There are many different kinds of organic pesticides. The purpose behind using an organic pesticide is to prevent insect infestations on plants, grasses, and flowers in a natural way. Some organic pesticides can be created from ingredients found in the kitchen, such as garlic, anise, and spicy peppers. Others, such as neem oil, insecticidal soap, Bacillus thuringiensis, pyrethrins, sabadilla, and rotenone, can normally be purchased from a home garden shop or through the Internet. Although many people believe that organic pesticides are safe because they are naturally occurring chemicals, some of them can cause severe reactions and illnesses if they are used improperly.
The safest organic pesticides are those that are found in most people’s kitchen pantries or spice racks. For example, garlic can be used as a general pesticide in many gardens. If it is planted in between rows of vegetables, fruit trees, or flowers, it may repel insects, such as aphids and borers. In addition, garlic powder can be combined with water and lightly sprayed on plants. Not only is it known to repel insects, but the garlic spray also helps keep rabbits away from certain plants, and if it is sprayed in a decorative pond, it can kill the mosquitoes.
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Other pesticides that are naturally occurring and found in many kitchens include anise and spicy peppers. If anise is planted in a garden, it is thought to repel aphids and cabbage pests. In addition, if it is sprayed in the air as a fumigant, it is thought to ward off mosquitoes. Spicy peppers may also work as a natural pesticide. Ants can be repelled with a plant spray made from ten drops of citrus oil, one teaspoon (5 ml) of cayenne pepper and one cup (8 oz) of water.
Insecticidal soap is a common organic pesticide as well. It is typically made from potassium salts that are mixed with fatty acids. In order for the soap to work, it must come into direct contact with the pests. If it dries on the plant, it will not kill the insects. Although it is relatively safe and not considered to be toxic, it can burn the leaves of plants and should not be used on certain kinds of plants or on plants that are in full sun.
Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacteria that can be sprinkled on a pest-covered plant. When the pests eat the bacteria, they release a toxin that causes the pests to starve to death. It is believed to only affect certain species of pests and is not thought to cause illnesses in people or animals. The bacteria are slow to kill off the insects and are not recommended to be used on plants in direct sunlight.
Neem oil is one of the most popular organic pesticides available to gardeners. It is made from the essential oil of the fruit from the neem tree and is believed to have dozens of naturally occurring properties that work to repel a variety of pests. It works by preventing young insects from metamorphosing into adults. It takes time, but it generally is effective. It can be purchased from a gardening store or through the Internet.
Some organic pesticides should be used with caution. For example, pyrethrins, sabadilla, and rotenone can be toxic to people and should be used sparingly or when other organic pesticides have not worked. Pyrethrins can quickly kill all the insects on plants, but can also kill harmless insects and bees. Sabadilla is made from the sabadilla lily seeds and can kill insects, but also animals. Rotenone is made from the roots of legumes and can also kill insects without discrimination.