Save the Bees! Some Alternatives to Pesticides and Herbicides

In case you haven’t heard, North America is experiencing a drastic bee shortage. This is due in large part to the widespread use in landscaping of certain insecticides and herbicides that can devastate bee populations. Bees are highly beneficial insects that serve as pollinators, and help to spread flowers that function as important ecosystems for other forms of life. The decreasing bee population is simply awful news for lovers of nature and gardening.

With this in mind, if you want to do your part to save the bees in Seattle, WA, we strongly encourage you to seek out alternatives to pesticides and herbicides. There are plenty of natural products that will still provide you with excellent results in your gardening and landscaping. Here are just a few examples of some of these alternatives:

  • Oil sprays: You can create a homemade insecticide by mixing vegetable oil and a mild soap. This will help you to keep away insects such as mites, aphids and other critters that can be troublesome for your garden or home. Add a tablespoon of soap to a cup of oil, mix thoroughly by shaking and then take two teaspoons of that mix to put into a quart of water, which you can then shake up and spray directly on plant surfaces that are being affected by the pests. The oil coats the insects’ bodies and suffocates them.
  • Neem oil: The seeds of the neem tree have an oil that can be extracted to create a powerful natural insecticide that works at all stages of insect life (egg, larvae, adult). It serves as a hormone disruptor and antifeedant for any bugs that would otherwise munch on plants, while still being non-toxic for pets, fish, birds or other wildlife. It’s very effective against a wide range of common pests you’ll find in your garden, and you can purchase it at most garden stores and natural food markets.
  • Garlic sprays: While you might enjoy the aroma of garlic, many insects do not. Garlic sprays can be used as natural insecticides, and you can even make one yourself. Take a couple whole bulbs (not just cloves) of garlic and puree them in a blender with a little bit of water. Then let it sit overnight and strain into a quart jar, adding a half-cup of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of a mild soap and enough water to fill up the jar. Shake it up and use it in a spray bottle on any affected plants.
  • Chili pepper spray: Chili pepper spray is another great natural repellent that is highly versatile. You can create it yourself using fresh peppers, or use chili pepper powder. Mix a tablespoon of the powder with a quart of water and a few drops of a mild soap. You can then spray it on leaves of affected plants to get rid of pests.

For more information about the best alternatives to pesticides and herbicides in Seattle, WA that will not harm bees or other animals, contact Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. today.

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