We all want our gardens to be as healthful as possible, both for our families and for Mother Nature. So when bugs attack and you reach for your organic pesticides, it is important to apply them when and how they will be most effective against those pests. By applying them effectively, you will maximize your success in controlling the pest problem, while protecting the environment against the damages causes by excessive or incorrect pesticide application.
When applying a pesticide for your pest problem, it is important to ask “How will the pesticide work on the pests?” Pesticides can affect insects in two different ways: internally or externally. Knowing how your pesticide of choice works will help you to apply it in the best way to work against the pests in your garden.
A Bug’s Last Meal
Internal type pesticides are dangerous only for the targeted pest. It only works if it is eaten by the pests. The components of the pesticides can be poison, or it may be an ingredient, which cause serious disease to the pests.
While applying internal type pesticides, you need to ensure that pests will like to eat it. For example, you can mix it with sweetener, or you can apply it to something pests are already eating, so they will eat it as they eat your plants. It also clear that you can only use them while the pests are present, you can’t use it as a prevention.
However, it might be amazing to let the pests eat your crop while you apply the pesticides, but you have to sacrifice some part of the crops in order to get rid of them organically.
Don’t get worried if you see the pests in your garden even after applying the pesticides because some of the pest killers take longer to produce results. They might be working inside the pests and making them slow, but not yet killing them. For example, the neem oil don’t allow the pests to eat more crops once they have it, but they still remain alive for couple few days.
Some pesticides continue to produce great results without applying them agains and again like Nolo bait for grasshoppers. Nolo bait starts a disease in grosshoppers, which doesn’t allow them to hurt the crops. To keep it affective, you need to provide it some time and don’t apply any other pesticides.
In case the rain or irrigation rinsed off the applied pesticides, you need to make sure that you reapply it immediately, so the insects will keep eating it. Also, ensure that you apply the pesticides again and again as mentioned on the packaging.
Internal-type pesticides are good choices for pests that hide from view and cannot be directly sprayed by external-type pesticides. They are often species specific, such as Nolo bait for grasshoppers and B.t. for caterpillars. Pesticides that target a pest species are less likely to harm beneficial insects or other wildlife than broad-spectrum pesticides.
A Walk on the Pesticide
External-type or Contact pesticides affect insects that physically come into contact with the pesticide. Some contact pesticides are poisonous to the bugs, such as pyrethrin. Some smother the bugs and suffocate them, such as horticultural oil. Others kill the bugs by damaging their exoskeleton, such as diatomaceous earth that cuts them, and insecticidal soap that desiccates them.
Many contact pesticides are only effective when sprayed directly on the insect, such as pyrethrins, oils, and soaps. These types of pesticides must be applied thoroughly to all surfaces of the affected plants while the pests are present, and cannot be used preventatively. Because they only kill what they are sprayed on, they need to be re-applied with every new infestation.
Some contact pesticides remain effective on the plant surface after application; these will continue to kill whatever insects come into contact with them for some time after the plants have been sprayed. Follow the directions on the packaging to determine how frequently they need to be reapplied for the best effectiveness.
Many contact pesticides are not species specific and can harm beneficial insects as well as the pests. When selecting pesticides for your garden, choose bee-friendly pesticides for flowering plants, and spray in the early morning or late evening when bees are not active. Protect the ladybugs and other predatory insects that help your garden by selecting the least toxic pesticide possible.
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