When setting out on our journey some 20 years ago to become pesticide free, we really did not know what we were going to do. I had watched my Father growing vegetables for years. Typically he would coat his crops with Malathion sprays and Seven dust. I can remember being able to taste the residue, and even as a small child thinking they tasted “weird”. I never thought of the negative health affects of ingesting or dispersing these chemical pesticides.
As I grew older and became better informed, I knew I had to find a better solution to this problem. Anyone that has grown even one garden plant can attest to the damage insects can do. There is nothing more frustrating than to go out to your garden and see shredded leaves or entire plants wilted and dying. The victims or a bug buffet. Our approach to this problem required a change of how we viewed insects, adopting some new techniques and bringing back some old ones.
Most organic gardeners and farmers use some sort of IPM (integrated pest management) to control unwanted insects. Unlike a chemical pesticide spraying or dusting program, IPM uses beneficial insects and natural measures to control the unwanted pests.
Lady bugs have a sweet reputation. Almost everyone has held these docile creatures and admired their beauty. What most people do not realize is that Lady bugs are aggressive hunters of aphids. Aphids damage many garden plants and Lady bugs love to eat their fill. There are many beneficial insects that all can be bought online and delivered to your house, ready to distribute in your garden. Got a snail or slug issue? You can use a predatory snail that likes nothing better to rid you of those. A praying mantis is a great addition to any garden. These can be bought as a small cocoon and hundreds of baby mantis eating machines will emerge. There are countless natural ways to control even your worst infestation.
So before you fill that sprayer with some toxic poison and coat YOUR FOOD think “IPM” and leave the insect control to the insects.