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Buyer's Guide for Organic Pest Control



If you're an experienced or beginning gardener concerned about your health and the environment, you are probably wary about using chemical pesticides on your lawn and garden. Fortunately, there are a ton of effective techniques and natural products out there to help you deal with pests without chemicals.

With so many different natural and organic products available, it can be tough deciding which organic pesticides to purchase and which ones really work. But we're here to help, with this review of some of the most effective and popular organic pesticides on the market to make your decision easier.

THE BASICS OF ORGANIC PESTICIDES:

How exactly do organic pesticides work?

Nature has given us plant extracts that make very effective pesticides and insect repellents. For example, some organic pest control products such as Orange Guard use a citrus-fruit peel base, such as from lemons and oranges. Citrus oils kill many flying and crawling insects on contact by destroying the waxy coating of the insect's respiratory system.

Other organic pesticides use natural extracts to repel rather than kill pests. Some products use garlic or hot peppers and essential oils of herbs such as cloves to repel insects and other pests. Want to learn more? The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is an excellent source of information on organic pesticides and how they work.

BEFORE YOU APPLY ORGANIC PESTICIDES:

Before you use any kind of pesticide, organic or otherwise, you should think about trying out natural techniques such as companion planting. And remember, healthy plants growing in good soil and with the proper amount of sunlight will be more resistant to pests and diseases.

Companion planting involves using certain plants in combinations to keep pests away and strengthen the plants’ immune systems. While companion planting will not solve all your pest problems, it is a very handy and natural way to help your plants. This website from the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has more details on companion planting.

THE ORGANIC PESTICIDES BUYER'S GUIDE:

General Purpose Organic and Natural Pesticides:

These natural and organic pesticides are designed to kill or repel a wide range of insects and other pests. See below for more information on dealing with specific kinds of garden pests.

Diatomaceous Earth Insect Killer

Diatomaceous earth is an abrasive powder made from the fossils of diatoms (tiny sea creatures). It works by cutting open the exoskeleton of crawling insects. With their exoskeletons damaged, the bugs dehydrate and die, usually within 48 hours. It works on a variety of critters, including slugs, earwigs, millipedes, centipedes, silverfish, cockroaches and ants. You can use it safely both indoors and outdoors. You simply sprinkle the powder where pests are likely to crawl, live, or hide. Another advantage is that as the insecticide works mechanically, pests cannot become resistant to it.

Garlic-based Insecticide and Fungicide

This organic insecticide and fungicide for fruits, vegetables, herbs and other plants is made from USDA approved ingredients. It is an all natural insecticide and fungicide which has a similar formula to our Organic Rose Insecticide and Fungicide, with the addition of pure, food grade garlic extract. Garlic is an excellent natural insect and pest repellent. It will keep insect and even animal pests away from your precious crops.

Neem Insecticidal Spray

Neem is a plant from India that has natural abilities to repel common pests. Combined with soapy water, this neem-based insecticide is a powerful and safe form of pest control. Use neem-based products to control a wide variety of insects. You can use this product both indoors and outdoors on plants such as houseplants, herbs, vegetables, nuts, fruit, flowers, trees, roses, lawns and shrubs.

Orange Guard

Orange Guard is a similar product to Orange Guard’s Fire Ant Control, but it is intended more as a broad range insecticide and insect repellent. This orange-based product kills and repels ants, roaches, fleas, and silverfish, in addition to other common insect pests. As with Orange Guard Fire Ant Control, this product is safe to use on food crops, and is not harmful to your pets or your family. Orange Guard is also safe to use indoors. You can even use Orange Guard for eliminating fleas from your carpeting when you pre-soak before steam cleaning. Orange Guard can also be used as part of the Texas Two Step Method for Fire Ant Control.

Bug Shooter Lemon-based Natural Insecticide

BugShooter is another natural citrus-based organic insect killer. It uses lemon oil as its base. This is an excellent organic pesticide for hobby gardeners, as you can use it safely on a huge variety of indoor and outdoor plants. It is designed to kill flying and crawling insects on contact. You can use it to kill aphids, adult whiteflies, bean beetles, fire ants, rose chafers, caterpillars, earwigs, Japanese beetles, etc. If you have vegetable or fruit crops, BugShooter is safe to use even on the day of harvest.

