Whether you enjoy creating a small garden in your backyard or you have multiple greenhouses and are responsible for thousands of plants, preventing insects and other common garden problems from taking over can be easier said than done. Thankfully, garden insect control is easy as long as you have the proper knowledge. Let’s look at the best ways to provide organic insect control, different types of insecticide, and tips and tricks for making garden insect control the least stressful part of your day.
What is Insecticide?
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, insecticides are substances that harm, kill, mitigate, or repel insects.
Insecticides are available in different styles:
Each type of insecticide presents a different level of danger to the environment, people, pets, and surrounding plants that aren’t the target of treatment. There are options that fall under organic insect control that offer a safer alternative, as well.
How Do I Get Rid of Bugs in My Garden?
Depending on where you live and what types of plants you grow, there are a few insects that you may come into contact with. Read on to learn more about the top five most common insects that gardeners have to deal with, what the major concerns are from each, and how to use organic insect control to keep your plants looking beautiful.
5 Most Common Garden Insects
- Slugs and snails
What are Caterpillars?
Caterpillars look like worms and are in the growth stage before they turn into butterflies and moths. The frustrating and confusing part about caterpillars is that many will morph into pollinators that help your garden in the long run. Unfortunately, although they turn into beautiful and helpful creatures, caterpillars eat the stems and leaves of plants.
While frustrating, unless these insects are ruining your plants, you usually don’t need an insecticide and can leave them alone. However, if you’re fed up with them, a good form of organic insect control for caterpillars is to encourage natural predators. Setting up a birdbath and keeping it filled with fresh water will encourage birds to visit.
Garden Insect Control for Preventing Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails love to eat holes in the leaves of plants and flowers and are known for feeding when it’s cloudy or at night. Slugs look like short, fat worms with small antennae, while snails are the same but with the addition of a hard shell on their back. Both insects enjoy cool and damp areas and can be found on rocks and under mulch.
To prevent slugs and snails with organic insect control, you can fill shallow bowls or saucers with beer and place them near the plants at night. A primary concern with using commercial chemical poisons is that it harms children, pets, and the environment and can also deter and kill insects that you want to attract.
How to Get Rid of Aphids
Aphids are small, soft insects that can be white, yellow, black, or red. They can be with or without wings. These insects congregate on new plant growth and feed on sap, causing damage to flowers and plants. You can get rid of aphids in your garden without insecticides through easy organic insect control methods such as spraying the plants with a water hose, cutting off the affected stems and smashing them on the ground, and releasing ladybugs in your garden.
Garden Insect Control for Beetles
Beetles come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties, including flea beetles and Japanese beetles. Flea beetles are less than an eighth of an inch long and typically black or gray in color. They hop like crickets or fleas and can eat small holes and pits in plant leaves, typically early in the summer or spring.
The best garden insect control for flea beetles is floating covers on rows of young seedlings. As plants age, you can use sticky traps or neem oil for severe infestations. However, flea beetles are usually kept at bay by parasitic wasps.
Japanese beetles are relatively visible due to their appearance. These insects have blue or green and copper coloring and grow to be about half an inch long. They love to feed on hibiscus and roses but will also eat hundreds of other varieties of plants. Unfortunately, using an insecticide isn’t adequate for Japanese beetles because it only kills adults.
The best form of garden insect control for Japanese beetles is choosing plants they don’t find appealing. You can use organic insect control methods for the grubs in the soil, but you’ll still be left to deal with adult beetles as they fly long distances to feed. Beetle traps tend to attract more beetles, so we recommend a soil treatment and then handpicking the adults off the plants daily.
How to Prevent Grubs in Your Garden
When it comes to grubs, the best form of control is prevention rather than insecticide. For example, adding crab shell flour to your soil helps bacteria form that eats the grubs before they can hatch. You can also control the amount of moisture your grass receives and introduce natural predators such as a select variety of nematodes.
Organic Insect Control Methods
One of the best ways to ensure garden insect control is through prevention and other natural and organic insect control methods. There are different types of soil amendments that you can add to your soil that will create an inhospitable environment for grubs, insects, ants, and other pests.
Another way to promote garden insect control is by keeping your plants as healthy as possible. Healthy plants, including strong root systems, are much better equipped to fend off parasites, insects, and diseases than unhealthy plants. Making sure your plants are supplied with the proper nutrients, adequately watered without being overwatered, and routinely testing your soil with a microbiometer to maintain soil health will go a long way in keeping your plants happy and thriving.
Where to Buy Organic Insect Control Products
When shopping for insecticide sprays, soil amendments, or other garden insect control products, be sure to do your research to ensure you shop from a trustworthy company. Rocky Mountain BioAg® has invested more than a decade into the science behind healthy agriculture. So whether you’re looking for soil, nutrient amendments, or pet-friendly ice melts, you’ll always find the best solutions from Rocky Mountain BioAg®.