Eco-friendly pest control has been increasing in popularity over the last several years. Many commercial pest control companies are offering eco-friendly pest control products and services in addition to conventional means. However, if you are a do-it-yourselfer, here are some eco-friendly pest control ideas that you can implement on your own.
The use of beneficial insects is a common eco-friendly pest control method. Ladybugs, being the natural enemy of many harmful insects, are the most commonly used beneficial insect. Ladybugs are very active and can devour a number of insects and larva including aphids, scales, mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites, whitefly, and many others. They also consume pollen from their favorite plants such as cilantro, cosmos and geraniums.
Homeowners may purchase ladybugs from local eco-friendly pest control companies or they may be ordered from the internet. Ladybugs are shipped in the adult stage, usually in cotton bags containing wood shavings. Ladybugs should be released into the garden during the cool early morning or late evening hours. Water the area before releasing. Ladybugs will start eating harmful insects immediately and will lay eggs in about ten days. Within five days the larvae should appear and will also begin consuming insects as they grow into adult ladybugs.
Diatomaceous Earth is a powder that consists of the fossilized remains of hard-shelled algae called diatoms. This eco-friendly pest control powder is safe for humans and animals but causes many types of insects to dehydrate and die in about 48 hours. Make sure the ground is dry before you sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the ground in your garden and throughout your yard.
Insecticidal soap spray is an eco-friendly pest control product that is used in the control of mites, aphids, scales and other pests. Mix together two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with one gallon of water. Some eco-friendly pest control recipes for insecticidal soap call for Murphy’s oil soap or castile soap, but ordinary bargain brand dishwashing soap will work very well. Spray the leaves of affected plants and the surrounding area.
Tobacco spray is very effective on caterpillars, aphids, whiteflies and other insects. This eco-friendly pest control product is created by soaking old cigar and cigarette butts in a container of water for 24 hours. Strain the light brown mixture before spraying in your garden. Do not use tobacco spray on members of the solanaceous family such as tomatoes and eggplants.
Garlic and onion spray is used to repel cutworms, wireworms, whiteflies and slugs. The ingredients used to make this eco-friendly pest control spray are: one bulb of garlic, one medium onion, one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and one quart of water. Chop the garlic and onion into small pieces. Mix all the ingredients together and let the eco-friendly pest control solution set for one hour before straining. Spray all areas of your garden and throughout your yard.
Dead bug spray is an unusual but efficient method of eco-friendly pest control. Combine one cup of dead insects with a quart of water. Do not use flies, ticks, fleas or mosquitoes. Wait a few hours, then strain the mixture. Spray the ground surrounding your plants with this eco-friendly pest control product.
For best results, all of these eco-friendly pest control techniques should be applied in the morning or evening while it is not windy, hot or humid. The sprays may be poured into a spray bottle or garden hose sprayer for easy use. All eco-friendly pest control products should be tested first in a small area before being used in the entire garden or yard.