Sunday, March 25, 2012

Empower Necessary Garden Pests and Predators

As you well know, garden pests are usually controlled by the presence of insect predators and parasites which keep the populations of the harmful insects in control.  It is common knowledge that the majority of the insects in nature are either beneficial or at least considered harmless. 

There are quite a few methods of encouraging insect predators and here are just a few for you to engage in . . . 

Create a suitable habitat for insect predators

Flowering shrubs and trees throughout the garden will attract many beneficial insects including parasitic wasps which require pollen and nectar for their growth and maturity. 
Plants belonging to Umbelliferae family are particularly effective in attracting natural enemies of pests.

Provide alternate hosts for pests

To ensure availability of food for the beneficial organisms, grow alternate host plants along fence lines and in between cultivated crops. The natural enemy populations on these alternate host plants will control pests attacking the cultivated crop.

Provide nesting sites for frogs, reptiles and birds

 Logs of dead trees, irregularly shaped rocks with crevices and cavities and plenty of mulch can be a good nesting sites for snakes, lizards, frogs, rove beetles and carabid beetles and carabid beetles, which feed on insects.

Increase humidity by providing water holes

Humidity is much needed for the survival of natural enemies. It serves as a source of drinking water for reptiles, birds and frogs. Many predatory insects live in, on and near water. Well-vegetated small dams, little water pools and swales scattered throughout the garden will create conditions for the build-up of natural enemies.

Other tips that will aide you in being proactive with maintain a natural balance includes practicing mixed crops and harvesting them in strips helps to maintain natural enemies and confuses garden pests

In regards to fungal pathogens,the practice of mixed cropping is desirable as the root emits of another crop can be toxic to the pathogen. Mixed cropping also encourages soil microbes which, in turn, act as barriers to the fungal pathogen.

Continuously Reduce dust build up in crop plants

Dust inhibits the functioning of natural enemies. Growing well-designed windbreaks and ground cover crops like centrosema and lablab bean will reduce dust. Use of overhead sprinklers will also help periodically
in washing off the dust.

Avoid using chemical pesticides

Chemical pesticides eliminate beneficial insects. Improved application method should be developed and minimum doses should be applied. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Use the Food Chain . . . 10 Necessary Insects

Aphid Midge  
These insects look like a delicate, small wasp. The larvae eats more than sixty varieties of aphids from the garden. You can attract them by growing plants with a lot of pollen and nectar.

Big-Eyed Bug

 This is a fast-moving bug with large eyes and very small black spots on it’s head and thorax. They are usually found in field crops and orchards. The big-eyed bug eats leafhoppers, spider mites, plant bugs, aphids, and small caterpillars. This bug is a real asset to gardening.


: The ladybug ranges in size from 1/16 to 3/8 inch and have round red, orange or yellow bodies with black markings. They prefer gardens that have a large amount of pollen and nectar-producing flowers. The ladybug is fond of aphids, mealybugs, small insects and scales. 

The Mexican bean beetle is related to the ladybug but is not beneficial.

Minute Pirate Bug

These bugs are 1/4 inch long in adulthood and feature a black and white pattern. Fast-moving like the big-eyed bug and attracted to 
gardens where goldenrod, yarrow, alfalfa, daisies, and other flowering, pollen-producing plants are grown. They eat small caterpillars, thrips, spider mites, insect eggs and immature leaf hoppers.

Mealybug Destroyer
The adult mealybug is 1/3 inch long with an oval body and a coral-colored abdomen. Their wing covers are black. If mealybugs are present, the mealybug destroyer is there naturally and feeds on mealybugs in the garden.

Spined Soldier Bug
An adult grows to ½ inch in length. They are grayish brown and the shoulders of the thorax come to sharp points. Bugs of choice are caterpillars, armyworms, grubs, sawflies, and Mexican bean beetle larvae. The spined soldier bug likes the shelter of perennial plants near a garden.

