Organic Pest Control in Texas

Here are some things you can do to naturally control insects in your Texas garden:

  • Interplant repellent crops and flowers. Certain plants produce strong odors or cause abnormal insect development. Planting them near or among vulnerable plants offers protection. Some choices of repellant plants include marigolds, onions, garlic, and hot peppers.
  • Provide food, water, and shelter for birds. Birds can help keep your insect population in check.
  • Use beneficial insects to remedy an imbalance of insect pests. Lady bugs, lacewings, praying mantises, and trichogramma wasps can all be effective.

Organic Methods of Control for Common Pests

  • Aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and lacebugs Release ladybugs and green lacewings regularly until natural populations establish themselves. Spray Garrett Juice and/or garlic-pepper tea. Use strong water blasts for heavy infestations.
  • Caterpillars and bagworms Release trichogramma wasps. Spray Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) as a last resort.
  • Fire ants Drench mounds with Garrett Juice plus orange oil. Release beneficial nematodes and go totally organic.
  • Grasshoppers Eliminate bare soil. Apply beneficial nematodes and spray kaolin clay particle film, if necessary. Encourage biodiversity. Feed birds that prey on grasshoppers.
  • Grubworms Beneficial nematodes and general soil health are the primary control.
  • MosquitoesBroadcast cedar flakes and use cedar mulch. Use Bacillus thuringiensis Israelensis for larvae in standing water. For adult insects, spray orange oil based products or garlic-pepper tea. Lavender, vanilla, citronella and eucalyptus also repel adult mosquitoes.
  • Slugs, snails, fleas, ticks, chinch bugs, roaches, and cricketsSpray or dust natural diatomaceous earth products. Broadcast cedar flakes and crushed red pepper. Orange oil also kills these pests.
For details on pest control, check out the Texas Bug Book.

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