qncyguy21 asked in Science & MathematicsBotany · 1 decade ago

Garden pest/pathogen organic control and treatment?

What are some good organic methods for preventing or treating common garden pest/pathogen infestations such as white flies, aphids, blights etc

Please let me know which specific infection your treatment treats..... Want to be well armed going into the spring planting season.


3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Organic methods for aphid or soft bodied insect control that I have found.

    2% soap soln.

    4 tsp of liquid soap – Dr Bonner, Murphys Oil Soap, pure castile, Ivory or unscented liquid hand soap

    1 qt distilled or soft tap water

    Spray all surfaces of plant.

    Do not spray when temps are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit! Your plants may "burn" or have a reaction to what you are using in excessive heat. Either detergents or soaps work to kill insects that have soft bodies such as aphids, young scales, whiteflies, psyllids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Detergent is just more likely to injure the plants. This is known as "phytotoxicity."

    The soap is only effective while wet. Spray in evening or when temps are cooler so drying time is longer.

    Some liquid soaps will harm plant tissue just like they harm insects - by cutting the waxy coating on the organism’s skin and causing it to dry out. Commercial insecticide soaps will not do this as much. Safer makes a product safe to use on plants.

    mix to produce various dilute soap sprays


    Soap faq



    Oil or soap


    Ladybirds are predatory beetles but it is really the juvenile stage that does the most pest control. An adult female Lady Beetle may consume up to 75 aphids a day while the smaller male may consume up to 40. One larva may eat up to 350 aphids during its 1 month life span.

    Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control

    Rodale Press Inc. (Organic Gardening Magazine)







    Slugs are attracted to the odors given off by the fermentation process so beer makes a good lure over short distances. Research has shown Kingsbury Malt, Michelob, and Budweiser attract slugs far better than other brands. The beer will need to be replaced at least once a week or more as it looses its potency or becomes diluted by rain. Keep the container up with a 1" rim to keep beetles or isopods from entry & drowning in it. Beetles hunt slugs and isopods eat dead things. Boards laid near vulnerable plants will attract sheltering slugs. Lift every morning and drop slugs into really soapy water.

    Earwigs are nocturnal so the most effective methods are baited traps. One earwig trap is plastic pots baited with fish oil (like tuna or sardines) on water for them to drown in. Or rolled/crumpled newspapers stuffed into small paper bags baited with wheat germ or bran will offer earwigs places to hide in the day. Collect and dispose of the bags. Old lidded candy tins with a small hole punched in the side can be baited with bran also. I empty wash and reuse these.

    Remove top & bottom from tuna or cat food cans and slip one over the seedling when planted. Segments of large soda bottles also make good collars. Push it slightly into the soil. The collar will keep out cut worms.

    Protect seedlings with cheesecloth or nylon tents made by draping cloth over crossed stakes every night to keep moths from laying eggs. Remove or use very shear material so plants can still photosynthesize during the day. Removal is best.

    Blights are fungal so require surfaces being sprayed BEFORE the spore arrives and burrows in. Organic methods are coats applied to prevent spore penetration.

    Milk diluted to 20- 30% and sprayed every 5 days for three weeks then go to another spray.


    Oil sprays in summer weights or neem oil are very effective fungicides.

    Summer oils can be combined with baking soda for basic Cornell spray. 0.5% baking soda plus 0.5% sunspray oil.

    4 tsp baking soda

    4 tsp oil

    Bring up to 1 gallon with water.

    This can be made up as 2% baking soda and 1% oil solution proved most effective to prevent powdery mildew.


    Cornmeal helps to eliminate black spot spores from the soil. It eliminates the spores in the soil around plants by supporting the beneficial fungus Trichoderma spp. that eliminates other fungal pathogens. Work in corn meal at 2 pounds of cornmeal for every 100 square feet. Water well to activate. There is a cheap, nonfood grade available at some garden centers.

    Vinegar spray alters the surface pH to control fungal spores


    I hope this helps but please note that not all plants tolerate the same treatment nor do all pests respond the same way so spray and watch. Not all of these treatments have been well tested in repeatable and controlled situations on more than one or two plant species if at all.

    Horticultural mythbuster


    Source(s): Rose Pharm, Insecticidal Soap uses glycerin soap with peppermint oil, cottonseed oil is new and seems worth trying. http://pharmsolutions.com/ This is the brand I use http://www.saferbrand.com/articles/altpestsprays.a...
  • 4 years ago


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Buy lady bugs to keep aphids and other smaller insects at bay. Buy Praying Mantis to take care of the larger pests.

    Nematodes can be purchased to add to your soil to eliminate grubs in the soil.

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