If your kids are anything like mine, they love to play in the dirt. Though it gets messy, that love of playing in the dirt can be used for good when you get your kids excited about planting their own vegetables in a garden. However, anybody that has spent any time taking care of a garden knows that pests can be a major problem. If you don’t take steps to eliminate the pests that are attracted to your garden, your hope of harvesting any of the vegetables you’ve planted will be lost. That can be a quickly devastating realization for your children when they find out the plants they hoped would grow into vegetables they could pick were eaten by insects instead.
Pesticides Dangerous to Children
Pest control is vital to a healthy garden, but just the mention of pesticides can provoke some uncomfortable thoughts about the potential danger they could have to your children. Many of the pesticides you find on stores shelves are, of course, dangerous to insects that would harm your garden, but they’re also not particularly safe for people to be exposed to either. You want your children to be safe, but you also want to make sure that your garden performs well. Fortunately, there are some safer options for controlling pests that are safe for your children.
Utilizing Predatory Insects
The first thing to realize is that there are good insects and there are bad insects that could show up in your garden. The good insects prey on the bad insects, and this is one of the safest and most effective ways to control pests in your garden. By creating an attractive habitat in your garden for predatory insects such as ladybugs, hover flies, and tachinid flies, among others. Planting pollen or nectar plants should attract these predatory insects and give them a safe place to inhabit while they’re freeing your garden of pests like Japanese beetles and aphids.
Use Horticultural Oils
If you utilize predatory insects, but you still have pests in your garden, the next step is to use an organic pesticide. Horticultural oils work great at suffocating pests by blocking the spiracles they use to breathe and disrupting the metabolism of insect eggs, causing them to starve to death. Horticultural oils dry up quickly, so they have to sprayed right onto the pest in order to be effective. You’ll want to be careful using horticultural oils because you can easily end up killing your predatory insects as well.
If you want the fruits and vegetables that you grow in your garden to be the healthiest they can be for your family, you want to avoid the many pesticide products you find on store shelves. Using these two methods, you should be able to free your garden of pests while keeping it safe for your children.
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