Organic Lawn and Garden Bug Spray

Our Organic Lawn and Garden Bug Spray is an all-purpose natural organic insecticide that will repel and kill most common yard and garden pests. Use it if you have a problem with fleas, grasshoppers, ants, mosquitoes, pillbugs, ticks, or other common garden pests. This is a liquid spray organic insecticide that contains sesame oil, clove oil, and thyme oil. You can use it safely on fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, and turfgrass. Simply attach the bottle to your hose and apply this natural pesticide both to small or large areas of your garden or lawn.

Natural and Organic Mosquito Repellents:

Deet Free Personal Mosquito Repellent

Keep mosquitoes off of you and your loved ones while gardening, hiking, fishing, etc. This extremely effective natural repellent contains only natural oils, water, and Vanillin. According to tests by BassFan Lab, (operated by BassFan LLC), this repellent is as effective if not more so than Deet based repellents. Another good option as a personal mosquito repellent is this long-lasting mosquito patch, which contains 300 mg. of Vitamin Thiamin B1 and keeps mosquitoes away for up to 36 hours after being worn for 24 hours.

Natural Granular Mosquito Repellent

If you want to keep mosquitoes out of a large area, then these natural mosquito repelling granules can help. They work great when distributed about your pool, garden, or even camp site. This product will naturally biodegrade and contains such harmless ingredients as lemon grass oil, garlic oil, and mint oil. After application they provide about 2-3 weeks of protection depending on the weather. Application is simple, and with one container you can protect up to a total of 4,000 square feet.

Organic Liquid Mosquito/Flea Repellent

Another excellent option for keeping mosquitoes away is a liquid repellent that uses garlic and black pepper as a base. Simply attach this product to your hose and spray the non-toxic, biodegradable liquid around your home, pool, garden, etc. It provides protection for around 60 days depending on the weather conditions. The advantage of a hose sprayer is that you can quickly and easily treat your entire yard. It also protects you against gnats, fleas, and even ticks.

Non-toxic Mosquito Control Dunks

One of the best ways to deal with mosquitoes that appear in your garden during the growing season is to kill them in the larval stage before they can mature. There are two excellent products we offer that do just that. We sell these non-toxic mosquito dunks, which you can add to a rain barrel or water feature and are a natural way to kill off mosquitoes before they get to buzzing around your yard. They contain Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (B.t.i.), which is a bacterium toxic to Mosquito and black and psychodid fly larvae. It is important to note that B.t.i. is non-toxic to fish and wildlife. These dunks control mosquitoes without toxic chemicals. You can also try out these Non-toxic Mosquito Control Bits, which work in a similar way. They also contain Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (B.t.i.) and are completely safe for fish and wildlife.

Organic Pesticides for Crawling Insects

Diatomaceous Earth Insect Killer

As mentioned above, diatomaceous earth is an abrasive powder made from the fossils of diatoms and works by cutting open the exoskeleton of crawling insects. It works on a variety of critters, including slugs, earwigs, millipedes, centipedes, silverfish, cockroaches and ants.

BugShooter Lemon-based Natural Insecticide

As mentioned above, BugShooter is a natural citrus-based organic insect killer that works great on crawling insects. It uses lemon oil as its base. This is an excellent organic pesticide for hobby gardeners, as you can use it safely on a huge variety of indoor and outdoor plants.

Organic Pesticides for Controlling Ants

Orange Guard Fire Ant Control

Orange Guard Fire Ant Control can be used alone or part of the Texas Two Step Method for Fire Ant Control. This is a citrus-based organic insecticide that is specifically designed to kill fire ants. Simply dilute Orange Guard Fire Ant Control 3 parts water to 1 part Orange Guard, and then apply it directly to fire ant mounds. This is a great product, and in a recent study by Granosky and Associates in College Station, TX, Orange Guard Fire Ant Control was found to be 95% effective in killing the fire ants in their nests. That's as good or better than a lot of chemicals did.

Organic Fire Ant Killer with Spinosad

Natural Fire Ant Killer with Spinosad is an integral component of the Texas Two Step Method for Fire Ant Control. It is a dry granular bait that is designed to be applied with a shaker directly to fire ant mounds. You can also sprinkle it in your garden, around your home, or directly in your lawn. Fire ants carry the bait back to their nest, where it works to eventually kill the queen or leave her infertile. Natural Fire Ant Killer with Spinosad also works great for controlling caterpillars, grasshoppers, ticks, fleas, and centipedes, and other common garden pests. Unlike many granular pesticides, it does not require watering to activate.