Tachinid Fly

These bugs look like large, hairy houseflies and grow to a length of 1/3 to ½ inch long. The females deposit eggs that kill caterpillars of many pest species such as gypsy moths and armyworms. The adults feed on flower nectar and enjoy sweet clover, parsley and dill. 

Don’t kill the caterpillars with white eggs attached to them because the eggs will turn into more tachinid flies.

Tiger Beetles

Look for adults that range in length from ½ to 3/4 inches. They are long-legged and bright-colored and eat many kinds of pests. Plant perennials when gardening and the tiger beetles should follow.

Assassin Bug

This bug is ½ to 1 3/8 inches long and have a flattened look and elongated heads. They eat most common pests and are found naturally in any garden where pests live.


The adults grow to 1 inch long and are plump with yellow and black striping. They have a hairy body and smoky-colored wings. The bumblebee is a pollinator and is attracted to pollen and nectar flowers.

It’s important to attract beneficial insects to your garden. They pollinate and can rid your garden of unwanted pests.  

For more detailed instruction on how to cultivate a healthy organic garden 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fighting Garden Pests Organically and Manually

One must keep in mind that nature has a bigger scope than soil, plants, sunlight, water and air.  There are garden insects and pests to contend with and you must get the knowledge required to have success.   Of course there may be good insects that will be beneficial for your  garden insects and pests   but know that there are certain pests that you have to be somewhat vigilant about to get rid of them before they inflict too much harm. 

To get rid of them without turning to synthetic pesticides will lead you to organic pesticides and there are actually quite a few brands that are available to you commercially. Prior to choosing a pesticide, it is imperative that you be fully aware what the problem you are actually facing. To do this, inspect your garden very thoroughly and take down notes or pictures if you are not so sure about the kind of pests that are pooling on your garden.

One way that you can fight garden pests naturally and not turn to pesticides, even the organic type, is to do things manually. This method is somewhat harder but beneficial if you consider this as a challenge that you need to overcome to help yourself become proficient.  So if you find it necessary to have to pick out the garden pests by hand then do it. This should be done as long as there are only few that can be found on your garden.

Pesticides are a last resort and only utilized once the situation has become uncontrollable.

Another option is adding some insects and animals that will help you kill the pests. This metod afford you the opportunity to stay in touch with nature and help the process by way of the food chain.

 For example, a lady bug would eat up an aphid banquet. Frogs and lizards can also help you sort your problems with these pests.

If the plants are infested by unnecessary garden pests, what could be the problem? One root of the problem could be the plants themselves. They may be depressed or stressed. What have you done to them? This type of gardening means that you are to take things personally. You are being one with nature.

 So this succeed on this, you've got to take things seriously.    

Are you aware that you plants can get plant depressed? You may not be spending enough time with it. It may sound weird, but talking to your plants or singing to them may help you with the whole process. Throughout your gardening trek, you should be able to familiarize yourself with all the plants in your garden.

 You have to know how to make your plants healthy, happy and productive.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Natural Tips and Tricks for Battling Garden Pests

It was not long before I discovered the culprits . . .GARDEN PESTS! 
Leading the charge were the slugs, followed by worms, caterpillars, birds, 
and snails . . . my work was truly cut out for me!  I knew that there was no 
way to totally eradicate all garden pests but I could not sit idle and just let 
them run rampant!

You will have to pick your battles and insects are one of the worst pests to have in your garden because they live under the soil, in old weeds or leaves, as well                                    as a number of other                                     locations.

TIP #1

The first thing you will want to do is remove old leaves, weeds, or any other
decaying matter that insects and diseases could be living on or in from your

TIP #2

You will need to regularly turn over your garden soil and be sure to break apart any clumps of dirt so that you can eliminate the living spaces of any insects that might be hiding underground.

TIP #3

Dormant spray is yet another method of garden insect pest removal and is highly successful in keeping destructive insects and diseases under control. 
It considered to be best that you use dormant spray when your plants are  in a dormant state which is usually around February or early March.  It is 
imperative that you follow the correct instructions when using dormant spray for maximum effectiveness

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Natural Insecticides Safe For People And Pets

There are time when you don't just need natural insecticide for your yard, garden, and home, you also need it for yourself and your pets. Of course you will want to avoid the aggravation and even the disease that can come from bug bites.  You just don't want to put unnatural chemicals on your body that might cause another kind of harm.  

