Organic pest control tips from Michael Osland

April 22, 2021

Maintaining a lovely garden at home gives you the chance to get close to nature and nurture your gardening hobby. While you might hire a gardener or some professional companies that provide services in garden maintenance, you must ensure that they use eco-friendly methods in pest control and advises Michael Osland. Most of the pesticides and insecticides used for gardening and available commercially have toxic ingredients that can damage the environment. 

Before using strong pesticides, start with the milder ones that are less toxic. However, to ensure that you can keep your garden pest-free without using pesticides, you must create the most hospitable environment to support plant growth. The best organic treatment for your garden is to keep it healthy first instead of trying to control pests by practicing poor gardening. Creating a hospitable environment ensures no need for any treatment as insects help you prevent pests.

Although friendly insects are much helpful in controlling pests, you must accept some amount of damage by offending pests, for which you can try some of the organic methods of pest control. First, identify the type of pests you want to get rid of so that you do not choose some wrong treatment that harms beneficial and garden-friendly insects.

Here are your choices of insecticides.

Microbial insecticides are the first choice, says Michael Osland

The most popular microbial insecticide acts specifically on targeted pests and makes them fall sick. It works upon cutworms, cabbage loopers, and several worm larvae from hornworms.  BT contains bacteria that paralyze the digestive system of the targeted pest in a couple of days that leave it dead after some days. However, this insecticide takes time to act but is highly effective.

Insecticidal oils

For a long time, the use of Insecticidal those who practice organic pest treatment for their gardens has known Insecticidal oils. Insecticidal oils act differently by coating the pests with a petroleum-based liquid that cuts oxygen supply and suffocates the pests. The oil is most effective for killing the eggs and the insects while they are still immature. The product spreads quickly and hence much more effective as it breaks down quickly. Although these oils can affect some beneficial insects, it is less toxic for them.

The oils help control pests like scales, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, psylla, and some other insects.

Insecticidal soaps

To target many soft-bodied pests like mealybugs, whiteflies, thrips, earwigs, aphids, and scales, you can use Insecticidal soaps that contain fatty acids and salts. The soap punctures the soft outer shell of the pests and damages the cell membranes. The pests then begin to break down, which leads to dehydration and starvation, followed by death.

As these soaps nights be phytotoxic, test it on a small area before applying across the whole place.  However, it is advisable to use soaps only when necessary because it can harm beneficial insects, although it is no toxic for mammals and humans.


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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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