The 7 Best Organic Pesticides for Safer Gardening
You plant your seeds, water your plants, and take care of weeds. But then one day you walk out to your garden and discover pests devouring your plants! Fortunately, you don’t have to use a toxic pesticide to banish those bugs. Instead, check out these best organic pesticides.
Why Use Organic Pesticides?
We’ve already discussed why you should use organic fertilizers in your garden, but what about organic pesticides?
If you’re trying to grow an organic garden, you obviously want to use an organic pesticide to keep your food safe to eat. However, even if you’re not trying to follow organic guidelines, it’s still very important to choose organic pesticides.
The main benefit of using organic pesticides is that they’re better for the environment. Chemical-based pesticides can have harmful effects on the environment.
They can contaminate soil, kill other animals, and pollute nearby sources of water, including groundwater meant for drinking.
Additionally, pesticides can leech into food and leave behind dangerous residue. Countless studies have linked pesticides to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, birth defects, ADHD, and damage to the nervous system, reproductive system, and endocrine system.
Just like you don’t want to purchase antibacterial hand soap or hand sanitizer because they leave behind bacteria resistant to antibiotics, you shouldn’t use chemical sprays and pesticides because insects can become resistant to them.
However, since organic pesticides are biologically based instead of artificially created, garden pests are less likely to develop a resistance to them.
Now that you know why you should use an organic pesticide, figure out what type of pest is bothering your garden and then pick out one of these best organic pesticides!
1. Neem Oil
Neem oil is made from the seeds of neem trees, and it’s a popular choice for getting rid of insects, mites, and diseases. In fact, neem oil is so effective at controlling so many different types of garden pests, it might become the only all-in-one spray you need to use.
It breaks down quickly, doesn’t leave behind any type of residue, and you can use it on both indoor and outdoor plants. It controls insects by harming their biological and reproductive systems, but it’s completely safe to humans.
It’s VERY IMPORTANT to note that neem oil is toxic to bees if they’re directly exposed to it. Therefore, you want to apply the spray when bees aren’t active and give it time to dry before they become active again, such as at dusk.
This excellent neem oil spray from Monterey is already mixed and ready to go, so you don’t have to worry about measuring.
What Does Neem Oil Get Rid Of?
- Fungus gnats
- Cabbage worms
- Powdery mildew
- Leaf spot
- And plenty more!
2. DIY Garden Pesticides
Did you know you can also make DIY pesticides using simple ingredients you likely already have around the house? If you know exactly what type of pest is bothering your garden, the homemade route is often an excellent choice.
This guide on how to make DIY pesticides for your garden goes over a variety of options that use natural ingredients for effective bug control.
Simply figure out which insects are harming your plants, and then check out which of the effective natural garden pesticides will work.
What Does DIY Garden Pesticide Get Rid Of?
- Mealy bugs
- Japanese beetles
- Powdery mildew
- Black spot
3. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth consists of crushed up shells and fossilized remains of oceanic organisms. When the powder gets on insects, it dries out their exoskeleton and eliminates them. However, it’s safe to use around pets and people.
When you’re shopping for diatomaceous earth, make sure you purchase the food grade variety so you know it’s safe to use in your vegetable garden.
To use it, simply sprinkle the powder around the dirt and on the leaves of your infested plants. Although it doesn’t get rid of every type of pest, it will make most of them so uncomfortable that they won’t want to stick around.
Keep in mind that this powder is very fine. Make sure you wear a face mask and protective goggles when you apply it so it doesn’t irritate your eyes, nose, and throat.
Also, make sure you apply it when the forecast isn’t calling for rain and your plants don’t need watered. The powder will wash away and won’t work if it gets wet.
What Does Diatomaceous Earth Get Rid Of?
- Squash bugs
- Spider mites
Spinosad is a natural bacteria that’s safe to use around people and pets, but deadly to a variety of garden pests. Bonide sells spinosad in two convenient forms.
While spinosad doesn’t significantly impact spiders and other beneficial predatory insects, it’s important to note it is harmful to bees when it’s wet.
In order to keep bees safe, you need to give the product at least 3 hours to dry before bees will come into contact with it. Therefore, like neem oil, it’s best to apply spinosad at dusk and let it dry overnight.
What Do Spinosad Get Rid Of?
- Spider mites
- Tent caterpillars
- Codling moth
- Gypsy moth
- Leaf miners
You don’t always have to use sprays to control pesky bugs in your garden. Sometimes, you just need a beneficial insect that likes to eat those pests!
Ladybugs have long been considered good luck, and you’ll love the luck you have growing all types of fruits and vegetables when they’re around to take care of pests for you.
While there are a variety of things you can do to attract pollinators, such as bees, to your garden, it’s really hard to attract ladybugs. That’s why you might consider buying some.
This inexpensive bag of live ladybugs is shipped right to your home, so all you have to do is open it up and let them get to work!
What Do Ladybugs Get Rid Of?
- Moth eggs
- Leaf hoppers
- Chinch bugs
- Asparagus beetle larvae
Aphids are disease-spreading pests that frustrate pretty much all gardeners. Fortunately, you can easily and naturally get rid of them by using nematodes in the soil of your plants.
Nematodes are microscopic worms that naturally occur in the soil and will attack a variety of soil pests. Yet they’re completely harmless to pets and wildlife!
In addition to using them to get rid of aphids, you can also use nematodes to naturally get rid of ants, weevils, borers, beetles, moths, and hundreds of other pests.
Plus, not only are nematodes effective at removing pests in your outdoor garden, but they’re also safe enough to use in your indoor plants!
What Do Nematodes Get Rid Of?
- More than 200 different species of pests!
4. Dr. Earth Final Stop Disease Control Fungicide
Insects aren’t the only things that can destroy all of your hard work in the garden. Fungi can also wreak plenty of havoc.
If you’re looking for an organic fungicide that works, check out Dr. Earth Final Stop Disease Control Fungicide. This formula uses essential oils, acids, and other natural ingredients to immediately destroy molds, mildews, and fungi on contact.
In addition to providing disease control for weeks, the spray contains minerals that help heal disease-damaged plants. And it does all of this while being people and pet safe!
What Does Dr. Earth Final Stop Disease Control Fungicide Get Rid Of?
- Powdery mildew
- Black spot
- Peach leaf curl
- Shot hole
- Leaf blotch
- Dollar spot
- Brown rot
Best Organic Pesticides to Protect Your Garden
You started a garden to grow your own fresh food and keep your family healthy. Don’t let your hard work go to waste by using toxic chemicals to get rid of garden pests!
Instead, you can banish everything from destructive bugs to harmful fungi when you use one of these best organic pesticides.
More Helpful Gardening Tips
Did you enjoy learning more about these best organic pesticides? Looking for additional helpful gardening tips? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:
- Plant These Perennial Vegetables Once and Harvest Them Year After Year
- 10 Must-Have Gardening Tools for Every Gardener
- The Best Vegetables to Plant in the Summer
- Grow a Medicine Cabinet in Your Garden With These Medicinal Herbs