Tag Archives: natural insect control

Natural Insect and Disease Control: Birds.

bluebird-bugInsect-eating birds are one of the best pest controls around the garden, however, you have to keep them away from your fruit and berries by covering your fruit bushes and trees before the berries are noticed by the birds and usually before they are even ripe. A Chinese deterrent is to hang sliced onions in the tress to deter fruit-loving birds.
Birds such as purple martins are very beneficial to have around and encouraging them to stay close to your garden is a big advantage since they have to catch and eat flying insects constantly in order to live. Many people build martin houses to keep them around. Bluebirds also eat many insects and are not known for going after fruit.

Putting bird houses of all different sizes around your yard and garden will encourage birds to nest close by and return every year to catch many insects to feed their young with. Certain birds, such as robins and towhees love fruit more than insects, and will forego eating insects if fruit is easier to get to, so the key is not to make it easy for them by using bird netting, mesh or other materials that you can use to cover your fruit crops but still allow the sun to get to the plants. We find coverings are much more effective than anything you can hang in a tree to scare or throw off the smell, because eventually the birds will figure out how to get around anything that just hangs in a tree to deter them. Birds are clever.

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Natural Insect and Disease Control: BT.

cabbage looper

Bacillus Thuringiensis. Commonly referred to as BT.

BT is a selective bacterial disease effective against may insects such as the fruit leaf roller and various caterpillars, specifically tent caterpillars and other moths, the tobacco budworm, bollworm and cabbage loopers. The disease attacks the caterpillar in the larvae stage after they come out of their tent.

BT produces crystals during spore production that act as a stomach poison on insects eating the treated plants, but it is not toxic to plants, people or animals, and can be applied up to the day of harvest.

Plants that Benefit: Use on all members of the cabbage family that cabbage loopers just love to eat up. Fruit trees to stop tent and army caterpillars which in large infestation cycles can destroy whole orchards. Also good to use on lettuces and celery.


Natural Insect and Disease Control: Hot Peppers.

Natural Insect and Disease Control:

Hot Peppers: Whenever handling hot peppers, be sure to wear gloves because the oils in the peppers will soak into your skin and if you rub your eyes or face, it will burn for hours.

Some people claim sprinkling cayenne pepper around ant hills will chase them away. Ants protect and harvest aphids, so you want to keep them away from grapes, roses and other plants aphids love or where you see ant hills around your prescious plants.

Make a potent spray by putting one clove garlic, 2-3 hot peppers like jalapeno or cayenne and 1/2 an onion in a blender. Blend and let set overnight, strain through a coffee filter so it can be used in a spray bottle. Keep refrigerated until you need it, or pepper juice spray can be frozen for months and work just as well. If beetles plague your dahlias, use this spray on the flower heads.

You can also mix cayenne pepper with a little soap for very effective protection against ants, spiders, cabbageworms, caterpillars, and tomato hornworms. The pepper will repel a larger variety of insects if mixed with onion and garlic as in the recipe above.
Pepper spray will also work against a number of viruses such as cucumber mosaic virus, ringspot and tobacco etch. It’s a popular eco-friendly concoction with orchardists.

Researcher’s Recipe for Garlic Spray.

Natural Insect and Disease Control:

Researcher’s Recipe for Garlic Spray: Here’s the basic recipe the European researchers used as we mentioned in the article to the right called: “Grow Your Own Bug Potions.” It can be used for many infestations and diseases as per the article.

3 oz. of chopped garlic bulbs soaked in 2 teaspoons of mineral oil for 24 hours.

Then slowly add a pint of water to which 1/4 oz. of soap has been dissolved (not detergent) – see our article on natural cleaners for an explanation of the difference. Stir well and strain through a fine cheesecloth or coffee filter and store in a glass container since it will react to metals.

To use as a spray, mix 1 part of this oil solution with 20 parts water. Shake up well before spraying.

For tree caterpillars: Dissolve a half cake of Octagon soap (which you can still by through Amazon.com surprisingly) in one gallon of hot water, add 2 mashed garlic bulbs and add 4 teaspoons of cayenne pepper.