Gardening, just like most things, require plenty of nurturing. But when you find caterpillars, aphids, and other pests infesting your plants it can get extremely frustrating. The solution to this problem is insect killers. The best insecticide will quickly and effectively kill unwanted insects without harming humans and pets. There is an array of options to choose from, which can easily get confusing. So to make things easier, we have compiled a list of the best insect killers for vegetable garden.
Insect Killer Buying Guide
Now that you have an idea about the best insect killers, what are the things you should be looking out for when making your purchase? Read ahead to find out more!
Know the Types of Pest Control
- Insect killers have a diverse use, from domestic, rural, to even commercial use. There are different types of insect killers, all with their purpose.
- Insecticides. Insecticides are pesticides that target specific insects such as ants, snails, wasps, and a large range of insects. They are usually applied after your vegetable garden has been infested by insects.
- Pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals that kill, repel, and control insects and other plant diseases. The effectiveness depends on the concentration of and ratio of pesticides to water. Typically, all the insect killers on this list can be considered a pesticide.
- Herbicides. Herbicides are used to kill unwanted plants such as weeds. Some herbicides will kill any plant they come in contact with, while others are specific to one species.
- Botanical or Organic. Botanical insecticides are organic applications that are safe for humans and the environment. In recent times, organic insecticides have gained popularity. They include neem oil, spinosad, and pyrethrin.
- Spinosad. Spinosad insecticides are made from a soil bacterium that is extremely toxic to insects such as spider mites, mosquitoes, ants, fruit flies, and thrips.
- Pyrethrin. Pyrethrin-based insecticides are extracted from flowers and are non-toxic to insects. They are used to kill insects such as cockroaches, fleas, aphids, caterpillars, wasps, flies, and ants.
- Neem Oil. Neem oil another natural insecticide that is extracted from fruit and seeds. They are typically applied before infestation to both control and kill insects and diseases.
Essential Oil. Essential oils are the most nontoxic insecticides you will find. You can use lavender, cedar, eucalyptus, rosemary, among others. Although a good preventive option, essential oils are not effective in killing insects.
Organic vs. Chemical
Now that you know the types of insect killers, which insecticide is better, organic or chemical?
Organic insecticides are extracted from natural sources such as plants, bacteria, and minerals. They have a short residual activity thing which helps reduce the number of beneficial insects that are affected.
Organic insecticides are relatively more expensive and have to be applied multiple times for the best result. The timing is crucial here, as they are the most effective on immature pests.
Chemical insecticides are derived from chemicals that can be harmful to humans, pets, and will kill both wanted and unwanted insects.
They are more efficient than their organic counterpart in the sense that they are faster, costs less, and will last longer. If chemical insecticides are overused, there is a risk of build-up in soil or groundwater which has other adverse effects.
Some insect killers can be harmful to the gardener. This is why it is important to pay attention and follow the instructions on the bottle. Measures such as wearing protective clothing like gloves, safety glasses, masks may be asked to take to prevent allergic reactions and exposure.
It is advised to never reuse the bottles and to keep the labels intact. In case of contact, rinse it off with water, and be prepared to go to an emergency room.
Pay close attention to the temperature and sunlight as the foliage can be damaged if it is applied in the heat or under direct sunlight. Again it is best to always read the instructions.
Best Insect Killers for Vegetable Garden
There are different types and application methods from a plethora of brands. To help you find the right insect killers, here is a list of the best ones you can find.
Monterey Garden Insect Spray
The active ingredient is spinosad
Odorless and works rapidly
Versatile use in vegetables, outdoor ornamentals, lawns
Controls a wide range of insects
Mix with water from easy spray application
Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate
Three garden product in one: insecticide, fungicide, and miticide
Can be used as a dormant spray
Bonide Eight Insect Control
Foliage protector. Designed for versatile use
Effective against 100 listed insects
Permetherin as the active ingredient
Neem Bliss Pure Neem Oil
Made from cold-pressed pure neem oil
Effective against indoor and outdoor plants
Repellent, insecticide, and pesticide in one
Southern Ag Natural Pyrethrin Concentrate
The primary active ingredient is pyrethrin
Versatile control of insects on vegetables, indoors, ornaments, and livestock
Ingredients include 9.6% piperonyl butoxide
1. Monterey Garden Insect Spray (LG6135)
This Monterey Garden insecticide is made from spinosad and can be used on vegetables, outdoor ornaments, lawns, and turf. It is odorless and will rapidly work on insects such as leafminers. Caterpillars, thrips, borers, fruit flies, spider mites, fire ants, and beetles.
The product comes in a liquid concentrate which needs to be mixed with water following the instructions. You can easily apply with a trigger, hand-held, hose-end, or backpack spray.
2. Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate (HG-93179)
Made from neem oil extract, this organic Garden Safe insect killer is three products in one. It is an insecticide, fungicide, and miticide. So insects such as whiteflies, aphids, and other soft-bodied insects can be killed quickly along with being effective against fungal diseases.
For best results, shake the bottle and mix it with warm water before use. This is an oil-based product that can cause leaves and plants to burn.
3. Bonide Eight Insect Control
The Bonide Eight Insect Control has Permetherin as the active ingredient. It is known for its dual action control, where adult insects are destroyed upon contact and new pests that have hatched are killed. This is because it stays active for up to 4 weeks. This product is effective in killing 100 listed insects and is safe for humans but toxic to pets.
You can easily apply the product using a trigger spray bottle or pressure tank sprayer. Be careful to follow the instructions on the back.
4. Neem Bliss Pure Neem Oil
This Neem Bliss is made from 100% pure, cold-pressed neem oil, that can be used for both indoor and outdoor plants. It acts as three products in one, repellent, insecticide, and pesticide.
You can make a spray using neem oil, dishwashing soap, and water on your own. Despite being organic, it is slightly toxic. We recommend wearing gloves while handling the Neem Bliss Pure Oil to prevent allergic reactions.
5. Southern Ag Natural Pyrethrin Concentrate (10410)
If you are looking for an extremely diverse insect killer then the Southern Ag insecticide is a great option. It can kill insects such as aphids, beetles, worms, and whiteflies and controls mites, lice, gnats, fleas, and mosquitoes on pets.
The best thing about this product is that you can use it on vegetables, ornaments, in a greenhouse, and on livestock.
Pyrethrin being the primary active ingredient, the Southern Ag Natural Pyrethrin is safe for both humans and animals. Read the instructions and apply the spray.
Insect killers become a necessity if you want a healthy garden. Our list includes only the best insecticide for vegetable gardens you can find. Having said that, we would recommend the Southern Ag Natural Pyrethrin Concentrate. It has versatile use and is safe.
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