Greener Behrend: Alternatives to Chemicals

  • Use a program of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Use intercropping to control bugs and weeds
  • Keep garden/lawn free of insect-attracting debris
  • Keep plants properly watered and organically fertilized
  • Use perennial areas that remain undisturbed each year
  • Attract native predatory insects, mites, and birds
  • Monitor lawn for insects, weeds or disease
  • Learn about underlying cause of pest problems
  • Keep plantings full of variety
  • Use human-powered tools
  • Establish tolerance level for weeds
  • Use “safe” pesticides
    • Insecticidal soap
    • Soft soap (i.e. Ivory)
    • Quassia
    • Pyrethrum
    • Copper fungicide
    • Milky spore disease
    • Green lacewing larvae
    • Big blue-eyed bugs
    • Nematodes
  • Mosquito control
    • Focus efforts on larval stage
    • Look for standing water
      • Old tires
      • Buckets
      • Watering cans
      • Tin cans, jars and other containers
      • Clogged roof gutters
      • Saucers under potted plants
      • Sumps
      • Over-irrigated lawns and fields
      • Boats that haven’t been drained
      • Tree holes
      • Drain outlet from air conditioner
    • Limit likelihood you will be bitten
      • Avoid outdoors during dawn and dusk
      • Wear light clothing
      • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a hat
      • Apply repellent to cloths instead of skin
      • Burn citronella candles
    • Keep out of house by repairing holes and cracks
  • Chemical free lawn fertilization
    • Leave grass clippings on lawn
    • Feed the soil, not the plant
      • Blood meal
      • Alfalfa meal
      • Cottonseed meal
      • Make your own
        • 2 parts dried blood
        • 1 part rock phosphate
        • 4 parts wood ashes
      • Dolomitic limestone
      • Bone meal
      • Wood ashes
      • Elemental sulfur
    • Fertilize only once or twice in the North
  • Use compost for fertilizer
  • Rotate crops
  • Identify pests
  • Try least toxic solution first
  • Plant resilient plants
  • Shift planting dates
  • Use physical barriers
  • Plant flowering plants
  • Build a bird bath
  • Don’t buy foreign insects
  • Use native plants
  • Aphid control
    • Establish tolerance level
    • Rinse them off with water
    • Remove by hand (wear gloves)
    • Spray with insecticidal soap
    • Control ant populations (ants and aphids have a symbiotic relationship)
    • Avoid highly soluble nitrogen fertilizer
  • Gypsy moth control
    • Learn to tolerate low levels of pests
    • Keep trees in good health
    • Properly fertilize
    • Diversify the plantings
    • Encourage the moth’s natural enemies to stay/come to area
      • Birds
      • Beetles
      • Wasps
      • Flies
      • Mice
      • Spiders
      • Ants
    • Remove egg clusters
      • Immerse in:
        • Soapy water
        • Creosote
        • Kerosene
      • Discard in garbage or deeply bury
      • From May-June, place sticky tape completely around base of tree
      • Place burlap pieces around tree to collect hiding caterpillars