Pests & Blights
For centuries, homesteaders have been tackling pests & blights in gardens, barns, coops and more.
Those favoring self-sustaining living opt for natural pest control. This approach aims to address unwanted insects and critters with solutions that cause the least amount of disruption to the ecosystem. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is often heralded as the ideal approach to natural pest control. The heart of an IPM strategy seeks to manage pests & blights through an understanding of their interactions with other organisms and the environment. The general focus of IPM is to prevent these problems from developing while, at the same time, reducing or eliminating the use of chemicals.
An example of IPM is managing pepper maggots by growing bell peppers with hot cherry peppers as a companion plant. In one study, growers reported that their pesticide use was reduced by 89% and the percentage of undamaged bell peppers increased significantly. Insect-controlling plants can be your go-to for natural pesticides for garden pests & blights. Try growing basil. The leaves and stems of Sweet Basil and Holy Basil act as a repellent, insecticide, and fungicide and molluscicide for fruit flies, leaf miners, red spiders and mites. Prepare this solution by soaking 100g of basil leaves in 1 liter of water soaked overnight. Filter the mixture and add 1ml of liquid soap. Stir. Dilute into 10-15 liters of water. Other insect-controlling options include chilies, garlic, neem, papaya, ginger and soursop for aphids control.
Insects aren’t the only concerns for homesteaders. While birds are generally a great natural pest control option for gardens — gobbling up grasshoppers, moths and eggs, caterpillars and even Colorado potato bug — fact is, crows are notorious corn consumers. Through the years, resourceful homesteaders have come up with natural ways to deter pests like crows by learning how to make a scarecrow out of garden hoses (yes, it works!).
When it comes to reducing the damage of pests & blights on your farmstead, remember, natural is better!
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