- Bugs that pester your garden
- Insecticide vs. pesticide vs. herbicide
- Is it dangerous to use insecticides/pesticides?
- Types of insecticide/pesticide
- How to choose the right spray for plants to keep bugs away
- Spray for Plants to Keep Bugs Away – Top 5 Picks!
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final words
Are bugs damaging your garden? Before the pest ravages your plants, you should use the right spray for plants to keep bugs away. However, you shouldn’t buy just about any pesticide. Make sure that it’s safe for the type of plant you have at home and that it targets the bug species present in your garden.
|SPRAY||BRAND||EXPERT RATING||CHECK PRICE|
|Safer Brand Insect Killing |
|Monterey Garden |
|Organic Laboratories |
Organic Garden Spray
|Neem Bliss Organic |
|Verdana Cold-Pressed |
Neem Oil Concentrate
Getting rid of insect pests in your garden can be challenging. Using the wrong pesticide will lead to the death of your vegetation. In this post, we will guide you in choosing the right pesticide for your garden as well as five options in the market that you can purchase right away.
Bugs that pester your garden
Bugs are one of the most common garden pests. As much as they are common, the damage they bring can be extensive and irreversible. The key in removing the pesky bugs is identifying its species so you can purchase the right pesticide.
Take note that there’s one single product that can kill all garden bugs. You have to ensure that the spray you’re purchasing is suitable for the bugs in your garden.
The following are some of the most common bug pests that you may find in your garden:
This pest eats through leaves, which result in holes. The process is slow and will leave unsightly damages on the leaves of the plant. The damaged parts will have brownish or discolored spots. Also, when the plant is wet, it will produce a foul odor.
Usually, this bug attacks plants on spring with extensive damages stretching up to summer. Visually, Viburnum beetles manifest as creamy yellow larvae that comes with black markings. It can grow up to 8 mm long and mostly visible between April and June.
Vine Weevils can feed on a variety of fruit and ornamental plants that are grown in containers. Adults will usually eat leaves while the grubs will target the roots. This pest can be very deadly for plants, especially if not detected and removed early on.
The common signs of weevil infestation are irregular leaf margins during the summer months. Also, you may notice C-shaped grubs which will cause the plants to die during autumn and spring.
*Woolly Beech Aphids
This pest is usually seen during summer and manifests as a fluffy coating on the shoots of the plants. You can also find the whitish fluff on the underside of the leaves.
Woolly Beech Aphids thrive by sucking sap and producing honeydew. Ants love this sweet substance, which is why ants protect aphids from direct predators. This causes the aphids to proliferate on the plant.
Earwigs are nocturnal pests that feed on flowering plants like chrysanthemum, dahlia, and clematis. This bug love plant sprouts and decaying vegetation. Take note that earwigs are fast-moving pests, especially if their habitat gets disturbed.
This pest has a distinctive pair of forceps that they use to feed on plants.
Thrips are small insects that feed on the buds of plants. They release black specks, which is actually their feces. If your plant’s blooms die before opening, thrips may be the culprits.
However, the tricky part is that not all thrips are bad for flowers. Some species are beneficial, but this, too, can get killed in the process of removing bad thrips.
Pruning the affected area will help prevent the spread of thrips. You can also use an organic pesticide to control its infestation.
Insecticide vs. pesticide vs. herbicide
The bugs mentioned above can be eliminated through the use of a spray solution. However, which one should you get: an insecticide, pesticide, or herbicide?
For those new in gardening, these three terms are easy to use interchangeably. However, it’s important to know their differences as each one has a unique purpose.
Insecticides target a specific type or species of insects. It’s usually made to kill wasps, ants, and snails. It targets the larvae so it will no longer mature and eat the plant.
Some insecticides can also double as pesticides depending on the formulation.
Pesticides, on the other hand, are used to control the population of a certain pest. It works through ingestion of the substance. Also, pesticides can work instantly or through a certain residual period.
Lastly, herbicides are used to kill undesirable plants that may interfere in the growth of the main plant.
Is it dangerous to use insecticides/pesticides?
Insecticides and pesticides have a level of toxicity aimed to kill pests. However, some formulas may also become dangerous to some vegetation, especially edible ones.
If you are to use a pesticide or insecticide on your edible vegetation, make sure that it’s suitable for that kind of plant. This will prevent poisoning upon harvesting.
