MANY gardeners are hesitant to use chemicals and pesticides in their garden, but there are ways to get rid of plant eating insects naturally.
Prevention is always a good way to start. Ensure your garden is clean and clear of any dead leaves and foliage where insects often hide and reproduce.
If you do find insect damage on your plants, there are organic products that work in a variety of ways but they are specific to certain insects so it is important to know what you are dealing with.
Insecticidal soap is available for pest control. It is safe to use around bees, birds and animals and is made of fatty acid which can help control aphids, spider mites, whiteflies and some leafhoppers and caterpillars. However it must be sprayed directly onto the offending insects to be effective.
Plant-based insecticides often use the seeds of the Neem tree which produces an oil that disrupts insects’ reproductive cycle, preventing them from multiplying. The Neem tree is native to Southeast Asia and is also now grown in Australia for its insecticidal properties.
Garlic-based insect repellants also work and when sprayed on to plants prevent insects from eating them.