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Organic Pesticides That Work Well on Caterpillars, Web Worms, and More

Today was have a post from Safer Brand® about organic pesticides.   

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Organic Pesticides in Growing Demand

As organic gardening is on the rise, the demand for effective organic pesticides is growing. Having a garden or landscape ruined by pests costs you time, money and your hard work. Caterpillars, web worms, and more … there are plenty of pests capable of destroying your plants and trees. The key is keeping the insects at bay while not negatively affecting the environment.

Caterpillars, Web Worms, and More … Why You Need Effective Organic Pesticides

The most common pests gardeners and landscapers face are caterpillars and web worms. Understanding these insects is the key to knowing why they cause so much destruction.

Caterpillars are the larva of moths and butterflies. They are known as voracious feeders. In fact, many moth species are better known in their caterpillar stages because of the extensive damage they cause to fruits and other produce. Generically referred to as "eating machines", caterpillars can be extremely destructive. They attack the entire plant, including stems, leaves and fruit.

Even though identifying caterpillars is relatively easy, keeping up with their appetite is not. They will consume large amounts of plants in a short amount of time. Effective organic pesticides can stop them in their tracks.

In addition to caterpillars, web worms are also common pests across the U.S. Web worms attack a variety of growth, including deciduous trees, shrubs and vines. Not only are they unappealing, as their large silky masses take over branches and whole trees, they can also cause substantial damage, especially to the ripening fruits and nuts that are bound in their webs. Like caterpillars, web worms can be eliminated by using effective organic pesticides.

Caterpillars, web worms … these are just two of the thousands of pests that have invaded U.S. gardens and trees. Consumers need an effective way to combat pests while keeping the integrity of the garden and landscaping. There are organic pesticides available that do just that.

Organic Pesticides: How they Work on Caterpillars, Web Worms, and More

The most effective organic pesticides contain pyrethrins and potassium salts of fatty acids. These active ingredients are highly effective at killing insects on contact: caterpillars, web worms, and more.

Pyrethrins work well in organic pesticides because they are easily broken down by nature, yet are potent neurotoxins that attack the nervous system of all insects. Even when not used in amounts fatal to insects, they have an insect repellent effect. They are becoming the first choice organic pesticide thanks to their effectiveness. Found in the seed cases of the Chrysanthemum, this active ingredient in organic pesticides has been referred to as “probably the safest of all insecticides for use in food plants” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The potassium salts of fatty acids, the other active ingredient in effective organic pesticides, cause dehydration in pests, which ultimately results in their death. Commonly called soap salts, they are obtained by combining an alkali, such as potassium hydroxide, with fatty acids from animal or vegetable sources, such as palm, coconut, olive, castor, and cottonseed plants. They are used in organic pesticides because they are highly effective, yet are naturally occurring with a soil half-life of less than one day.

Selecting Organic Pesticides

In addition to checking active ingredient listings for pyrethrins and potassium salts of fatty acids, you want to select organic pesticides that kill a variety of insects. Instead of focusing on just caterpillars, web worms or another pest, the most effective organic pesticides eliminate over 40 insects on contact, both hard and soft-bodied. Not only is this proactive, it is also economical.

In addition to choosing organic pesticides that kill a variety of pests, make sure the product is easy to use. While organic pesticides can be applied to a variety of vegetation, from lawns and trees to shrubs and flowers, they need to be easy to apply to all locations. The most effective organic pesticides are premixed and can be attached to a hose. Spraying plants and trees is the easiest way to apply the product.

Now that you’ve found products that are easy to use, you want to ensure the organic pesticides you select are in fact organic. Thanks to clever marketing, there are pesticides packaged to look “green.” Determining which are organic pesticides would be difficult if not for the Organic Materials Review Institute-listed® and USDA-National Organic Program seals. When an organic pesticide displays these seals, you know it’s been reviewed and approved for organic gardening.

Using Organic Pesticides

Organic pesticides should be used according to their directions. Immediately after seeing the insects or signs of their damage, you should start the use of organic pesticides. When you apply the product:

  • Ensure the surfaces where the insects are eating or resting are completely coated. Organic pesticides must be sprayed directly on the pests.
  • Avoid spraying organic pesticides in full sun. Like water, organic pesticides can intensify the sun’s rays and cause burns to the leaves.
  • Start by spraying the organic pesticides on the area farthest from your hose faucet. This will help you avoid walking on the treated area.

  Works Cited:

Caterpillar. 2 March 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caterpillar>
Common Caterpillar Pests of Vegetables. 2 March 2011. Texas A&M University Department of Entomology <http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/insctans/identification/caterpillar_pests/couplet0.html>
Caterpillars: The Larve of Moths and Butterflies. 2 March 2011. <http://greenmethods.com/pests/caterpillars/#intro>
Battling Fall webworms. 2 March 2011. <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1082/is_n4_v42/ai_20912191/pg_2/?tag=content;col1>
Pyrethrin. 2 March 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrethrins>
Potassium Salts of Fatty Acids. 2 March 2011. <npic.orst.edu/factsheets/psfatech.pdf >  

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