Organic insect control
As the population increases, the demand for greater food supply is in high demand and the need to raise more livestock is in great demand also.
The need for crops such as fruits and vegetables are also needed in abundance. There is not just a need for a greater supply of food but also for growing and raising these foods that are safe and of good quality.
We are also challenged by the growing concern of protecting those crops from common pest problems which can wipe out entire crops costing millions of dollars. Many pesticides have been made to combat these pest problems that also have been a challenge to us for a very long time.
Another concern that has been raised is moving away from these pesticides which are considered to be hazardous even though they are doing the job of eliminating these pests that threaten our agricultural industry and move to a safer environmentally friendly pest program.
Hence organic insecticides have been created to combat these major pest problems. Therefore in this article, we will be looking at some aspects of organic insecticides and insect control.
What are organic insecticides?
Simply put organic insecticides are insecticides that have been produced from materials that are considered to be not only of great benefit in terms of eliminating common pest problems but one that is safe to use around humans and animals.
There are a few of these products however that may be toxic to humans and pets so be sure to read the label carefully when purchasing these products.
You can find some of these products at your home and garden center or you can actually make your own homemade insecticide.
Insecticidal soap spray
Insecticidal soap is safe to use around humans and pets. This insecticide can eliminate insects such as mealybugs, spider mites, scales, and so on. Make sure and read the label for how to use it.
This is a simple mix comprising of a tablespoon of dish liquid in a 32 0z spray bottle mixed with water. This solution will take care of a wide range of insects like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, ants, and roaches.
With roaches you simply add about a gallon of water, adding 2 tablespoons of dish liquid. Mix the dish liquid and the water together in a bucket until it becomes soapy and foamy then drop roaches into this solution. This will kill them in about 2-5 seconds. This solution works by suffocating them so they can’t breathe.
Remember when spraying this homemade mixture on plants make sure that your plant is watered well the day before and when spraying, test spray a small section of the plant and watch for about two or three days. If there are no signs of plant injury, then you can go ahead and spray the entire plant.
Do not use this solution when the sun is hot at about 80 degrees or higher because plants can burn. I recommend after spraying plants with this solution wash plants off with fresh water after about 2 0r 3 hours of applying.
N.B. Avoid spraying hairy plants with this mixture.
This insecticide comes from the neem tree and eliminates a whole range of insects. This is a contact spray and should be applied at the first sign of insects. It may be harmful to pets. Use this insecticide when the weather is not cold but cool. Neem oil is slow acting but if used properly you will get the results you are looking for.
Pepper spray is another spray that kills insects. This spray disrupts the nervous system of insects including mealybugs, aphids, scales, and a whole range of other insects including mites. Remember label is the LAW so read and follow the label carefully.
Another homemade remedy that can be used to eliminate insects in your garden is to mix about 1.5 tsp. of dish liquid together with about half a gallon of water and about 1 small cup of vegetable oil. Mix the solution well by shaking and add to a spray bottle.
This spray solution is a contact spray that kills on contact. This homemade remedy can take care of a whole list of insects including aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, some scale insects, and so on. I recommend leaving this solution on plants for about 2-3 hours then rinsing them off with fresh water. Repeat at 7- day intervals as needed. Do not use this solution on plants if temperatures are above 80 degrees because plant burn may occur. Also before spraying the entire plant, apply a test spray on a small part of the plant. Wait for about a day or two to check the plant. If there are no signs of plant damage, then you can proceed with spraying the entire plant.
Always remember plant requirements must be met in order for them to be healthy. Now I must agree that even in the best- kept garden insects may still invade, but keeping plants in tip-top shape means that even though insects may attack your plants, your garden plants can still survive the attack because of proper maintenance which includes:
- Making sure that your plant is planted in the right soil because different plants have different soil requirements.
- Plants must be planted in the right location.
- Knowing your plant’s water requirements. Overwatering can be just as bad or in some cases worse than underwatering.
- Plants should be planted at the proper depth. Planting a plant too shallow or too deep can have adverse effects on your plant.
- Using fertilizers in the right way according to the direction.
- Using insecticides in the right way according to the direction.
- Always use proper pruning methods.
- Considering insect-resistant crops.
- Spraying plants at the right temperature.
- Giving plants the right amount of space to grow and allow for proper air circulation.
The final word
There’s more that can be said about organic insecticides and their use. We will, however, revisit this topic and look at some more examples of organic insecticides and their uses in the home garden. Remember plants need tender loving care in order to perform at their best and to give us the kind of harvest we are looking for.