Getting Rid of Unwanted Garden Insects

Chemical-free insect control for the garden
Perhaps one of the most devastating plights a gardener can face is pest infestation. Months, even years of hard work can be destroyed in only a few days if your garden becomes a target for destructive insects. While many people (almost 50 per cent) will opt to use chemicals to combat the problem, it's usually not necessary.

Most gardeners should be aware that Insects rarely attack healthy plants. Simply ensuring that plants are in good condition and promptly cutting decaying one will make your garden less attractive to hungry bugs looking for a free lunch. If a plant does become infested, discard it immediately in an enclosed garbage bin, away from healthy vegetation.

Don't assume you have a problem when you don't. Ninety per cent of garden insects are beneficial, and can be used to help protect plants. The common LadyBug for instance, feeds on plant-eating aphids, mites, scales, whiteflies and fruitworms. Green Lacewings will eat aphids, whiteflies, leafminers and mites. Encouraging good insects also promotes pollination between plants. Experienced gardeners grow plants specifically to attract particular insects. Lacewings love sunflowers, for example, and a border of dill will look like a feast to several aphid predators. There are a variety of books and Internet sites that can assist in identifying garden insects so you can distinguish between those you want and those don't.

Slugs can be particularly nasty. To catch these slimy terrestrial mollusks before they dine on foliage, fill a container with beer and bury it up to the rim. Local slugs will drop in for a drink and drown. Copper reportedly gives slugs and snails an unpleasant electrical charge. It doesn't kill them, but it does deter them. Try placing some copper strips, or copper tape around the garden.

While the job may seem overwhelming at first, organic gardening can be both rewarding and educational. With increasing public pressure to preserve the environment, it may also be necessary. Just keep in mind that Mother Nature has been doing this for millions of years. Let her be your guide.

About the Author

Cathi Stevenson is a former editor and journalist who has sold more than 2000 articles world-wide. Her eBook "How To Publish & Market Your eBook For Just $5" made the publisher's best sellers' list within months of its release. Learn how she did it with tips from the Author's Cafe Newsletter. Sign up at: Cathi also owns the highly successful book cover design company: Book Cover Express.

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