How to Get Rid of Annoying Garden Pests Without Harmful Chemicals

Gardening is a rewarding hobby, but dealing with garden pests can really take the enjoyment out of it. As a gardener, I want a healthy garden without resorting to harmful chemical pesticides. The good news is there are many effective yet non-toxic methods to get rid of common garden pests. Here are some of the best tips and techniques I have learned for keeping my garden pest-free the natural way.

Identify the Pest

The first step is to correctly identify the pest causing problems in my garden. Some common ones include:

Properly identifying the pest ensures I can use control methods specifically targeted for that bug. I may need a magnifying glass and field guide to correctly ID the pest infesting my garden.

Remove Them Manually

One of the simplest pest control methods is to manually remove the bugs from plants. For pests like Japanese beetles and tomato hornworms, I can easily pick them off by hand and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.

For smaller pests like aphids and slugs, spray insects off plants with a strong jet of water. Traps like slug beer traps or sticky boards can catch many crawling pests overnight.

Be sure to check plants thoroughly, including under leaves and in crevices where bugs like to hide. I may need to don gloves and tweezers for safe removal of insects with stingers or pincers like wasps, bees and beetles.

Use Barriers

Barriers can prevent many pests from reaching my plants in the first place. I put floating row covers over seedbeds and vegetable plants to keep out carrot flies, cabbage moths and leafminers.

Collars wrapped around plant stems stop cutworms and other soil-dwelling pests from attacking the plant. Copper strips around planters and garden beds repel slugs and snails.

For climbing pests like bean beetles and cucumber beetles, kaolin clay sprayed onto plant leaves deters them from feeding. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled around plants kills soft-bodied insects like earwigs through dehydration.

Attract Beneficial Insects

Insects like ladybugs, lacewings, parasitic wasps and praying mantises prey on common garden pests. I can buy them from garden stores, but also attract these beneficial predators by:

As these "good bugs" multiply in my garden they control pests naturally!

Use Organic Sprays

When pests persist, I turn to natural insecticidal sprays as a last resort:

I follow label directions carefully and spray in the evening when pollinators are less active. Combining multiple methods also boosts my control efforts. With some persistence and patience, I can have a flourishing, pest-free garden without using any harmful chemicals!