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Non-toxic Pest Control - Pest Control Without Any Chemicals

I have talked before about how using non-toxic pest control products in your organic gardening can work in the short term, but I have also hinted at the problems of using this approach continuously. Today, I'll get into the really good stuff.

Why Do Diseases and Insects Eat Your Plants?

Why do insects eat your plants? Why do "bad" bacteria, fungi and other protists (I will refer to all of these as diseases from now on) eat your plants? It all comes down to the same reason and it's probably not what you think.

When planning for our non-toxic pest control, we tend to think insects and diseases are making our plants unhealthy, but actually, they are there because our plants are unhealthy. This is one of the biggest shifts we need to make in our thinking when moving to organic gardening practices.

As discussed last time, animals prefer healthy plants, but insects and diseases prefer the opposite. They choose plants that have either a deficiency of excess - a nutritional imbalance - of one or more nutrients. They literally do not possess the enzymes necessary to digest "healthy" plants.

In fact, they don't even see healthy plants as a food source at all! Sounds crazy, right?
Well I'm going to explain it, because this is one of the most important concepts to understand when talking not only about non-toxic pest control, but organic gardening in general. I won't go into too much detail, but here's the gist of it.

How Insects And Diseases Find Our Plants

Animals (like us) see in the visual light spectrum. Insects and diseases do a lot of their "seeing" in the infrared light spectrum. Insects do this by using their antennae and tuning into electromagnetic frequencies.

So in your organic garden, your sick plants - those that have a nutritional imbalance - emit a frequency in the infrared light spectrum that a pest "sees" with its antenna and it recognizes it as food.

Healthy plants simply do not emit these frequencies. So insects and diseases do not see healthy plants as a food source.

Why do sick plants invite predators to eat them? I don't think we know for sure, but many of the smartest ecological scientists, farmers and organic gardeners think the plants don't want to survive since it would be a detriment to their species.

If sick plants were to continually reproduce, the species would not be as strong and would have a much more difficult time surviving. So they "take one for the team", so to speak. I figure plants don't have the same anxiety about death that we do.

Non-Toxic Pest Control - What's Wrong With It?

Other than the fact that they stop most organic gardeners from shifting their paradigm to learn that plant-feeding organisms only eat unhealthy plants, non-toxic pest control products have a couple of other problems.

Many of them harm the plants to some degree, and most healthy plants can handle it, but if we're spraying plants that are already suffering, the damage will often be worse.

Another problem is if we keep killing the offending organism with non-toxic pest control products, the predators of those pests may be killed or at least will never set up shop. Ladybugs won't lay their eggs, which therefore won't hatch to eat the aphids. Many of the beneficial microorganisms that would consume our black spot or mildew will be killed when we use baking soda or something similar.

Killing the pests does not change anything. Pesticides do not give the plant the nutrients it needs.

What is the ultimate organic gardening goal for organic pest control? Create health in your soil and your plants so that the pests never cause any problems.

By: Phil Nauta

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