Question: insecticide

good morning I would like to know natural remedies to protect vegetables from insect attacks thanks

Answer: insecticide

Dear Luca,

your question, albeit short and concise, would need an entire treatise to receive an adequate answer; the terms "natural remedies" can mean different things, because the concept of "natural" is very broad, and can also imply the concept of "harmless to humans, useful insects and small animals"; but natural does not necessarily mean harmless or healthy. For example, many people use repellents produced with plant macerates in their gardens, such as garlic macerate or tobacco macerate; these macerates work as repellents for many insects, but for example the tobacco macerate is a broad spectrum insecticide, which together with aphids also kills ladybugs and bees, which is not pleasing to our garden or even to our conscience. In addition to this, home-made preparations should be made with demineralized and sterilized water, and placed in clean containers, to be kept away from light and in the refrigerator for very short periods of time, otherwise they can become more than remedies culture of molds and bacteria. Perhaps by the term natural you mean suitable for organic farming, that is, more respectful of the environment and also of the final consumer, that is you, who will feed on the vegetables you grow. Today, there are several more environmentally friendly products available, which do not kill all insects without discriminating between useful and harmful, and which have a low impact on the whole environment. The most popular are neem extracts, spinosad, quassia extract; they are all insecticidal products, which must be used with caution, avoiding their general use or as prevention; also on these products you will then read that they have a shortage time, or that the treated vegetables should not be harvested for a given period of time after the treatment. For fungal diseases, on the other hand, copper and sulfur are used, just like our grandparents did; these products are natural, but they are certainly not harmless, and also in this case they must be used with care and following the instructions on the packaging. If, on the other hand, by natural you mean more suited to how the natural development cycles of plants and insects take place, then you can turn to products suitable for biodynamic agriculture and integrated pest management; instead of chemicals or natural extracts, in specialized shops you will also find antagonistic insect larvae, bacilli that attack only certain insects (or even mosquitoes), pheromone traps or traps of particular colors: all these methods are completely harmless to humans , for useful insects and small animals; indeed, they are typically very targeted: the ladybird larvae feed on harmful insects, such as aphids and cochineal; Bacillum thuringensis kills mosquito larvae (actually here the hand of man has created particular varieties of bacillus, which also attack other insects). Pheromone traps are species specific, and attract moths that lay their eggs on geraniums, but leave the colorful butterflies alone. From my "natural" point of view it is only this last point of view; all the rest is chemical, and sometimes, with some parasites, it is necessary (indeed sometimes even obligatory) to turn to chemistry, as we do when we refuel for the fuel of our car, when we prepare the dough for bread or when we go to Pharmacy.

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