Pests can be a real problem. They spread diseases, destroy crops and attack domestic animals. They are also difficult to control because their breeding cycle is short and often unpredictable. Many people are not aware that there are many natural ways of pest control.
You do not have to use harmful chemical pesticides to get rid of pests from your home. Many natural ways can eliminate the most common pests in homes and gardens.
Natural pest control methods involve the utilization of plants or animals, which help eliminate pests. Some plants and animals have poisonous substances which can kill or repel pests, while others release chemicals that are intolerable to the pest’s survival.
This article discusses various natural pest control measures every environmental enthusiast should consider in depth. Let’s dive in.
Biological Pest Control
This method involves using nature’s creatures to get rid of pests. Certain insects are known to feed on or parasitize other insects; these can be used to your advantage in controlling the pest population.
The most common biological controllers include ladybugs and praying mantis, which prey on aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies; parasitic wasps, which attack caterpillars and other pests; and predatory beetles that attack stink bugs, roaches, and many other garden pests.
To use biological control effectively, you must first know the pest you plan to control and then learn what natural enemies attack it.
Use of Neem Oil
Neem oil is derived from the seeds of the neem tree. It contains azadirachtin, which is an insect repellant and has antifeedant properties.
Neem oil works by disrupting the life cycle of insects. The laid eggs will not hatch, and any young ones that have hatched will not mature and become adults. Also, it has a repellent action against aphids, mites, and many other pests.
Toxicity is low when used as directed, but it is toxic to fish, bees, and birds when applied. It’s also toxic to some mammals such as cats and dogs if they ingest it in large doses.
If you have pets in your home, avoid using this method until the pets are kept away from the plants for 24 hours after treatment.
By Use of Water
Water is an excellent alternative if you prefer to use natural methods. It does not kill the pest but prevents it from breeding.
Pour a little water in the holes and cracks the ants tend to come out of and wait for them to go back inside.
You can also sprinkle some pepper near their trails, and they will avoid it because it burns them.
Hand-picking is the most effective way to control the most common garden pests. An adult beetle can be spotted immediately and picked off with a quick flick of the finger.
On the other hand, a caterpillar must be watched over some time and its numbers counted before an accurate estimation of the population can be made.
Hand-picking also works well with snails and slugs.
While store-bought products are a quick fix, natural pest control approaches often have the same effect. A little effort in finding the right method for your needs can make a world of difference in your organic garden, and you may find that it allows you to focus your resources in other ways.
The above are just some of the common pests many people deal with. Now you can show them who’s boss—or rather, who isn’t.