If you have a garden, you’re going to have to take steps to keep it free of the different types of pests that may find your garden as appealing as you do. To keep your garden healthy and pest –free, you’ll need to choose the pesticide that’s right for you.
A pesticide is any product that controls plant pests. Pesticides can be chemical or organic and serve to block weeds (unwanted plants), insects or stop fungi from growing on your plants. Let’s take a closer look at some common pesticides.
There are three main types of chemical pesticides available to purchase on the market – organophosphates, carbamates and pyrethroids. Organophosphate pesticides are insecticides that attack insects’ nervous systems. They’re highly toxic, but break down in the environment more quickly than many other pesticides.
Carbamate pesticides are made with carbamic acid, and also attack insects’ nervous systems. In addition to being insecticides, they’re also used as herbicides (weed repellants) and fungicides (fungi fighters).
Pyrethroid pesticides are a synthetic version of a naturally occurring chemical called pyrethin which is found in chrysanthemums. These pesticides work similarly to the other chemicals by attacking the nervous systems of insects. Pyrethroid pesticides don’t break down quickly in sunlight.
Organic pesticides can be purchased or some can be made at home. Insecticidal soap is a combination of sodium or potassium salts and fatty acids. The soap must come in direct contact with the insects before it dries. The fatty acids in the soap seep into the insects’ outer body and collapse the cells. It’s non-toxic for humans and animals, and can be used on vegetables up to harvesting time.
Neem is an organic pesticide that gets sprayed directly onto plant leaves, and upsets the hormonal system of insects and stops their development. It’s non-toxic for humans, but animals should be kept away until the plants dry. Neem washes away in rain, and breaks down easily in sunlight. It’s acceptable any insect.
Horticultural Oil is highly refined petroleum oil. It gets mixed with water and sprayed onto foliage. It coats and suffocates insects making them unable to eat. Horticultural oil has low toxicity to humans, animals or birds, and leaves no toxic residue. A con with its use, though, is that it can burn plan leaves. Also, there are several grades, and you have to be sure to choose the right grade for the season in which you’re spraying.
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The Watch Us Grow Team