It sweeps out individual insects and nests and cuts off the air supply by placing them in sealed vacuum bags. Use mousetraps, jar traps, pheromone traps, and other non-toxic baits. Sprinkle cracks and crevices with boric acid powder, which will slowly poison creeping insects, but is less toxic to humans than pesticides. Use natural fertilizers for your garden.
Clean manure is a good choice, as are seaweed fertilizer sprays. They are useful for strengthening soil and promoting plant growth. Mix your garden beds with a variety of plant types scattered throughout. This makes it difficult for specific plant pests to spread and spread throughout the garden bed.
If you've used your garden tools on infected plants, be sure to sterilize them before using them on healthy plants. Diatomaceous earth can be an effective barrier for most insects, and it works by opening the insect's exoskeleton and drying it. Ants usually don't cross a line of diatomaceous earth, nor do most insects. It does not affect earthworms or, unfortunately, slugs at all.
Neem oil is safe and effective against a wide variety of insects, including some of the most problematic in the garden, such as ants, aphids, lobsters, leaf miners, caterpillars, and many others. Ruin root pest populations before they explode. Use sticky traps or pheromone traps for pests such as whitefly, apple moth, and plum moth. Traps may not kill large numbers, but they do play a role in tracking population growth.
Insect populations can go up and down. Damage may be tolerable if it is purely cosmetic, but keep in mind that insects can spread diseases such as viruses. These can be especially harmful to young plants, so action should be taken. In greenhouses, conditions can be controlled and there are a variety of live products to choose from to keep pests at bay.
Backyard Chickens — If you're raising chickens on your property, you have a built-in system to control garden pests. There are many different approaches to pest management, including preventing pest introduction in the first place, optimal timing of activities, crop rotation, mechanical control techniques, and even encouraging natural pest enemies. Gardeners can try to identify pests using online references and field guides, or they can email photos or samples of their pests by mail to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office in their county, to the University of Maine Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of Maine in Orono, or to the pest experts at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Once the pest has been identified, experts such as Sideman and Garland offer suggestions to gardeners on how to control pests and save their plants.
Without resorting to tactics other than organic, we have found that these pest controls are as effective as any chemical aerosol used in the past. Some forms of organic gardening allow for a limited number of controls that are derived from animal or plant materials. Beneficial nematodes move through the soil, enter the body cavities of your target garden pests, and release bacteria that kill that pest. This term simply describes microscopic organisms whose vital mission is to destroy pests that live underground.
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