Safer Methods for Pest Control
PHYSICAL METHODS OF PEST CONTROL
- Pick or wash bugs off plants.
- Use floating fabric row covers to keep pests off crop plants.
- Pull weeds by hand before they set seed.
- Mulch gardens to prevent weeds.
- Remove all Japanese Barberry which attracts mice and ticks.
NON-TOXIC SUBSTANCES & HEAT
- Garlic-based tick sparay and MET-52 are alternatives to bee-killing Pyrethroids.
- Limonene as an herbicide for small areas (Avenger is one brand).
- Applying corn gluten meal to turf grass (in early spring and fall) will prevent germination of crabgrass and weeds.
- Kill weeds in driveways and walkways with a propane torch or vinegar solution (1 qt vinegar, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tsp. dish soap).
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around foundations and entryways for non-toxic control of ants.
- Whole milk and water (1:2) prevents powdery mildew.
NON-TOXIC BAITS, TRAPS, LURES
- Trap whiteflies and aphids with yellow sticky cards, a very effective method since these insects are attracted to color.
- Slugs can be trapped with a saucer of beer placed at ground level.
Learn to identify the "good guys" and let these beneficial insects do their job.
- Lady beetles eat aphids, and green lacewing larvae feed on soft-bodied insects, mites, and insect eggs.
- Spined soldier bugs, spiders, predatory mites, and many nematodes are also beneficial "allies".
- Bacillus thuringiensis var. galleriae (BTg) is effective in controlling many beetle grubs including Japanese and Asian beetles
- Beneficial nematodes are effective in controlling all types of beetle grubs.
HORTICULTURAL OIL SPRAYS
- For control aphids, mites, scale insects, whiteflies and other pests.
USE CAUTION. These oils are non-selective and will kill beneficial insects.
- Effective against whiteflies, aphids, mites, and thrips.
TAKE CAUTION not to use insecticidal soaps on butterfly caterpillars.Also, many plants are sensitive to
- Many naturally occurring plant extracts have insecticidal properties. They vary in toxicity to humans and non-target
organisms. USE THESE WITH CAUTION. Immature insects, including beneficials like butterfly caterpillars, are
extremely sensitive to extracts like Neem.
NOTE: With any insecticide, it is important to apply when pollinators (bees, butterflies) are not active and
where flowers are not present.SYSTEMIC INSECTICIDES get into pollen and nectar, effectively poisoning
bees and other pollinators.
NEVER USE BROAD SPECTRUM INSECTICIDES