Organic Pest Control

Slug feeding in garden

Slug feeding in gardenInsect pests become active as the weather warms. Scout the garden for pests daily and take immediate action so that populations don’t get a foothold. Knock aphids off plants with a stream of water from the hose. Protect tender shoots from cutworms with paper collars around newly set seedlings. Control slugs and snails by placing sandpaper collars around seedlings. Place loosely rolled wet newspaper “traps” around the garden to collect snails, slugs, and earwigs; these pests seek a cool, moist place to hide during the day.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.


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    • Dormant oils including mineral and vegetable oils can be sprayed on fruit trees before leaves appear to control scale bugs; insecticidal soaps and strong spray of water from the hose can be used to wash away aphids and scale; copper and sulphur spray and dusts can be used to control fungus. The natural insecticides rotenone and pyrethrin can be used to control many insect pests.

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