Types of insecticide/pesticide
Insecticides or pesticides come in different forms. Each one is useful in a variety of applications. The following are the common types of insecticide or pesticide that you can get for your garden:
Dust pesticides are similar to granules, though it’s way smaller. It has a powder form that allows you to use it on tiny crevices. It’s not usually used on plants, though some can be administered on the soil, leaves, and stalks.
This type of insecticide/pesticide is very easy to apply because you no longer have to mix things. Simply shake a thin layer of the dust substance all over the affected area.
Pre-mixed sprays are insecticides or pesticides that are already diluted and can be used straight from the packaging. It doesn’t require any preparation on your end and usually comes in a spray bottle.
This way, you can apply the formula and kill the bugs with ease.
Unlike pre-mixed or ready-to-use sprays, concentrates aren’t diluted. You can purchase this formula in gallons or large amounts.
The only downside with concentrates is you need to dilute it on your own. You need to measure the substance and use a sprayer for application.
Nevertheless, concentrates have some upsides too. Since it comes in bulk, you can save more than buying pre-mixed formulas repeatedly. Also, you can tweak the potency of the spray depending on the type of pest in your garden.
Just take note that proper caution is necessary if you’re using a concentrate. A wrong dilution proportion may do more harm than help in eliminating bugs in your garden.
How to choose the right spray for plants to keep bugs away
If you’re looking for a spray for plants to keep bugs away, make sure that you’ve considered the following points:
-Pre-mixed vs. concentrates
The first thing you have to consider is whether you’re getting a concentrate or a pre-mixed insecticide/pesticide. Above, we’ve mentioned the difference between the two.
If you have a large garden with thick vegetation, it’s best to purchase a gallon of concentrates. You’ll get to save more money while getting more.
-Check the active ingredient
Next, check the active ingredients on the insecticide/pesticide you’re buying. Nowadays, insecticides/pesticides are mixed with a variety of pest control chemicals. Some contain two or more chemicals to target a long list of pests.
Some of the chemicals used on modern-day pest control include the following:
- Boric Acid
Other products will use Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) to eliminate insect pests. Just make sure that the label indicates that the product can kill a specific species. This way, your pest control efforts will become effective.
-Opt for organic options
For edible plants, we recommend an organic formula to prevent poisoning. Also, organic pesticides or insecticides are safer for your plants and other beneficial species.
-Check target species
One of the most important considerations when purchasing a pest control product is the species that it targets. Many bugs may pester your garden. Make sure that the label indicates its exact species. If not, your pest control efforts would be in vain.
If an insecticide or pesticide doesn’t indicate a specific species, it will not work no matter how many times you apply it into your plants.
-Mind the environmental hazards
Always check if there are environmental hazards associated with the ingredients of the insecticide or pesticide. To ensure that your choice is safe and eco-friendly, opt for EPA-approved formulas for residential use.
Spray for Plants to Keep Bugs Away – Top 5 Picks!
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Concentrate
Product Name: Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Concentrate
Product Description: If you’re looking for a spray for plants to keep bugs away without harming your plants, we recommend the Safer Brand Concentrate. This 16-ounce jug can make up to 6 gallons of spray formula. This contains potassium salts of fatty acids as the active ingredient in killing bugs. This insecticide can kill earwigs, aphids, leafhoppers, mealy bugs, sawfly larvae, mites, whiteflies, harlequin bugs, soft scales, and psyllids. Overall, this formula kills soft-bodied insects. It’s safe to use on edibles and ornamentals, which is a big plus for every gardener. This is also suitable for house plants and flowering plants.
Offer price: $$$
Value for Money
Moreover, the Safer Brand is definitely safe to use on your plants up to harvest day. It will not linger in the environment, so rest assured that it will not affect the growth of plants and beneficial insects. The formula will break down into natural elements between 7 and 10 days.
The best thing about the Safer Brand Insecticide Concentrate is it’s certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute and the National Organic Program under the USDA. This is 100% safe as an insecticide and gardening regimen for your edibles.
Make sure that you use protective gear when applying this formula as it can trigger skin irritations.
✔️Kills a wide range of soft-bodied insects
✔️Safe for edibles and flowering plants
✔️OMRI and NOP-certified
❌The instructions in the package are difficult to understand
Monterey Garden Insect Spray
If you’re dealing with thrips, leaf miners, moths, borers, tent caterpillars, and so on, the Monterey Garden Insect Spray might be the right choice. This product is produced through fermentation wherein the bacteria act fast in treating plants. It has Spinosad as the active ingredient. This is a natural ingredient used in agricultural settings.
