Here are the top 10 Frequently Asked Questions regarding Organic Pesticide
- Oil spray insecticide – Vegetable oil and mild soap works well as an organic pesticide to rid crops from certain mites, aphids and thrips.
- Soap spray – This is a mixture of mild soap and water (application should not be applied while the sun is at its highest as this can burn the plant itself)
- Neem oil – Very effective natural oil for pest control and found in many organic pesticides.
- Diatomaceous Earth – derived from fossilized algae and phytoplankton and causes pests with an exoskeleton to become smothered by dehydrating them to death.
- Garlic spray – the strong smell of garlic (pureed in a blender with some water) creates an effective repellent and in some cases insect killer (can also be combined with chilies)
- Chilli pepper – you can choose to blend fresh chilies or take chili powder and mix with some water and use it as a spray. (Can be combined with garlic for more effect).
- Homemade insect spray (all-in-one) – 1 blended bulb of garlic, 1 small onion, 1 tspn cayenne pepper. After letting the mixture “marinade” for an hour, strain liquid then add 1 tblspn soap and mix. (Mixture can refrigerate up to 1 week)
- Tomato leaves insecticide – tomato leaves contain natural insecticide called “alkaloids”. Let chopped leaves steep overnight, thereafter strain and add water to make a spray.
Organic farmers don’t resort to synthetic pesticides as seen on the conventional side, instead, they resort to biological pest control. Biological pest control to cover a wide area of crops requires meticulous work and observation. As a result, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is commonly used on organic farms. Other natural pesticides include “pyrethrin” which is a natural compound found in plants such as the Chrysanthemum Flower. Pyrethrin interferes with the pest’s immune system. Natural insect predators are another way organic farmers combat pest’s on their farm.
Neem oil is known to have an effect on 400 different types of insects. You can use 4 tsp of Neem oil, 2 tsp liquid dishwashing soap, 3 litres of water, mix and use as a spray. Warm water is more effective.
Everything has side-effects to some extent, however, when it comes to organic pesticides, there are less harsh chemicals used to effectively control pests on farms. The line blurs when it comes to organic vs conventional farming as some organic farms use the same pesticides as conventional farms. However, it’s also good to remember that the “poisons” in some insecticide are only poisonous to pests and not humans as well.
No, all farmers conventional and organic need to spray their crops to control pests. Organic farmers need to be twice as effective when it comes to spraying crops because organic pesticides may not be effective over a prolonged time. For this reason, farmers have to spray more frequently.
No. As mentioned in the earlier point, organic farmers need to spray their crops more frequently if they want to stay free of insects that are out to destroy their cash crops. These pesticides are thoroughly tested to be safe for humans and the environment and are only used when all else fails.
The difference between organic and conventional produce is that organic aims at improving the plant’s phytochemical production to make it naturally resistant to insects. This is done without the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
Organic farms refrain from the use of GMO’s (genetically modified organism) procedures to speed up and increase production. Instead, they take on a more natural approach to growing crops and thus it takes longer than conventional produce, which costs more.
In some cases, depending on their composition, pesticide spray can be harmful to humans as well. Some sprays contain harsh toxic ingredients that do damage to more than just the pests targeted.
Again, depending on the actual composition of the pesticide, sometimes, organic sprays can also pose higher risks to the environment.