Synthetic pesticides are no doubt effective at keeping critters out of the garden, but their potency comes at a cost. Not only can they negatively affect soil and water health, but they’ve also been associated with respiratory and hormonal issues in humans. Not to mention, they tend to kill off all insects–even beneficial ones that keep your garden flourishing, like pollinators.
Instead of spraying chemicals at the first sight of a pest problem, organic gardeners will take a more gentle and preventive approach. “When I think of pest management, I think more about how I can create a really healthy environment for my plants and my garden,” Sarah Lozanova, environmental journalist and author of Humane Home: Easy Steps for Sustainable & Green Living, tells mbg.
Techniques like companion planting, composting, and crop rotation can go a long way in creating healthy soil that’s packed with beneficial bugs but free of bothersome critters. But on the off chance that you do have an infestation on your hands, these more natural pesticides should be able to take care of it without harming the overall health of your garden.