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Organic Insect Repellents and Insect Controls

Your organic gardening program will need to address insect control methods.  Those nasty, harsh chemicals that effectively kill every insect around is not part of your arsenal. Chemical insecticides can have long term harmful effect on you and the environment.

Fortunately, there is a wide range of organic insect control methods. You may want to experiment with a variety of insect control methods to see which works best for you and your plants.


Organic Insect Control can take a number of forms:

Insect Repellents

Insect repellents "repel" insects. Most organic repellents do not kill the insects. Organic repellents may contain a variety of agents. The most common repellents are garlic based. Many insects do not like the oil of garlic, and will fly off in search of other foods.   

Frequent application of organic repellents is often needed, especially after heavy rains.

Make your own organic insect repellent sprays.

Companion plants

There are two types of companion plants: those that compliment the nutrient needs of other plants, and those that insects do not like. Plants that insects do not like, make great companions to other plants in your organic garden. Planting onions and garlic amid your organic vegetables, will repel a variety of insects. In addition to providing insect protection, you can harvest the onions and garlic, too. Marigolds are another great companion plant.

A companion plant can also be one that insects like. In South America, coffee growers plant banana trees around the coffee crops. Insects like the sweet, banana plants and fruit, much more than coffee plants.

Note: Plants that repel insects often make good components of insect repellent sprays.

More on Companion plants

Beneficial Insects

One way to get harmful insects out of your organic garden is to introduce and promote beneficial insects into your garden.  The most well known beneficial insects are lady bugs and praying mantis. If you've got aphids, the lady bugs will thrive. If you have a variety of insects, the praying mantis will find ample hunting.

You can actually purchase these beneficial insects, and introduce them to your yard or garden.

Did you Know? They say Lady bugs bring good luck. However, not if you are an aphid.

 Insect Barriers

A fine mesh insect netting will keep even small insects out of your garden. The fine mesh keeps insects out, yet lets sunlight, air and moisture in. The amount of sunlight entering and reaching your plants is dependent upon how fine the mesh is.

There is a wide range of insect an pest netting. A 1/4" to 3'8" mesh may be effective against Cicada and grasshopper invasions. They are very effective against these pests, some larger sized beetles, and a few other very large insects.

Buy/browse pest netting now.

For the vast majority of insects, a finer meshed insect netting is required.

Pest and insect netting can be very effective against flying and crawling (above ground) insects. But, they will not deter insects that live in the soil.


More on Organic Gardening:

Organic garden seeds - the all important starting point

Organic garden soil and soil amendments

Organic fertilizers

Organic insect repellents/insect control

Organic disease control


Buy Organic Seeds and Supplies - Seeds, Worm castings, fertilizer, fish emulsion, repellents, and more.


The Envirocycle Compost/ Compost Tea maker is the perfect solution for people who want to make compost and collect compost tea. It does both!

Buy Composter/Compost Tea Maker now

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