Pests and Your Garden
Even the healthiest of gardens encounter pests at one point or another, bugs are a natural part of a garden’s ecosystem. Unfortunately, there are good and bad bugs and the bad bugs can create a headache quickly.
- Lacewings and their larvae devour lots of bad bugs, including aphids, caterpillars, thrips, leafhoppers, scales, whiteflies and even insect eggs.
- Spiders are valuable allies, eating all kinds of pests like aphids, wasps, beetles, mosquitoes, and flies.
- Tachinid flies are natural enemies of caterpillars, beetles and shield bugs.
- Ladybugs and their larvae feed on aphids and other soft-bodied pests.
3. Strategically choose plants and flowers that attract pest control insects and pollinators alike!
Plants you should look to include throughout your garden are:
- Catnip prevents aphids, beetles, caterpillars and shield bugs.
- Dill prevents aphids, caterpillars, shield bugs and spider mites.
- Mint prevents aphids, beetles, caterpillars, shield bugs and whiteflies.
- Nasturtium prevents aphids, beetles, caterpillars and shield bugs.
- Marigolds have a scent that will keep pests like mosquitoes, nematodes, and other pests away. Plant marigolds to attract beneficial insects that attack and kill aphids.
- Rosemary this pungent herb prevents pesky insects while attracting good ones
If you are having a problem and need more immediate action, try this organic spray. Mixture courtesy of Future Growers LLC. This organic spray can be used for many insects like aphids, mites, thrips, whiteflies, and other small insects. This formula even serves as a mild fungicide!
Mixing instructions follow:
- Horticultural grade insecticidal soap, 1 tablespoon per gallon of water
- Horticultural grade neem oil, 1 tablespoon per gallon of water
- Mix everything well, and then continue to shake periodically during use.
- Always spray in morning, before sunrise, or in late evening. Never spray in sunlight.
- Spray plants liberally — soak them — and be sure to wet the undersides of leaves where the insects feed.
- Discard old spray. Do not save!
- Clean sprayer well after each use.