Natural Alternatives For Pest And Disease Control

Natural alternatives for pest and disease control
Image: Studio 37 – Shutterstock.

In the maintenance of Parks and Gardens, we find ourselves (I dare say that on a daily basis) with the difficult choice of the way in which we should prevent and combat diseases and pests that affect our prized plants.

Seasonal changes, lack or excess of irrigation, inadequate drainage, are some of the factors that can make plant elements suffer attacks from different fungi, bacteria or viruses as well as insects that are not beneficial at all. These attacks produce a certain change in the shape, structure or function of the plant. If not treated in time, these changes could lead to their functional disability, even killing them.

Currently, the dilemma lies in the methods to implement to combat them, Organic or with Specific Products (Chemicals).

In MentenFlor we try, in general, to implement organic techniques and products. Below I detail some of them.

How to control pests and diseases

Garlic alcohol.

It is an effective fungicide, insecticide and miticide of broad spectrum and totally natural. Once prepared, it can be saved to be ready to apply when needed. It should never be applied when the plants are in the sun. Depending on the condition, it can be applied every week or every 15 days, and always after the rains.

The recipe is quite simple, always maintaining the proportions: in 1⁄2 liter of alcohol, about 5 or 6 crushed garlic cloves are placed. It is left to rest for 3 days. The preparation is filtered and placed in a sprayer. 1⁄2 liter of water is added. Shake to homogenize and voila. It sprays the leaves on both sides and the stems as well. 

Orange or tangerine peel.

Small pieces of this orange peel are used in the paths that the Ants make and in the vicinity of the ant hills. Once the pieces are transferred to the interior of the nests, they release a highly toxic substance for these very harmful insects. 

White pepper.

With the same purpose as the previous method, you can use WHITE PEPPER .

In this case, you have to mix white pepper and water in equal proportions and then spray the mixture or paint the trunks of the plants; o YEAST, mixing 100 g of yeast in half a liter of warm water with the same volume of sugar.

Then the mixture is poured into small containers that are placed in the path of the Ants. These, attracted by the aroma of the mixture, proceed to devour it quickly.

This preparation later kills them in the anthill and turns them into food for the other Ants, who will also die. A kind of small-scale Trojan Horse.

From time to time I have tried placing RICE GRAINS, which ferment inside the anthill due to humidity and produce fungi that end up killing the colony.

Soapy water

In 1 liter of warm water place 2 tablespoons of striped white soap. Then 2 tablespoons of alcohol are added. Mixes well in a sprayer. This preparation is effective in the fight against mealybugs and whiteflies. 

If the liquid resulting from leaving 3 cigarette butts to macerate in 1 glass of water is added to the previous preparation for one night, a good insecticide against aphids is obtained.

Beer or eggshell.

These elements are effective in warding off or eliminating Snails and Slugs. The beer is placed in small containers buried flush with the floor or rags are soaked and placed in moderately hidden places, causing these gastropod mollusks to be attracted and clump together on the rag, or fall into the containers, drowning. 

The eggshell is placed ground in the surroundings of the affected plants, avoiding that Snails and Slugs can move to the vegetation, since the shells remain attached to the body. 

Whether we come across Ants, Snails, Aphids, Mealybugs or any other pest, another good and highly recommended method is the planting of repellent plants and the cultivation of plants that attract beneficial insects to our garden and orchard. Not only because of the help we will receive against pests but also because they will pollinate our plants. 

Marcelo Fernandez MentenFlor.

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