Believe it or not, there is a natural insecticide for your every personal insect killing need.  Many people don't like to use the mosquito repellent with DEET in it.  They fear that it is unsafe for their skin.  

Fortunately, there are all kinds of natural insecticide on the market to replace DEET.  One mosquito repellent has only water, natural oils, and vanillin.  One kind of natural insecticide for mosquitoes is a patch that you wear for 24 hour.  After this time, you will be protected for 36 hours.  One natural insecticide recipe for insect repellent works for fleas, ticks, and chiggers.  It uses lavender, sage, mint, rosemary and wormwood.  You mix these ingredients together and cover them with vinegar of the four thieves.  Let it set for a week and then apply it with a cloth.  

Another beneficial yet natural insecticide insect repellent recipe is for all kinds of biting insects includes mixing aloe vera gel and skin lotion.  Then you add citronella, eucalyptus oil, and patchouli oil.  You shake it up in a bottle and put it on anywhere but your face.  

If your pet has brought fleas into your home, you can get rid of them by dusting your carpet with boric acid.  Wait a week and then vacuum it up.  You can also use natural insecticide to get the fleas, as well as ticks, off you pet.  

Diatomaceous Earth can be used as a natural insecticide in the home to keep fleas from coming back and attacking your pets.   Pyrethrum or rotenone sprays will kill lice, fleas and ticks in your house to keep them off you pets.  A natural insecticide called neem oil can be used directly on the pet to get rid of fleas.   Orange oils can be used.  There are also herb-based flea collars available to buy.  These are all available to buy through brick-and-mortar or online stores.  

There are also natural insecticide methods you can use made with simple ingredients.  You can put certain things in your pet's food.  Some of these are fresh garlic, brewer's yeast, and flaxseed oil.  

It's an unpleasant thought, but through no fault theirs, people can sometimes end up with bed bugs.  These bugs are tenacious and very good at hiding in crevices of the bed.  There are several ways to get them out of your bed.  To get them off you, soap and water helps, but the natural insecticide neem oil does wonders.  

No one wants to think of having bugs on themselves or their pets.  It isn't a pleasant thought.  Besides, it is uncomfortable and hard to deal with.  Natural insecticide can help take care of the problem.  On top of that, they can even make it safer for your health.  Maybe it's time to give natural insecticide a try.

Can Natural Insecticides Be Harmful To Humans And Animals?

One  would normally expect a natural insecticide to be somewhat safe for people as well as pets.  The honest truth is that there are some that cause irritations or burns or are even toxic to humans and animals. Be cautious, if you are going to use a natural insecticide, you should be fully aware of whether it causes problems beyond the pest.  

Rotenone is a natural insecticide.  It is made from derris plant roots.  While it is fairly safe for people, it does harm fish.  If you use it, you should take precautions to keep it away from water where you have fish.  Rotenone is somewhat toxic to warm-blooded animals.  It is even somewhat toxic to humans.  You should therefore protect yourself during application of the natural insecticide.  The good news is that it doesn't affect the safety of vegetables grown using it.  

A natural insecticide that causes eye and respiratory irritations is Sabadillia.  Although it causes discomfort, it is not toxic.  However, you should take care not to breathe it in when using it.  A mask should be worn.  

Dried peppers can be ground and mixed with water to make a spray.  This is used as a natural insecticide.  However, it too can cause eye and respiratory irritation.  The crucial time to be concerned is when you are grinding the peppers.  

Termite control products that contain nicotine sulfates are actually more toxic to mammals than synthetic products are.  These natural insecticides should be used with caution by an experienced exterminator.  Some people use nicotine either in a commercially made product or they make it on their own from tobacco leaves.  They use this natural insecticide for many different insects.  The trouble is that it is toxic to people.  You can't breathe the vapors.  You'll want to avoid letting it touch your skin.  

