Best pesticide for vegetable and fruit garden - Knowledgebase Question

Fairfield, Ne
Question by vette184
April 8, 2010
I live in New Jersey and typically grow vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant in my garden. I also like to grow watermelon. Lastly I will be growing Basil, Mint, and Rosemary this year. I was hoping you could direct me towards the best pesticide to keep the bugs away from my crops and especially from biting my Basil leaves (major problem last year). Thank you for your help.

Answer from NGA
April 8, 2010


There's nothing I would feel safe in recommending for pest control on edible herbs such as basil. We generally suggust you monitor your plants once or twice a day and pick off any insects - or hose them off. An alternative would be to set your basil and other herbs under the cover of netting or other row covers to exclude insect pests. As for the rest of your garden, there are a number of organic or natural pesticides that can be of help. Pyrethrum is the most widely used natural insecticide in the U.S. The active ingredient, pyrethrin, is extracted from the chrysanthemum plant, Dendranthemum (Chrysanthemum) cinerariaefolium, which is grown primarily in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ecuador. Most insects are highly susceptible to pyrethrum at low concentrations. The compound acts rapidly on insects, causing immediate "knockdown. The key to success with this product is to apply it in such a way as to make direct contact with the critter. Flying insects drop almost immediately upon exposure. Pyrethrums also are highly irritating to insects, so they may be used as a flushing agent or irritant to make them come out of hiding. Bonide?s Japanese Beetle Killer is an example of a pyrethrum product. Rotenone Garden Dust by Bonide or Rotenone Spray are two such products you might try.

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