Controlling Pests in Eco-Friendly Ways - dummies

By Bill Marken, Suzanne DeJohn, The Editors of the National Gardening Association

Part of Container Gardening For Dummies Cheat Sheet

After investing time and money in your container gardens, the last thing you want to find is bugs or other pests munching on the plants in those containers. Here are some ecologically sound ways to prevent pests from feasting on your flowers and vegetables.

  • Choose pest-resistant varieties that are adapted to your climate.

  • Keep plants healthy by making sure they’re getting the right amount of sun, water, and fertilizer for optimal growth.

  • Invite beneficial insects into your landscape to help control pests by planting a diversity of plants and minimizing pesticide use.

  • Inspect plants frequently so you catch problems early.

  • Identify the culprit before taking any control measures.

  • Use barriers, like row covers, to prevent pests from reaching plants.

  • Spray repellents to keep critters at bay, such as neem oil for Japanese beetles and predator urine for deer.

  • Trap pests like slugs to reduce their populations.

  • Hand-pick insect pests or wash them off with a blast of water.

  • Choose least-toxic pesticides, preferably ones that target only the pest and don’t harm other organisms.