Insects may be natural, but they are the bane of every gardener. There’s a wide variety of pests ready and willing to attack, infest, and destroy whatever you want to grow. If you’re an organic gardener, or at least try to avoid chemicals whenever you can, insect control really becomes a challenge. There are botanically-derived, natural and organic pesticides, though, and they can save your garden.
Organic Methods to Prevent and Manage Pests
There are a lot of strategies for managing insects and trying to prevent them from taking over that are organic and avoid pesticides. For instance, just keeping your plants healthy, making sure they get adequate water and have rich soil, can help prevent insect infestations. Struggling plants are far more susceptible to attack.
You can also try companion planting or the introduction of beneficial insects. Garlic and certain herbs and flowers near other plants help to drive some pests away, while ladybugs feed on damaging aphids. Buying certified pest- and disease-free transplants is another way to minimize insects.
Natural, Organic Pesticides
Prevention and cultural control are important and can keep insect levels under control, but even for the most careful organic gardener there are times when it just isn’t enough. The last thing you want is to be forced to use a harsh chemical pesticide. The good news is that there are plant-derived, natural, and organic pesticides that you can use as alternatives.
One useful product is called Azera. It contains two plant-based active ingredients that kill both soft- and hard-bodied insects and pests. It can be used on fruits and vegetables as well as your ornamental plants and will kill about 200 different species, including aphids, thrips, leafhoppers, and weevils, without posing a threat to people. This product complies with the Natural Organic Program (NOP) through the USDA. It has also been reviewed and found acceptable as an organic pesticide by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), an independent group.
Another option for organic gardeners with a pest problem is PyGanic. This is a great product to use when you notice early signs of an infestation. Like Azera, it is broad-spectrum and will kill more than 200 types of pests, including cabbage loopers, whiteflies, beetles, caterpillars, and fruit flies. The active ingredients are botanically-derived and safe to use on all kinds of plants, including vegetables and fruits. You don’t even have to wait for it to dissipate before harvesting. PyGanic also meets NOP requirements and has been accepted by OMRI.
For the home gardener, being able to maintain a healthy and productive ecosystem is important. You can’t manage insects by spraying harsh chemicals everywhere because you will end up with an environment that is unsafe for people and pets. With products like PyGanic and Azera (a list of retailers can be found on the MGK® product page for each), you can get good insect control and still have an organic garden and yard.