We aren’t the only creatures in the garden interested in our vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Insects are coming into their own in summer looking for something to eat, lay eggs on and basically devour. There’s nothing worse than pampering your roses, basil or broccoli, only to have them munched on by insects.
Not all insects are a problem in the garden and actually, 99% of garden insects are either harmless or beneficial. But it’s that 1% that causes concerns. We can help by keeping an ecological balance in our garden. That means building healthy soil with compost, watering properly, and growing a diversity of vegetables, herbs and flowers, and growing insect-resistant varieties. Here’s how you can keep insects away from your garden with this organic garden pest control tips:
- Hand Pick– The sign of a healthy garden is the gardener’s footprints. Checking your plants daily allows you to get a jump on beetles, caterpillar or grub infestations and stopping them before they become a problem. Scout in the morning with a cup of soapy water and toss the culprits into the water. Educate yourself on the egg stage of certain insects, and look for clusters of eggs on the underside of leaves and crush them.
- Cover Them Up– Many pest insects are butterflies, moths, beetles or flies that lay eggs on the leaves of your plants. The eggs hatch into the larval stage. It’s this young stage that causes most of the damage. To prevent them from eating your plants, block the adults from laying eggs. The simple solution is to cover any vegetable and herb, that doesn’t need cross-pollination from bees, with a floating row cover, micro-mesh or tulle cloth. You can grow your plants to maturity undercover without having to hand pick or spray. Use VELCRO® Brand ONE-WRAP® ties to fasten the cloth or mesh to stakes or boards to hold it in place.
- Trap them Out– Some pests can be lured to their death. Cucumber beetles like the color yellow, so hanging yellow cards covered with a sticky substance, such as Tanglefoot, will lure them in and then they get stuck. Insect pheromones are placed in Japanese beetle traps to lure beetles away from roses and other flowers. They think there’s a mate waiting for them in the trap and drop into the bag. Use these traps to reduce insect populations.