When you spray your vegetables for bugs you need to make sure that the insecticides are safe for your plant and safe for human consumption later. There are several choices for the home gardener to use when it comes to insecticides specifically formulated to kill bugs and maintain viability for you to consume the fruits or vegetables later. Here are three of the best methods you have to controlling pests naturally so you can have food later.
Bacillus thuringiensis is a class of bacteria that kills insects but is safe to ingest on plants. So far, this is the only microbial insecticide that has widespread use due to its ability to kill beetles or caterpillars depending upon the strain of the bacteria produced. When you purchase some Bt, make sure you know what you are going to be killing when you get it.
This type of bacteria paralyzes insects by destroying their digestive tracts. Many applications may be involved over time and it may take a week to see results but many strains are very effective.
Neem oil comes in industrial-sized bottles and is very effective at disrupting the biological cycles of bugs. What happens is that any bugs that get neem oil in their system forget to do important things such as mate. Eventually, the affected bugs die without leaving any heirs to your vegetable garden throne.
Neem oil can be sprayed directly on plants or on the soil depending upon what you want to control. It is safe for pets and humans as well since you can even spray neem oil on your own skin to repel mosquitoes.
Introducing animals to your garden that eat nasty bugs is always a beneficial way to encourage a natural lifecycle but also to ensure your plants stay bug-free. Ladybugs eat the soft-bodied aphis and voraciously attack them. Spiders of all kinds eat a wide variety of bugs and some will even leave their webs to go find food.
Introducing some birds will also help but be warned that birds may also eat beneficial insects. Praying mantis, lacewing, and other predators can also be introduced that will eat all kinds of insects from creepy crawlies to flying types. While other insects aren’t necessarily considered a type of insecticide, they are certainly useful in protecting the edible nature of your small vegetable garden. Keeping bugs away naturally only enhances the beauty and taste of your garden for you to enjoy all summer long.