Pests are a common problem for gardeners, and while chemical pesticides and herbicides may be effective at controlling them, they can also have negative impacts on the environment and human health. Luckily, there are natural methods of pest control that can be just as effective, without the harmful side effects. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of using natural pest control in your garden, keep reading!
Chemical pesticides and herbicides can be harmful to the environment, contaminating soil and water and killing beneficial insects along with pests. Natural pest control methods, on the other hand, are environmentally friendly and sustainable. For example, companion planting can attract beneficial insects that eat pests, while creating a habitat for predators like birds and lizards can naturally control pest populations.
A common pest in my garden is the flea beetle, and they appear every year chewing away at all my tomatoes, eggplants, and brassicas. I started companion planting with marigolds and chamomile to attract beneficial predator insects.
Marigolds contain compounds that repel pests like nematodes, whiteflies, and aphids. They also attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps, which feed on flea beetles and other pests. Planting marigolds around your tomatoes, eggplants, and brassicas can help protect them from flea beetles and other pests while attracting beneficial insects that will help control pest populations.
Chamomile is another excellent companion plant for controlling flea beetles. It attracts beneficial insects like hoverflies and parasitic wasps, which feed on flea beetles and their larvae. Chamomile also has a mild insecticidal effect, which can help deter flea beetles and other pests.
Chemical pesticides and herbicides can also be harmful to humans and pets, causing skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even cancer. By using natural pest control methods, you can avoid exposing yourself and your loved ones to harmful chemicals.
Chemical pesticides and herbicides can be expensive, especially if you need to use them frequently. Natural pest control methods, on the other hand, are often more cost-effective and can be implemented using simple techniques and materials, such as homemade insect traps, companion planting, and physical barriers like netting or row covers.
For example, beer traps are an effective tool for reducing slugs and snails in the garden. Simply take a shallow dish, fill it with beer, and place it in the garden beds. The slugs and snails are attracted to the beer and will crawl in and drown.
Natural pest control methods can also lead to healthier plants. Chemical pesticides and herbicides can damage plant health, causing stunted growth, discoloration, and even death. Natural pest control methods, on the other hand, work with the plant’s natural defenses, strengthening its immune system and promoting overall health.
Seaweed sprays help make plants stronger and more pest resistant by providing them with fast absorbing nutrients. Spray the solution directly onto the plant leaves every few weeks or as directed on the label.
Natural pest control methods can be just as effective at controlling pests as chemical pesticides and herbicides. For example, planting strong smelling vegetables like garlic or chives can repel pests without harming beneficial insects. Using physical barriers like row covers can prevent pests from reaching your plants in the first place.
Chemical pesticides and herbicides can harm pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, which are crucial to plant reproduction and the overall health of ecosystems. Natural pest control methods, on the other hand, can attract pollinators and provide them with a safe and healthy environment to thrive in.
Using natural pest control methods in your garden can provide a wide range of benefits, including environmental sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and overall plant health. By choosing natural pest control methods, you can protect your garden and the environment while promoting the health and wellbeing of your plants, yourself, your family, and your pets.
Hello and welcome! My name is Kate and I am an herbalist and backyard farmer. If you are a beginner herbalist or just looking for information on plants, I write about gardening, natural remedies, and herbalism.