Other Specialty Organic Pesticides for Specific Insect Pests

Milky Spore Organic Japanese Beetle Killer

Adult Japanese beetles can be a serious pest in the garden. They’ll eat anything from your flowers to your fruits. Moreover, the beetle larvae attack the roots of turf grasses and the roots and stems of other common garden plants. The Milky Spore Organic Japanese Beetle Killer is a safe and effective way to control this destructive insect. Milky Spore is a product that attacks the beetle in its larval stage while it’s feeding. Once the larvae ingest the spore, they never reach maturity. The Milky Spore Organic Japanese Beetle Killer will not harm pets or humans. Additionally, it is safe to use around freshwater sources and it will in no way affect the beneficial insects in your garden.

Garden Slug Trap

For years, gardeners have known that beer attracts slugs and snails. With this special trap designed to kill snails and slugs, you can efficiently kill 3-4 dozen slugs and snails in one evening. The design of this slug trap is a great improvement over using a common plastic cup.

Organic Mosquito Garden Spray

Mosquitoes can be a serious annoyance for the gardener. They can also carry harmful diseases. Thankfully, there are many products available these days that work to repel mosquitoes without the use of harmful chemicals. This particular product is applied throughout your yard with a hose sprayer. This is an odorless and completely natural mosquito repellent that is made of common food products such as black pepper and garlic. It will also repel other flying and biting insects such as gnats, fleas, and ticks. It works up to 60 days when applied correctly.

Insecticidal Soap for Houseplants

If you have houseplants, you may have specific pests that attack your plants indoors. Try out this organic insecticidal soap which is USDA approved. It is safe and effective for use in controlling pests on houseplants and other indoor plants. The food grade oils in this product drown bugs like thrips, mealy bugs, fungus gnats, and other common insect pests. The potassium bicarbonate also helps control problems like mildews, scale, and common fungal diseases that can weaken your plants. This natural insecticide contains potassium bicarbonate, pleasant smelling Vanillin oil, almond oil, and food grade oils as the active ingredients.

Poison Free Wasp Trap

Like mosquitoes, wasps can be a serious hassle for the gardener. This wasp trap uses natural elements to attract and trap wasps inside. Once inside the trap, they cannot leave and they die. This product is safe for you, your family and your pets.

Organic Pesticides for Controlling and Repelling Deer and Other Animals

Hot Pepper Wax Animal Spray

Oils derived from spicy peppers make excellent natural animal and insect repellents. This Hot Pepper Wax Animal Spray will keep animals and some insect species from damaging your garden and will not harm the animal in the process. It is made from the oils of the cayenne pepper, and will repel chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels, gophers, hedgehogs, etc. The hot oils adhere to your plants with a food grade wax. This means that the pepper extracts work even after heavy rainfalls. Pepper oil sprays are great for both ornamentals and edible food crops. You can actually use it on your fruits or vegetables in the morning, and pick and eat them in the afternoon, with no harm to you or your family, and no spicy flavor.

Garlic-based Insecticide and Fungicide

This organic insecticide and fungicide for fruits, vegetables, herbs and other plants is made from USDA approved ingredients. It is an all natural insecticide and fungicide which has a similar formula to our Organic Rose Insecticide and Fungicide, with the addition of pure, food grade garlic extract. Garlic is an excellent natural insect and pest repellent. It will keep insect and even animal pests away from your precious crops.

Safe and Natural Animal Control

This harmless automatic pet deterrent uses a passive infrared sensor to detect an animal within its one-meter zone. As the animal passes, the device responds with a warning sound and a quick spray of compressed air. This will help to keep animals away from your garden, compost bin, etc. For other annoying animal pests like raccoons, etc., you should try out our water blaster safe and harmless animal control system.

Organic Deer Repellent

This organic deer repellent works to repel deer, rabbits, raccoons, etc. It simulates the smell of dead deer but is completely inoffensive to humans. It actually smells just like to mild fertilizer to humans. Once applied, this natural deer repellent can last up to 30-45 days.

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