NGA Articles: Vegetable Garden Pest Control

Vegetable Garden Pest Control (cont)

By: National Gardening Association Editors

Sensible Insecticides Used Responsibly

Sometimes pest problems are not adequately managed by natural, cultural or mechanical control methods. Insecticides are often the only control option that remains. The prime factors in determining pesticide safety are:

  • How specific it is to particular insects?
  • How toxic it is to humans and nontarget organisms?
  • How quickly does it degrade.

Remember, in a vegetable garden it is virtually impossible to spray just the one thing you want to spray. Other crops (perhaps ready to pick) are always nearby, so you want to stay away from insecticides that don't break down quickly.

Choose an insecticide that is as specific to the pest at hand as possible and then use as little as possible. If only one spray will do the job, use only one spray. For the long-term health of your garden, the less spray you use, the better.

Remember, too, that just because an insecticide has a botanical origin or is considered acceptable to organic gardeners, it still contains a toxin and is not automatically safe for humans.

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