Natural Pest Control for Your Organic Garden

By Christina Leidenheimer, CPT, CHLC, CPI

Before you go spraying your precious plants with chemical-based pesticides, consider effective natural alternatives to rid your garden of nasty pests.

Pesticides and insecticides do not discriminate; they typically kill all insects. This is not a good thing because many insects can do wonders for your garden and you will want to encourage these to take up residence in your soil. One such insect is the ladybug.

These spotted beauties aren’t just the most adorable beetles ever; they are an insect’s worst enemy. Ladybugs are real troopers at ridding gardens of aphids, tiny soft-bodies insects that multiply rapidly. They also eat mites, lice, insect eggs and other soft-bodies insects. These tiny beetles have quite the appetite, feasting on upwards of 50 aphids per day.

Lady Bugs for pest control

How can you welcome ladybugs to your garden? Planting beautiful floral plants that provide nectar is one way. They love scented flowers like geraniums and dandelions; and herbs like dill, caraway and cilantro.

You should avoid spraying insecticides, as these may kill the ladybugs. If you see larvae and other pests, resist the urge to spray. If all pests (ladybug food) are gone, the beneficial ladybugs will leave, too. Instead, let the ladybugs do the work, as nature intended.

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