Author Topic: Natural Pest Control or alternative to commercial chemicals  (Read 3141 times)

Ebbtide

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Natural Pest Control or alternative to commercial chemicals
« on: November 12, 2008, 11:14:28 AM »
I'm sure there has to be more like me out there. I refuse to use pesticides that will harm beneficial insects or harm the family. I'd like to start a thread to find out what home remedies you use and for what purpose. I have a rather large area (acres to maintain) so my method isn't very practical for most. We had a major tick problem for several years in a row and since commercial pesticides aren't an option for me and using a household remedy would be useless in such a large area the research began. We kept coming up with guineas as a solution. Being poultry lovers it was a no brainier so we decided to give them a try. It's has been 2 years now and we haven't had a single tick problem to report. SUCCESS!!! I'd love to hear other stories. I know there is always more then one way  to skin a cat.  ;D

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: Natural Pest Control or alternative to commercial chemicals
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2008, 12:41:46 PM »
First great topic!

Second listen to this show, http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/organic-companion-planting-for-survival-gardening  I went over a lot of things you can plant to repel and even kill pests. 

Third here are a few things that help
  • Planting Onions or Garlic which is ok with most crops.  Don't do it with peas or beans everything else is OK.  It repels a lot of pests.
  • Both Marigolds and Chrysanthemums repell many pests and they actually kill the bad nematodes that feed on plant roots as in kill them dead
  • Use horse apple, (osage orange fruit) sprinkled ground up around plants to repel slugs and snails and around your house to repell carpenter ants, roaches etc.  They really hate it.  One caution it gets sticky and sappy so wear gloves and put it in or on something if used in doors.  Also note that squirrels are NOT repelled by it, they love them.
  • You can buy repellents that are made of garlic oil and it works well to repel many pests
  • Nasturtiums repel some pests, kill others and attract beneficial insects that kill of the bad guys.  The flowers are also great eating in salads, nice and peppery.
  • Mint is excellent at attracting good insects but keep it in a pot because it is VERY invasive
  • The four herbs of parsley, oregano, basil and rosemary are the four horsemen of the garden.  They attract good guys, repel bad guys and are great for everyday use.  You have to be a bit careful with rosemary it will turn into a TREE but you can plant it in borders or simply dig it out each fall and start over. Or put out pots of it like with mint.  The others can get directly planted.
  • If you have Japanese beetles plant some 4 o'clocks, the Beatles eat them then they die and really fast too.  Do be sure pets won't eat them because they are quite toxic when eaten to pets and people as well.  They taste like total crap though so that risk is minimal, puppies have the biggest risk around them.

The big things are to stay organic with your compost and organic matter etc.  Use mulch and plant crops in mixtures not in isolated groups.  Insects are natural but they don't destroy everything in nature right.  So you need to emulate nature, you don't find 5 acres of blueberries with no other crops in nature so companion planting alone with some flowers and herbs mixed in alone is a huge step in the right direction.  It creates natural repellent and it creates predator habitat.

The second big issue is to rotate crops.  When the season ends pest lay eggs in the soil and their babies come out in the spring looking for their preferred tidbits.  When a critter that loves lettuce comes up in a nice crop of basil and tomatoes it ain't a good thing for him.  So move crops every year from bed to bed and that will do a lot as well for both pests and diseases like mildew, fungus etc.

Ebbtide

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Re: Natural Pest Control or alternative to commercial chemicals
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2008, 08:27:44 PM »
Thanks Jack! I kinda had a feeling you had done a podcast on this subject, I just haven't ran across it yet. I have only listened to 12-15 shows so far. I have been cherry picking them. ;) I will give this one a listen soon tho.

Offline Stein

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Re: Natural Pest Control or alternative to commercial chemicals
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 08:40:32 PM »
Here in the PNW, we have slugs the size of Hollywood dogs - and lots of them.  They will tear your cabbage apart and feast on other leafy veggies as well, including ripe tomatoes (they don't bother green ones, only the picture perfect "was going to pick that one today" variety). 

I tried Slug-go with moderate success but it washes away easily with rain or watering and some get through.

Midnight hunts are effective but who wants to go out every night for months on end?

Placing items they can hide under during the day, then flipping them over and killing them works ok.

Plates of beer or water they drown in will take a few also.

Copper barriers seem expensive and not practical for larger gardens.

Anybody have another method that works well?

Ebbtide

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Re: Natural Pest Control or alternative to commercial chemicals
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2008, 11:11:19 AM »
Not sure how but if you could encourage garter snakes and toads around they will eat thier fair share.

Offline spartan

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Re: Natural Pest Control or alternative to commercial chemicals
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2008, 03:44:00 PM »
I can second the use of marigolds around the edge of a garden to keep out the pests. You can also work on attracting beneficial insects.  We have had great success at our house with butterfly bushes.

Call your local extension office to see what plants they recommend for your area.