If you are looking for a way to manage your gardens pest problem in an organic and entirely environmental friendly way, this is it. By using biological insecticides you can kill your insect foes with no harmful effects to your gardens ecosystem at all. The trick here is that it may not work as quickly as some chemical sprays and dusts do, but they work well with virtually no side effects whatsoever.
At first these substances may seem like biological warfare to the Nth degree, but these are actually naturally occurring parasites and bug diseases that when used strategically have the desired effect. Nothing listed here is synthetic or cooked up in some lab, so feel good about their use. Mother Nature has given us the tools, we just have to use them.
Many nematodes are parasites that feed off of larvae and grubs. They attack an insect and release bacteria that paralyzes them, then kill the insect within 2 to 4 days. The nematode then feeds on the dead insect and reproduces rapidly. About 10 to 18 days later, huge numbers leave the dead insect in search of new victims. The nematode larvae can survive for some time in the soil, but new releases may be necessary in the future. As they perish in dry places or sunlit areas, they are better to fight pests that reside in the soil or hidden locations. Use a long spouted watering can to inject them into small holes around borders.
These cause insects to become sick and dies. They often utilize highly specific insect diseases, thus allowing the organic gardener to target various pests effectively.
Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) bacteria produce spores and crystals that paralyze the digestive tracts of certain insect larvae. BT is nontoxic to mammals, wont harm beneficial insects and can be used right up until harvest time. It is best to wait until caterpillars can bite through an As most will target a specific pest, choose the one for your specific infestation. There are many types of BT available like the following:
B. t. var. san diego (BTSD) bacteria kills the small larvae of the Colorado potato beetle.
B. t. var.kurstaki (BTK) bacteria attacks cabbage worm, tomato horn worm, cabbage looper, European corn borer, and similar insect larvae.
B. t. var. israelensis (BTI) kills mosquitoes, fungus gnats and black flies effectively.
B. lentimorbus and Bacillus Popilliae , both commonly known as "Milky disease" infects the grubs of the Japanese beetle and other close relatives. It will survive in the soil for many years after it's introduction. A very bad thing for the Japanese beetle.
Nosema locustae provides long-term pest management of the dreaded grasshopper. Almost half of the hoppers that eats bait tainted with this will die in about four weeks. Survivors will infect the following generations.
Science on the Side of Organic Gardeners!
You may soon hear about the following substances that are being researched now. These are again, simply utilizing what Mother Nature has put on this earth to keep insects and weeds in check.
Scientists and researchers are searching for specific insects that eat, and microbial disease that kill, problem weeds. With any luck, we may see these alternatives available soon.
Certain harmless fungi can be utilized to banish disease causing organisms. A mixture of beneficial fungi called Binab T can be painted on fresh tree wounds or cuts to prevent decay. These highly specific fungicide products are still being research now.
There are probably other natural pest fighting alternatives yet to be discovered that will someday be added to this list as well. The important thing to remember is that these are organic means of control and wont harm your gardens ecosystem in the least. The article above is provided as a service to the world gardening community, and the GreenWeb Company does not sell any of the items listed above.
If you've heard of any new developments regarding these or other products, please E-mail us with your comments or information as we'd love to add it to this page.