On the other hand, many a natural insecticide is completely harmless to people and pets.  Boric acid is so safe that it can be used in areas where children play.  It is toxic only to insects.  Diatomaceous Earth is a very popular natural insecticide that is safe for all mammals, including people.  Bacillus thurengiensis or Bt, is safe for use on plants as well.  It does not harm humans or animals.  

Actually, orange, lime, and grapefruit oils are currently being developed as products to be used as natural insecticides in Third World countries cue to the fact that they are very good at killing many different insects.  At the same time, they are completely non-toxic to humans.  The natural insecticide from the neem tree is not just non-toxic.  It has actually been used as an antiseptic.  It has also been used by herbalists to treat many diseases.  It has been used for over forty years.  

When and if you utilize a natural insecticide that contains harmful ingredients, you will need to be very sure to use it properly.  If it is a commercial preparation, follow instructions on the label very carefully and use in recommended amounts only.  It is also important to be aware of how long you need to wait between use of the product and harvesting the crop.  

Some kinds of natural insecticide are harmful to people and/or pets.  Some are not.  The key is to know which natural insecticide you are dealing with.  Then, be sure you know everything about it.

Natural Pesticides - Preparation 1,2,3

Here are step-by-step instructions for the preparation of natural pesticides for getting rid of pests in your garden,home or office.  It may be a harsh chemical that you don't want in your home and that is your reasoning for going natural o instead of the harsh substances in the store, RIGHT?!?   If I am correct, and if your are reading this then  . . . . I AM CORRECT! 

Let's get started . . . 

If you get some boric acid powder, you can mix up all kinds of natural insecticide.  For ants, you can put together a tablespoon of boric acid, a teaspoon of sugar, and some water.  Put it on a cotton ball and set it out where ants go.  Getting rid of ants will also decrease the possibility of having aphids.  

Roaches are a easy one to tackle, it's simple.  Just set out the powder where the roaches run.  Boric acid can be mixed with a non-toxic version of anti-freeze called propylene glycol to kill termites.  A natural insecticide can be made that is safe for use around children and pets just by using boric acid and household ingredients.  You can mix the acid with water in a 10% solution for use on surfaces.  

You can make a natural insecticide for use on small pests that you get on plants.  You can make a garlic spray.  Take a good amount of garlic and chop it up finely.  Add paraffin oil and soak it for a full day.  

Next, dissolve some soap in water and slowly add that.  After you stir it up, strain it in cheese cloth.  Only store it in a container that is made of glass.  Your natural insecticide is ready to use.  

When doing battle with aphids, you can make a natural insecticide that is a stinging nettle spray.  Just take some nettles and soak them in water for about three weeks.  After this is finished fermenting, dilute it with water.  It is ready to spray.  

Believe it or not, there are several methods for killing the Colorado potato beetle.  You can make a natural insecticide tea by soaking cedar chips.  Then make it into a spray to apply to leaves.  

Another foliage spray used as a natural insecticide against this destructive pest is tansy spray.  Dry out the tansy and grind it up.  You can do this with a mortar and pestle if you have one.  Then, mix it with water to make the spray.  

For my friends the cutworms, you can make another natural insecticide spray by using pineapple weed and water mixed together as a natural insecticide.  Or, you can use sagebrush extract with water.  If you just want to immobilize them, you can mix molasses with bran and sawdust.  Put this on plants in the evening.  

My biggest foe is Tomato hornworms destroy tomatoes and other crops.  For a natural insecticide, you can lightly cover the area around the plants with cornmeal they will try to eat it.  Their digestive systems can't handle it and they will pop.  

There is a spray that can be made as a natural insecticide for many small soft-bodied bugs.  You will need to use a spoonful of canola oil and a few drops of liquid soap.  This gets rid of mealy bugs, aphids, and mites.  

Trust me when I say that there are many other kinds of natural insecticide that can be used to get rid of pests.  You can't concoct them all in your own kitchen, either.  However, when you can, it makes using natural insecticide that much easier.