Q:

How do you keep pests out of the garden without being bad to the environment?

A:

Quick Answer

It is possible to organically keep gardens free of pests such as insects. The gardener will simply need to become familiar with some organic gardening techniques that help keep pests away.

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How do you keep pests out of the garden without being bad to the environment?
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Full Answer

  • Organic Pesticides
  • The term may seem like an oxymoron, but there are some organic pesticides available, mostly in the form of insecticidal soap and diatomaceous earth (DE). Insecticidal soap is exactly what it sounds like: a dilute soap solution that will kill most garden pests. DE is a powdered form of pest control that contains spiky projections that will kill soft-bodied pests.

  • Traps
  • Pheromone traps and sticky traps are both effective ways of luring or physically trapping pests. Pheromone traps mostly attract the males of the species, so they aren't 100 percent effective, but they can help.

  • Physical Barriers
  • When possible, gardeners who want to avoid using synthetic pesticides can use physical barriers such as floating row covers, which will create an impenetrable barrier between the plant and the area outside the cover.

  • Oil Spray
  • Oil sprays such as neem oil must make direct contact with the insect or egg in order to work. The oil is thick enough to suffocate the pest, leading to death.

  • Helpful Parasites and Bacteria
  • Introducing parasites such as nematodes into a garden may seem counterintuitive, but as long as the gardener is using the right kind of nematode, the parasite will attack pests and not plants. Similar options include the use of Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), an organic bacteria that kills specific insects, such as caterpillars.

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