Natural Pest Control 101
One of the biggest factors contributing to the loss of Monarch butteflies and Milkweed is the use of pesticides and herbicides. Many pesticides contain neonicitinoids and glyphosates that are deadly to beneficial pollinators and Milkweed.
Harmful herbicides and insecticides are used generously in agriculture as well as in gardens. For a list of garden products that contain these harmful ingredients click here.
What are neonicitinoids?
Neonicitinoids are a class of broad-spectrum insecticides that are very commonly used in agriculture as well in urban gardens. They are systemic which means the plants absorbs the compounds into its tissues and distributes them into its roots, leaves, and flowers. Thus, making the entire plant toxic to insects that feed on it, including pollinators such as bees and butterflies. They are harmless to humans in small doses but they attack the central system of insects, acting as a neurotoxin.
What can I do to help?
You can help by providing habitat, no matter how small, and by protecting the monarch by using natural pest control methods on your milkweed and other pollinator plants. Below you will find a list of natural pest control methods that will not harm beneficial insects like monarchs.
Pepper and Garlic Spray
How to make it:
For a strong spray, crush 3 cloves of garlic and add 3 tablespoons of hot pepper flakes to a cup of boiling water. Allow it sit overnight. Strain out the garlic and pepper flakes in the morning. Adding a dash of dish soap or vegetable oil can also improve effectiveness.
Used for: All garden pests.
How to use it:
Spray directly on the plant. Make sure to get the underside of leaves where many pests lay eggs. You can use this spray daily if you have a pest problem or less regularly as pest prevention.
What is it?
Kaolin Clay is a natural mineral that is used for insect control on plants. It creates a thin barrier on the leaves which adheres to insects, causing excessive grooming, and thereby eliminating their urge to scavenge on the plant.
Used for: The use of Kaolin clay in the garden has been found to not only control insect pests but also protect the plant against sunburn or heat stress. You can purchase it online.
How to use it:
To use Kaolin clay on plants, it must first be mixed with water and applied via a spray bottle. The clay particles are very fine therefore the spray bottle must continuously be agitated and applied liberally.
What is it?
Neem oil is derived from the Azadirachta indica evergreen tree native to the Indian subcontinent. Neem has a long history of being used in the garden as a natural insect repellent.
Used for: mites, including aphids, white flies, snails, nematodes, mealybugs, cabbage worms, gnats, moths,cockroaches, flies, termites, mosquitoes, and scale.
How to use:
Spray directly on the plant, including the bottoms of leaves.
What is it?
Diatomaceous Earth is made of fossilized shells of tiny organisms called diatoms. It looks like a white, chalky powder.
aphids, mites, ants, thrips, slugs, snails, and other soft bodied insects
How to use:
Shake powder onto leaves or at base of plant OR mix with water to make a spray. It will cut soft parts of insects which kills the insects by dehydrating them.
11/18/2018 02:35:58 pm
Won't the DE kill the Monarch caterpillers if they crawl on it?
7/16/2019 08:04:21 am
6/14/2021 11:41:13 am
the caterpillars tend to stay on the milkweed leaves and stems - if I use the DE for ants, and just dust the soil, would that be sufficient to rid my milkweed of ants without harming the caterpillars?
2/18/2019 03:01:45 am
There are also pest control treatments that are not harmful to you, your family or pets.
2/18/2019 06:30:56 am
I also have another blog written on pollinator safe pesticides.
4/15/2019 04:47:27 am
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8/22/2019 04:57:54 pm
Is a mix of garlic oil and cedarwood oil "bug spray" systemically absorbed in milkweed toxic to monarch butterfly caterpillars?
10/4/2019 03:28:59 am
It’s really a nice and helpful piece natural pest control of info.I’m happy that you shared this helpful information with us.Please keep us up to date like this.Thanks for sharing.
5/12/2020 05:07:38 am
Neem oil kills monarch caterpillars in the slowest, worst way! Please don’t use neem oil!
12/17/2020 07:19:29 am
You are so right... Why isn't there a warning on the label, and why is it recommended by almost everyone?
5/9/2021 12:30:05 pm
Thank you, Angie and also Nancy.
5/24/2020 06:41:40 am
I recently discovered termites in a bag of mulch, but did not see them until already dumping out the bag. (Despite what the exterminators have all been saying, yes you will find termites in bags of mulch.) Has anyone done the research or discovered how you can safely treat for termites when the milkweed plants are in the same area? I have milkweed all around my home and therefore the plants share the same area as my mulch. Thank you for any assistance.
6/19/2020 08:32:29 am
So this just happened... Read this 'how to' article and had I not looked at the comments, exactly half of the "helpful hints" are wrong! This is laughable.
7/15/2020 01:23:33 am
Thank you for sharing this information. It was useful and interesting. You indeed have written it in a layman way so that anyone can understand regarding natural pests control and work accordingly. You have done a great job. If you are looking same kind of valuable information, then can also visit https://www.thepestman.co.nz/
8/5/2020 02:18:38 am
Thank you for the well-explained information. It's really helpful that there are articles like this to help how we handle pests in the house and also there's also pest control company/ Keep sharing!
8/10/2020 01:12:19 am
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8/10/2020 09:37:12 am
Amazing! Organic pests control are very helpful . Thank you for sharing this.
12/17/2020 07:21:33 am
Please DO NOT use neem oil, it is toxic to caterpillars because they chew the leaves and ingest the neem substance.
3/25/2021 06:51:12 pm
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4/6/2021 05:10:04 am
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5/17/2021 07:45:42 am
Much thanks to you for sharing this all around clarified data. There are advantages that there are articles like this to help handle the bugs, and there's also a nuisance control organization. Keep it up.
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9/13/2021 06:19:41 am
Nice tips on your article. Very worthwhile to read
9/15/2021 06:58:10 am
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9/15/2021 09:03:32 am
Good post Rebecca!
9/17/2021 06:25:18 am
10/22/2021 09:39:20 am
This is a tragedy to lose habitat and a vital food source of the Monarchs. It takes up to 5 generations of them to make the migration from Canada to Mexico.
6/2/2022 10:33:15 pm
Natural or organic pest control management keeps everything safe while getting rid of unwanted guests. Definitely recommended option.
1/11/2023 03:56:45 am
Well worth a read. Got great insights and information from your blog. Natural or organic pest control management keeps everything safe. I got good information on your blog compared to other blogs.Thanks.
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