ORGANIC  GARDEN  PEST  CONTROL

The best and healthiest way to control pests in your garden is to practice organic garden pest control. We show you how to use biological controls here.

Yum! Ladybug eating aphids





Organic garden pest control...through natural means

By far the best (and greenest) way to control pests in a hydroponic garden is through the use of biological controls (beneficial predators). This is a tried-and-true greenhouse method that can also be used on a screened-in porch or closed-off room inside your house. However, for obvious reasons, you wouldn't want to release 1500 live ladybugs in your living room!

TIP

Once the predators clean your system of the bad bugs, they generally disappear from your garden. Nothing left for them to eat, so they either die off or go in search of greener pastures!

Now don't dismiss this wonderful system as too complicated or costly. It's really very simple once you match the proper predator to your particular pest invasion. Mail order insects are readily available from most any garden or hydro supply site. And you will be treating your infestation without chemicals, using Mother Nature's own arsenal of "good bugs".

All of these beneficial insects are perfectly harmless to you, pets or your plants. They just eat the harmful bugs, and their larvae. Tons of 'em.

WHAT IS IPM?


Getting interested in organic garden pest control?

Good, let's learn more about IPM (integrated pest management) using beneficial insects.

So you have discovered some bugs on your hydroponic plants... yuck! Now what? You might want to explore the use of predatory insects to rid your garden of pests, before resorting to more drastic (and unhealthy) measures.

IPM is especially helpful in cases where you have a big infestation, as these "good critters" can devour literally hundreds of "bad pests". However, you will need to have them up and hatched before your garden is overwhelmed.

First, you need to identify which bugs you have. To do this, see our page "Identifying garden pests".  You will likely find your culprit in the "Top 6 Pests" section. Now just order the correct predator for that particular insect from the list below:

  • Whitefly- Use Whitefly Parasites, (encarsia formosa). Don't be alarmed, these tiny wasps do not sting! They just eat whiteflies. They come in cards of 500 eggs.
     
  • Mealybugs- Order Lady Bugs, usually come in containers of 1500 live bugs. They can even be kept in the refrigerator until needed (but not the freezer).
     
  • Aphids- Are controlled by ladybugs (see above), Green Lacewings, or gall midges. Lacewings make a good all-around predator, as they attack aphids, mealybugs, whitefly, and thrips.
     
  • Thrips- Green Lacewings take care of these; 1,000 eggs on a card.
     
  • Spider Mites- Order Predator Mites (phytoseiulus persimilis), they come packaged 100 in an order.

Predatory wasp
ladybug
Predatory Mite
Lacewings

Predatory Wasp

Ladybug

Predatory Mite

Lacewing




Get your Organic garden pest control program started by ordering soon. These insects can be sent by mail from many different garden supply sites, under "Beneficial insects".

WARNING

You cannot use pesticides with IPM, as they may kill some of the good bugs you invested in, too.

Often a supplier will not tell you the species, but may sell "Aphid Predators" or "Whitefly Parasites". These are fine, and may even include more than one variety to sic on your garden.

The IPM method is wonderful, natural, and pesticide free. But if your garden has a large infestation of bugs or whitefly, and you don't have the time (or situation) to hatch and release these amazingly useful critters... well, what then? You may have to resort to organic pesticides  (Say what?!)


K.I.S.S.  (Keep It Simple, Simon)

Now here's a simple yet effective pest management technique... Sticky traps!

If you keep these in your garden at all times, they may just snuff out an invasion before it gets out of hand.

Here's how: You know about old-timey fly paper, right? Same principle. Sticky cards or tape can be hung in the garden to catch the bugs before they multiply into an epidemic. You can order Sticky Yellow cards (for aphids, fungus gnats and whiteflies) or Sticky Traps Blue (for thrips).

Or, make your own by spray painting cardboard with brilliant yellow or blue spray paint. Let dry, then coat with Vaseline (petroleum jelly). Voila! Instant critter catchers!


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