Natural Insect Controls Use Mother Nature as an Ally

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An increasing number of homeowners, gardeners and homesteaders are teaming up with Mother Nature to keep insect pests under control. Natural insect controls can take many forms, but typically involve encouraging Mother Nature to fight insects by using organic and natural control methods.

The growing interest in less chemically intensive, natural and organic living has resulted in a dramatic increase in eco-friendly product choices. (A recent web search for “natural pest control” yielded 35.9 million results!)

These two products prove that you can kill insect pests without resorting to using harsh chemicals.

Mother Nature’s mosquito control

Homeowners looking for an effective way to control pesky, disease-spreading mosquitoes don’t have to resort to harmful chemicals. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in pools of standing water, so the first step in controlling mosquitoes is to eliminate standing water wherever possible.

“In warm weather, mosquitoes can develop from eggs to adults in a little more than a week in just a few ounces of standing water,” said mosquito control expert Jonathan Cohen. “It’s important to empty out birdbaths, pot saucers, kids’ swimming pools and unclog rain gutters to reduce the areas where mosquitoes can lay eggs.”

Where standing water remains or can collect after a heavy rain, there is a natural mosquito killer that attacks only mosquito larvae. It’s a naturally occurring bacterium called BTI (short for Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), which is deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things. BTI is the active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks®, the top-selling biological mosquito control in North America. The BTI in Mosquito Dunks® kills mosquito larvae before they can become flying, biting, disease-spreading adults.

Just float chemical-free Mosquito Dunks® in ponds, birdbaths, outdoor tubs, water gardens or wherever water collects and remains for periods of time. It will save you hours of time outdoors, and removes the need for drastically harmful pesticides. Mosquito Dunks® are approved for use in organic production, and they are also approved for use in fish habitats and animal watering troughs. Each biodegradable Mosquito Dunk® will treat up to 100 square feet of surface water for about 30 days. Mosquito Dunks® are available at home centers, hardware stores, garden centers and at


Light-weight, organic horticultural oil kills insect pests

Now there’s a light-weight horticultural oil that can be used any time during the year to effectively control insect pests on even sensitive plants such as roses, impatiens and ferns. Summit® Year-Round® Spray Oil is an environmentally responsible insecticide that kills a wide variety of insect pests including aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, mealybugs, scale, thrips, fungus gnats, leaf beetle larvae, lace bugs and more.

Because of its low toxicity, organic Summit® Year-Round® Spray Oil can be used on garden plants and fruit trees right up to the day of harvest. The spray has no odor, and it can be used on trees, flowers, vegetable plants and indoors in greenhouses and on houseplants. Unlike chemical pesticides which can become less effective after repeated use, there is no known build-up of insect resistance to horticultural oil sprays.

Many pesticides kill insects with toxic chemicals, but Summit® Year-Round® Spray Oil literally smothers insects to death. The oil spray blocks an insect’s breathing holes (called spiracles), causing insects to die from asphyxiation. Summit® Year-Round® Spray Oil is OMRI Listed® by the Organic Materials Review Institute and approved for use in certified organic production.

Summit® Year-Round® Spray Oil concentrate is available in three different sizes—one pint, one quart and one gallon—and a handy one-quart bottle with a built-in hose-end sprayer is also available at garden centers, home centers, hardware stores and at


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