This spray can be used on vegetables, lawns, ornamentals, and broadleaf weeds. Take note that this is a concentrate, so you have to dilute it first.
After diluting, you can apply this insecticide through a trigger sprayer, hose-end sprayer, or a hand-held sprayer. This is OMRI-approved and suitable for organic gardening. Also, it’s safe to use around pets and people. You can also use this up to the day of harvest.
This is a very effective formula that can help you get rid of thrips in just a week.
Organic Laboratories Organic Garden Spray
Another garden spray that we recommend is the Organic Laboratories Garden Spray. This is an organocide that works both as an insecticide and fungicide. It can kill a wide variety of insects like aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, fungus gnats, thrips, and more. Take note that it will work upon contact.
This is safe to use on flowering plants, vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, and shrubs. It’s suitable to use for organic gardening as well as same-day harvest.
This formula from Organic Laboratories is an excellent alternative to hard pesticides. You can even apply a diluted amount indoors. This is EPA-exempt, so rest assured that it doesn’t have any adverse effect on the environment.
Unlike other pesticides, this 3-in-1 formula uses fish oils, sesame oils, and other organic ingredients to kill bugs. It’s solvent-free, not to mention that it’s also OMRI-listed.
The excellent thing about this formula is it doesn’t kill beneficial bugs. It will not harm pollinators as well, which is great if you’re keeping a lush flowering garden.
Neem Bliss Organic Spray
For those looking for a more potent formula, we recommend the Neem Bliss Organic Spray. It’s made of 100% cold-pressed neem oil that’s organic and free of other chemicals. This is OMRI-listed and suitable for organic gardening.
Since this spray only has one ingredient, you’ll know exactly what’s on the gallon. This is non-toxic and can be used on both indoor and outdoor applications.
The Neem Bliss Organic Spray uses Azadirachtin to kill bugs and other insect pests. It’s excellent as a plant regimen to prevent various pest infestations.
Take note that pure neem oil is very dangerous to the skin. It has a garlic-like odor, so make sure that you wear protective gear when diluting and applying this formula. Also, keep this away from pets and children.
The concentrate may arrive solidified. Just submerge the gallon in warm water, and it will melt.
Verdana Cold-Pressed Neem Oil Concentrate Spray
Another cold-pressed neem oil product that we recommend is the one from Verdana. It’s made of high-quality neem oil with no added chemicals. This is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use and will not leave any residues.
To dilute this concentrate, mix one ounce to one gallon of water. It can be diluted and added to your pet’s skin regimen. Also, this commercial-grade neem oil can be used in the production of shampoos, lotions, and creams.
We also like that this pesticide works as a preventative regimen since it coats the leaves of your plants.
Again, you should know that neem oil has a very strong smell and abrasive characteristics. Always wear protective gears to prevent skin and eye irritation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will soapy water work in removing bugs on my plants?
A: It may work for some species, but most of the time, it wouldn’t. Also, the soap component may harm your plants due to the synthetic and abrasive nature of the substance. If you are to make DIY pesticides, make sure that you test it in a small portion of your plants first.
Q: How will I know if my plants have bugs?
A: Bugs usually appear as a discolored layer on your plant’s leaves, stalk, and soil. Also, it may look like bumps or fluffy covering, which isn’t normal to the plant species. And if you notice holes and bite marks on any part, it’s a tell-tale sign that a kind of bug is infesting your foliage.
Q: How can I keep plants out of house plants?
A: Before you bring the potted plants inside, allow its leaves to dry first after watering. Also, isolate the pots in a spot so any potential bug will not spread. Keep the plant isolated for six weeks to guarantee that it doesn’t have any kind of pest.
Q: Where do spider mites come from?
A: It’s quite tricky to trace the origin of spider mites since it’s very small, and its onset can be very hard to detect. This also means that the mites can come from shoes, clothes, skin, or even your pets.
Q: Will vinegar kill bugs on my plants?
A: A vinegar and water solution can help arrest some species of bug pests. The proportion should be 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of vinegar. This can be mixed with 1 teaspoon of dish soap. You can spray this on the leaves of the plants affected by the bugs.
A spray for plants to keep bugs away will help protect your garden from pests. Make sure that you purchase one that targets the specific pest in your plants. Also, opt for a safe formula that can be used on edible plants as well as flowering ornamentals.
What do you think of the pesticides/insecticides we reviewed here? Let us know in the comment section!