ORGANIC INSECT KILLER FOR VEGETABLE GARDEN
Those of us who love gardening always see to it that our fruit-bearing plants and vegetables are well taken cared of. Like good parents to our families, we see to it that our garden plants do not get diseases and insects that can harm them.
Unfortunately, insects are always going to be a part of a gardener’s life. Well, that is how Mother Nature made it be; the best things in life cannot be all smooth sailing.
As garden lovers, we should learn to identify not only the names of each plant but the pests that attack and damage them too. That way, we can easily determine the types of treatment needed to control these insects organically.
Types of garden pests
Aphids – Aphids are very tiny insects that seem like miniature pears with very long antennae and spiked tubes protruding from their back. They have to suck mouthparts that are suited for sucking the juices from the plants. They feed on fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and shaded trees throughout North America. They can suck the sap from these trees which causes decay and can distort the plants. They can also cause the growth of mildew while also inflicting viral diseases. They vary in color depending on the species. The damage nearly all kinds of crops but prefer beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. Signs that plants are attacked by aphids include curled leaves, yellow leaves, blackening on foliage, and stunted growth.
Stink bugs – Stink bugs are so annoying because of their odor. These insects are oval-shaped bugs that are usually 2 cm in length. The color of their bodies can be black, brown, or bright green. When they feel threatened, they secrete chemicals that stink to discourage predators from attacking. These chemicals come from glands located at the thorax. Since the adult stink bugs have wings, they are capable of flying. These wings are folded when not flying. Their diet consists of garden plants and crops. They also prefer fleshy fruits but can eat just about any kinds of plants. Damage to crops could lead to early decay and spoilage and also discoloration. To control them, put row covers on your plants. This will surely keep the stink bugs away. You may also cut tall grasses and remove dead leaves in your garden so that they will not have any hiding places.
Bean leaf beetle – The adult bean leaf beetle come in different colors. They can be yellow, green, or red. They also have to mark that can be different from each other, but they all have a characteristic black triangle mark at the front of the elytra. They usually attack soybeans, snap beans, and other legumes. Signs that your plants have been attacked by the bean leaf beetle include round holes in the foliage, stunted growth, and cosmetic damage to pods late in the season.
Cabbage maggot – Cabbage maggots destroy plants by creating holes that become entry points for disease organisms. When the cabbage root flies lay eggs at the base of the plant. When these eggs hatch, they become this small, white legless worms. They destroy cabbages by slowly burrowing through the roots. Their eggs do not hatch when the weather is hot and hatch only during the cool season, and for this reason, they attack only cool weather plants like the cabbage. They can also invade carrots, beets, broccoli, radishes, and turnips. Wilting plants could be a sign of the presence of these maggots. You may then check for the presence of maggots at the roots. To control cabbage maggots population and to protect your garden, simply put row covers over the plants. If your cabbage already has maggots, you should pull the plant out and destroy it just to prevent the spread of the cabbage maggots.
Caterpillars – Caterpillars have soft, segmented bodies. They have six legs at the front segments and false, fleshy legs on the rear segments. Caterpillars are notorious for destroying gardens overnight. They can be found on fruits, vegetables, flowers, and trees. They chew on leaves. To control caterpillars, introduce some natural predators and parasites in your garden.
Whiteflies – Whiteflies have soft bodies and wings. These winged insects size is about 1/12 of an inch. They are active during the day and are found in large numbers under the leaves of plants. Whiteflies eat the sap or plant juices. When the whiteflies and when the whiteflies feed on the sap, the plant weakens and would not be able to perform photosynthesis. The plant’s leaves would wilt, thus killing it. As management, use a sticky trap to catch them. You may also use insects that are natural predators to rid your garden of whiteflies.
Vine weevil – The vine weevil is a type of beetle and one of the most common garden pests around. They are pests that can be found both on indoor and outdoor plants, and can totally damage them. The adult vine weevils eat the leaves of the plants, but the biggest damages are caused by the larvae. The larvae attack the roots, which would kill the plants.
Cutworms – Cutworms come in different colors and markings. When they are disturbed, they tend to curl resembling a letter “C”. They are called as such because of their habit of cutting down seedlings. They damage potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, beans, celery, and corn. Most of the damages cutworms inflict happen during the spring because of the plants
Cucumber beetle – There are two types of beetle cucumber: the spotted and striped cucumber beetles. Both types have black colored heads and yellow bodies that are oblong in shape. Aside from cucumber, they damage squash, melons, beans, and cantaloupe. Signs that your plants are attacked include scars on the fruits, girdled seedlings, and feeding damage to leaves and flowers.
Most people now tend to avoid chemically formulated pesticides and for a good reason. These can be very harmful to ourselves and our children. But of course, we would want to get rid of pests, and what are we to do?
Fortunately, there are organic pesticides, which are much safer than their chemical counterparts. Organic pesticides are made from natural ingredients. Organic pesticides need to be certified by the United States Department of Agriculture, always look for the logo that the pesticide is certified.
Aside from being much safer than chemical pesticides, other advantages of using organic pesticides include low residual levels, they have specific target range, shorter persistence, slower mode of action, and of course they are much safer to use than the chemical pesticides. Still, much care is still required when using this. Read the directions always. Just remember that because they are natural does not mean that they are not harmful to you, the soil, and the plants.
Here are some of the natural pesticides you can try:
Neem oil insecticide – This is a powerful natural insecticide. This comes from the extraction of seeds of neem trees. This can disrupt the life cycle of insects at all stages. Neem oil acts as a hormone disruptor. It also is an antifeedant for insects that eat the leaves and other parts of the plant. It can also combat fungal infection and mildew. You can purchase neem oil at any garden store or food store near you.
Chili pepper insecticide – You can use chili pepper for your homemade insecticide. This can be used on many different pests and is an effective killer. You can use either fresh chili peppers or the powdered form. When using chili powder, get 1 tablespoon of the chili powder and put it in a quart of water and several drops of liquid soap. Spray this on the leaves of the affected plant.
Diatomaceous earth – This is made from the fossilized remains of diatoms. It does not poison the pests, but rather it inflicts small cut on the bodies of these insects, causing them to bleed to death. To use, sprinkle around the plant to shield it from crawling insects. Re-apply every time it rains. Diatomaceous earth can be purchased from a garden store near you.
These are just a few of the natural insect killers you may use, and the easiest ones to make too. But in case you need additional help, you may call in the best insect control in Hickory North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.
We can help you with your pest problems
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family owned commercial service solutions provider of modern pest control services and techniques, using the latest and most advanced technology in the business, making our service to you more efficient, safer and more convenient. We have a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments all throughout North and South Carolina.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.