Green tip of the week - 05/24/11


Pesticides are substances that disrupt or kill organisms we consider pests. Most natural pesticides, derived from a natural source such as a mineral or made by other organisms usually for their own defense, are safer and more friendly to the environment than conventional pesticides.

They can also be very effective, and should your first choice for most home and garden pest control needs.

According to, natural pesticides for gardens include:

  • Neem Oil - used against insects that chew on plants such as black vine weevil.
  • Insecticidal Soap - used in gardens and landscapes against a variety of small, soft-bodied pests like aphids, spider mites and scale crawlers.
  • Rotenone - an older, broad-spectrum natural insecticide used for a variety of garden and landscape pests, available as a powder or liquid.
  • Spinosad - a newer, broad-spectrum insecticide for use in gardens and landscapes.
  • Pyrethrum - an older, broad-spectrum insecticide for use in gardens.
  • Diatomaceous Earth - a dry, powdery material (natural dust) derived from the shells of marine organisms, used mainly to deter and kill crawling pests both indoors and outdoors.

Insecticidal soap plus at least one relatively broad spectrum/low toxicity pesticide such as neem oil, spinosad or pyrethrum will handle most of your garden's pest control needs in a safe and eco-friendly manner.

It's our world. If we use resources more thoughtfully, we'll all benefit.

From Sustainable Walla Walla and the WWCC Go Green Club. More tips at


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