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Homegrown Organic Pest Control

Discover how to create your own homegrown organic pest control with effective natural remedies, including pyrethrum, garlic, feverfew and marigolds.

| July/August 1986

  • 100-029-01
    Yarrow can be used as a tea to treat crops.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 100-029-01

Reprinted from MOTHER EARTH NEWS NOs 62 and 70. 

You can use organic pest control methods to rid your garden of many destructive pests with effective natural remedies. 

Homegrown Organic Pest Control

Few experiences are more frustrating, more irritating, or more just plain maddening than suffering an invasion of creeping, crawling, or flying garden pests. And the situation can get even worse when you start looking for a way to solve your bug problems. Here, for instance, is a sample of the kind of "reassurance" you can find on a typical pesticide can, box, or bottle label: CAUTION! HARMFUL TO HUMANS, PETS, AND LIVESTOCK. DO NOT INHALE OR LET PRODUCT COME IN CONTACT WITH SKIN. DO NOT USE VEGETABLES TREATED WITH THIS PRODUCT FOR ONE WEEK AFTER APPLICATION . . . etc., etc., etc.

Fortunately, there is a way to have healthy crops without handling poisons . . . and that's to grow your own safe insecticides for organic pest control ! Over the ages many pungent herbs have served man as natural pest repellents. Such homegrown protective agents were used effectively long before the present chemical craze, and they still work.



Pyrethrum

One of the better-known organic pesticides is pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium or Chrysanthemum coccineum). I find it best to grow my supply rather than buying any, though; some commercial products labeled "pyrethrum dust" are simply a pyrethrum powder base that's laced with those toxic, residual poisons characteristic of today's overkill pest control philosophy.

The pyrethrum plants, also known as painted daisies or painted ladies, provide pest-repellent action when grown either throughout your garden or as border plants.





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