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By Heather Ware

Natural methods of everyday pest control

What is pest control?

Nothing can spoil a garden quite like a pest problem. After all, who wants to see their prized tomatoes get eaten up by greedy caterpillars? This is the beauty of pest control. By using everyday remedies and some preventative techniques, anyone can ensure that their garden is pest-free.

Pest control, in short, is whatever someone does to make sure that their crops are not overrun by the local insects that would want to eat their plants. While many people think of pest control as pesticides used by farmers, there are many simpler solutions that anyone can use for their garden.

Preventing pests

The simplest method of pest control is to make sure that you do not have an issue to begin with. The following are some easy ways to prevent pests from being drawn to a garden in the first place.

  • Pull out weak plants. If a plant is already infected with a fungus or disease, then dispose of it immediately away from the garden area.
  • Remove weeds. Insects often use garden weeds as places to build homes, so regular weeding is a great way to discourage them from making a home near a garden.
  • Keep the leaves dry. Insects are always looking for ways to get water, so water plants early in the day. This will give the leaves time to dry before the insects come around for a drink.

By making sure that pests and insects are never attracted to a garden in the first place, there is no need to deal with removing them. Of course, what about a garden that already has a pest problem?

Removing pests

The biggest issue with store-bought pesticides is that they will kill all insects. Not only is this bad for the environment, but it can often harm the plants, too. Harsh pesticides do not discriminate and will kill off beneficial insects that help the plant. By using natural, non-toxic pest removing methods, you can have healthy plants without needing to kill beneficial insects.

  • Aphid control. Aphids are some of the most common pests and they love to eat the leaves of plants. A simple remedy is to mix one tablespoon of cooking oil with a few drops of dish soap. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, then spray it onto the leaves of the plants. This will smother the smaller insects without harming the plant.
  • Get rid of fungus. Simply mix two tablespoons of baking soda into about a quart of water. Then spray the fungus with the mixture. It will clean up the plants and discourage fungus from growing there in the future.
  • General insect remover. This mixture will discourage most insects from coming onto a plant, but will not harm the insects that gardeners want to stick around. Mix one tablespoon of cooking oil with two tablespoons of baking soda, then add several drops of dish soap and spray it onto the plant leaves.

By using these natural remedies to take care of a garden, the local ecosystem can continue to function normally and the garden can flourish, pest-free.

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