticides are those that target specific insects or their eggs. For example, a solution that contains an organic extract of neem oil can kill Japanese beetles and other wood-boring insects. Other organic options that are aimed at controlling specific pests are biopesticides, which contain microorganisms that hunt and kill the pests.
Neem oil can be used to control cucumber beetles, which can transmit the deadly bacterial wilt disease. It’s also a great natural solution to keep aphids at bay in your garden.
Termites are another common home pest. These insects eat wood, but they can’t digest it without the aid of specialized bacteria in their gut. Orange oil, a popular organic pesticide, takes out the bacteria that termites need to digest wood and helps them die off.
The most important advantage of using organic pesticides is that they’re less likely to cause runoff. Rain and melting snow wash away synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which can pollute local waterways.
Toxic runoff can harm plants, wildlife and waterways. These chemicals are absorbed by a wide range of organisms, including fish, birds and humans.
Many organic pesticides decompose quickly, making them less likely to cause toxic runoff. This is in contrast to synthetic pesticides, which tend to remain toxic and may not decompose.
Other important advantages of organic pesticides are that they’re more selective than synthetic pesticides and often won’t kill helpful insects, such as bees. They’re also less toxic to pets and humans.
When choosing an organic pesticide, it’s important to read the label for any restrictions or warnings. You should also check with the company or certifying agency that has approved the product for use on organic foods and crops.
Some of the best organic pesticides are those that use natural ingredients like neem oil, thyme and garlic. These are less harmful to pets and children than other pesticides, but they may not be as effective as chemical treatments.
A good strategy for controlling pests is to take preventative steps like keeping your grass short and sealing entries to your home or business. You can also remove standing water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.