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Posts Tagged ‘Natural Pest Control’

Organic Grasshopper Control for the Garden

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
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Wherever there is a lot of grass and weeds, there are most likely grasshoppers hiding. There are hundreds of varieties of grasshoppers that can be found in North American and several of them will do damage to gardens. It’s illogical for a gardener to go around hand-picking them and it’s not wise to utilize chemicals around the garden, so what can a gardener do for grasshopper control that will not ruin his garden?

Using Birds and Predators for Grasshopper Control

Grasshoppers hatch in spring from eggs that have been hidden in the soil. The baby grasshoppers will hide out in areas that are thick with vegetation. Most of the bugs will be eaten by spiders, frogs, beetles and other larger predators that live in the same vegetation. Maintaining dense mixed herbs, grasses and flowers near the garden can serve as traps for baby grasshoppers so that they never develop into full-blown garden pests.

Gardeners can as well control grasshoppers in the garden by providing perching structures near the garden for insect-eating birds. Insect-eating birds are one the biggest predators that these bugs have. Most of these birds like to hunt their prey by watching for any movements from high on top of on perches. Encourage these birds to eat the grasshoppers in the garden by supplying them with upright structures such as trellises and posts near the garden.

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Plant organic Barriers of the Bugs

There are certain plants that grasshoppers just don’t like. One of those plants include the herb cilantro. Planting this herb in the garden can help keep these bugs completely away from the entire area of the garden. Depending on the size of the garden, one to three plants of cilantro should be sufficient for grasshopper control.

Other plants that are known to be organic barriers include the herbs horehound and calendula. These herbs may be a little harder to discover and grow depending on the region. as well, these insects don’t like pea plants becautilize of the nitrogen, so peas can as well be planted in a garden to help keep the pests away

Grow Tall Grass Away from the Garden

Grasshoppers would rather live in a patch of tall grass and weeds than in a clean garden. By allowing a patch of tall grass or weeds to grow in an area away from the garden, people can practice organic grasshopper control in the real garden. If the garden is kept weeded and clean, like it should be, the bugs will organicly drift toward the patches of tall grass that are set up away from the garden, thus leaving the vegetables and fruits alone.

Row Covers Work Great for Grasshopper Control

One of the best ways to protect plants from these insects it to cover them with an obstacle such as a row cover or a lightweight fabric cloth. The covers should be held on top of the plants with posts or wooden stakes since the bugs are more likely to eat the plants if they can get the leaves that are pushing against the covers.

In some areas where grasshoppers are a real predicament for gardeners, aluminum screening cones are made to keep the plants protected. This may be a drastic measure for some people but in states like Texas, where the bug infestations can ruin whole crops, it may be necessary.

Instead of using harmful pesticides and chemicals, these are effective options that people have for organic grasshopper control in the garden. Gardeners can employ, one, two or even all three of these techniques to make sure their plants stay protected from hungry

Organic Gardening Products

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MaWhitefringed Beetle

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Whitefringed Beetle

Common names: Whitefringed Beetle

Scientific name: Graphognathus leucoloma

Region: This Beetle is common to the southeastern United States.

Life cycle: This beetle overwinters as a larva or an egg in the soil and produces one generation each year.

Physical Description: This brown-gray beetle is about 1/2 inch long, has white hairs on its back, a short head/snout, and cannot fly.  The eggs are coated with a very sticky substance and are laid in large groups and the base of plants.  The yellowish white larva has no legs and is about 1/2 inch in length.

Feeding characteristics: The whitefringed grub lives in the soil and feeds on the roots of beans and a variety of other vegetables and ornamentals.  The larva eats the tender outer root tissues and may sever the main root, causing the plant to turn yellow and limp, eventually killing them.  It has acquired a taste for about 400 plants.  The adult is less dangerous to the garden and are particularly fond of legumes.

Controls: Large-scale growers should not plant more than a quarter of there annual crop land in legumes, or plant the same land with legumes more than once in three to four years.  On a smaller scale, the home gardener can control this pest more efficiently.  Make sure you don’t plant legumes together.  Clean cultivation is the only effective organic control.  Build the soil fertility so that the plant may become strong enough to fight off the beetles’ attack.

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Natural pest control

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