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Insecticides and Herbicides

Nature's rule is 'survival of the fittest'. With few exceptions, insects and diseases only attack weak or stressed plants. Plants grown in healthy soil have fewer problems than plants grown in a chemical environment. And for the exceptions, there are environmentally safe methods of control.

How Can I Identify the Insects In My Garden?

Proper identification of insects will lead to proper treatment. Not all insects are harmful, and it is important to recognize the ones that are. In general, harmful insects can be grouped by methods of treatment. Various books are available to help gardeners identify insects.

How Can I Prevent Infestations?

Start by removing any containers that might hold standing water. Eliminate areas of bare soil. Use products made from natural cedar: mulches, sprays, flakes, etc. Apply beneficial nematodes and establish natural populations of beneficial insects. Plant and maintain areas that will attract birds and / or bats. Where possible, avoid night lights in the landscape; they attract insects.

What Are Natural Ways To Control Spider Mites, Aphids and Related Pests?

The following methods can be used to treat spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, fungus gnats and lacebugs. First, spray a teaspoon of liquid soap mixed into a gallon of water on affected plants. Also try releasing beneficial predators, such as ladybugs or green lacewings, until natural populations are established.

What Are Natural Ways To Control Soft Bodied Insects?

The most common soft bodied insects are caterpillars and bagworms. Start by picking the harmful insects off by hand. Release trichogramma wasps, these are tiny, almost invisible wasps that are harmless to humans and pets. If caterpillars are present, spray affected plants with Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) according to the product label directions. Bt causes the insect to stop eating and death occurs in days. The product is harmless to other insects, animals and plants.

What Are Natural Ways To Control Fire Ants?

Drench each mound with a soil drench. You can make your own soil drench with 80% compost tea, 20% blackstrap molasses and 20% orange oil. More than one application may be required. Try applying beneficial nematodes and broadcast diatomaceous earth (be sure to follow all product label instructions).

What Are Natural Ways To Control Slugs, Snails, Roaches and Crickets?

Apply diatomaceous earth according to the product label recommended rates. Use citrus oil based products.

How Can I Prevent Plant Diseases?

Healthy soil is the best prevention for plant and soil diseases. Tips for establishing and maintaining soil health can be found through out the Garden-Ville website.

How Can I Treat Fungal Diseases?

Fungal diseases in turf, such as brown patch and take all patch, may be prevented and treated with a layer of good compost. Fungal diseases on plants, such as powdery mildew and black spot, may be treated by adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per gallon of foliar spray. Baking Soda or Garden-Ville Potassium Bicarbonate can also be effective fungicides. Use one or the other, not both. It is also a good idea to alternate fungal treatments on an annual basis: vinegar, baking soda, potassium bicarbonate.