Bugs and other pests are a natural part of the gardening process. There are plenty of pesticides that rid gardens of harmful bugs that eat away your crop for the season. Chemicals and other ingredients can be harmful to consume once you have sprayed your garden with certain pesticides. There are a few ways to rid your garden of pesky bugs without using harmful chemicals.

 

Repellents

Rather than working retroactively trying to get the bugs out start by taking preventative measures. Repellents and barriers can act as a “wall” which can then deter bugs from initially entering the garden, especially bugs that crawl. For example, if you are growing carrots, you can grow them in paper towel rolls to block and cutworms from entering them.  Many also forget to consider that living plants can serve as a working barrier to your more valued plants in your garden. Plants such as peppermint, spearmint, and pennyroyal have naturally occurring properties that deter aphids and ants.

 

Beneficial Insects

There are a few insects that are beneficial to your garden that can naturally protect your garden. Green lacewings, praying mantis, and lady beetles are all insects that prey on harmful pests. Increase the chances of these insects creating a home in your garden by creating their ideal habitat. With the proper food, shelter these positive bugs will more than likely take home in your flowerbed.

 

Biological Pest Control

There are biologically-driven ways to lower pest populations in your garden. Bacteria, fungi and certain viruses that harm pests but are nontoxic to humans can also be used. One of the most popular biological pest control substances for caterpillars is Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). As well, spinosad is derived from Saccharopolyspora spinosa which is a bacteria that can be used in lieu of malathion sprays. Spinosa has also been proved to control medflies, thrips, leafminers and other undesirable bugs.

 

Traps

Traps can use visual lures, pheromones or food to attract insects away from your valuable garden. This another great tactic to get bugs out of your garden without using harmful chemicals. Many times traps are best used with other tactics and are not that strong when used alone to control pest populations.