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What to Spray when Pests and Mold get in the way! PART 2!!

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

One of the common issues with any outdoor farming/gardening is bugs! The issue with having a bug problem is finding a safe spray. There are so many different kinds with different chemicals involved it would take me YEARS to go through it all. I've decided to write over sprays that are organic or semi-organic because you want to be able to use those fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers for consumption and I will not be tasting seven dust in

Spider mites on a bean plant. Photography done by Jroe Designs: https://www.facebook.com/JroeDesigns

my food! This is part 2 of the segment I wrote two weeks ago, I could go on to multiple parts because there are MANY different organic/semi-organic sprays on the market! I want to focus on the ones that we've personally used and that we sell in our online and brick-and-mortar store.


We are going over 5 different pesticides and fungicides that will work well in any type of garden, greenhouse, or indoor facility to handle those mangy pests that plague our plants! There are alternatives that can be used if sprays are too radical to use (even organic ones).

I always suggest diatomaceous earth and beneficial insects when trying to steer away from sprays.



A different form of B.T. DIPEL Dust!

Dipel Dust is a formulated blend of proteins, spores, and bacillus thuringensis (Kurstaki subspecies). It's a biological insecticide that acts very similar to B.T. products with the main difference being the form it's used in. B.T. tends to be in a liquid format with name brands like Biosafe, Monterey, and Fertilome, you see those bottles used more often than the dipel dust, which comes in a powder form, hence the dust affiliation in the name! Used similarly to diatomaceous earth in that regard.


B.T. and Dipel Dust are both cost-effective ways to handle worms, caterpillars, grub worms, and so forth. B.T. is more popular because of concentration rates that can be mixed with water to make a foliar spray, whereas Dipel Dust is not water-soluble and should not be mixed with water at all unless you're using the water-soluble friendly Dipel Dust Pro.


Dipel Dust is just used for "dusting" your plants. You will need to cover the plant surface and area with the product to make sure these pests can digest this biological insecticide. On the packaging, it states it can be used up to the day of harvest, but I don't recommend, it because remember, your putting this stuff in your body!


Dipel Dust Pro is a dust-dry form of the original, but with the distinct difference of it being water soluble and super concentrated when mixed, it's also very powerful, as it's able to handle over 30 different insects! You only use 1/2 teaspoon to 4 teaspoons per gallon of water for foliar spray. There is a price difference between both. If you get the Fertilome 1lb canister it's around 8-10 dollars or the 4lb bag which is priced even better. You pay for the convenience of the canister which allows you to use it as a duster right out of the bottle.

Dipel Dust Pro is going to be around 30-50 dollars, depending on where you go, but the convenience of it being a foliar spray, the effectiveness it provides, and with the mix rate of this product, you'll get almost 23 gallons up to 181 gallons, depending on the dosage you want to do.




Sometimes you just gotta "Nuke Em" to get the pests off!

Flying Skull Nuke Em is a pesticide/fungicide that is OMRI listed for all organic gardens! This product really knocks them out, especially in an IPM rotation. You gotta have this part of your arsenal! Nuke em kills eggs, larvae, and young/adult bugs! This product also handles mold/mildew problems as well!


The main active ingredient is citric acid. Citric acid is used in many products as a disinfectant, as it kills harmful bacteria along with mold and fungi (bye-bye Powdery Mildew!), but it also repels many types of bugs that affect your plant. Nuke Em also contains Sodium Benzoate which helps against mold and potassium salts of fatty acids, otherwise known as soap salts, which disrupt the pest's cell membranes, causing them to dehydrate and die. These ingredients are mixed with water and enzymes.


A couple of other benefits of this product are that it does not slow down photosynthesis, nor does it leave a residue like some pyrethrin-based pesticides tend to do. You can also use this product up to the day of harvest! As I have previously stated, I always recommend not to, just as a precaution! They may say it's safe but you can never be too sure! It's well concentrated and is not too pricey like some pesticides/fungicides can be!

Flying Skull Nuke Em comes in various sizes ranging from 8oz bottles that make about 2 gallons of spray roughly, 32oz bottles that do up to 8 gallons of spray, 1 gallon which does up to 32 gallons of spray, and 5 gallon containers that do up to 160 gallons of spray! Anything from a small garden to commercial sizes, they got you covered!


Flying Skull also makes a TON of other products that are beneficial to plants like an enzyme cleanser, pH up and down, and other great items!




Can't go wrong with Neem Oil!

Neem Oil is a great product to spray on your plants since it's a bioinsecticide and it's been around for over 100 years as India has been using it for their plants the whole time! Neem oil kills and controls over 200 different kinds of garden pests and it is environment-friendly! This product is biodegradable and does not accumulate in the soil or on the plants, no matter how many times you spray your garden! An age-old remedy for pests and a truly unique product that is essential to any type of garden, greenhouse, or indoor facility!


Neem Oil will eradicate eggs and larvae when exposed to neem oil, however, it will not kill adult bugs on contact. For adult bugs, it is digested through the leaves that the pest will eat on (only if the leaves are in contact with the neem oil solution that is!). The good thing about this is that it's not harmful to the beneficial bugs that protect our planet and our plants such as bees, ladybugs, earthworms, and other good garden insects! Neem oil also has anti-fungal properties that prevent fungal diseases such as mold, mildew, black spot, and so forth!


This product is normally produced through the leaves or cold pressed through the neem seeds which contain more azadirachtin than extracting it through neem leaves. The cheaper neem oil sprays are more or less extracted through the leaves unless it says "cold-pressed." Also, remember that neem oil and products like azamax and azaguard are not the same even though azadirachtin is the active ingredient, the latter tends to be the better product when combating pests and fungus issues, since they go through a chemical process to bring out a fast-acting more superior product.


Neem Oil tends to have an unpleasant odor and often a nutty garlic aroma that also helps repel bugs from your plants. Cold-pressed neem oil seems to have a stronger smell compared to off-brand neem oils that are diluted down with vegetable or corn oil which is often questionable on how useful their stuff truly is.


The mix rate for Neem Oil is typically 5ml per 1liter of water or 20 ml per gallon. Most Neem Oil brands suggest an emulsifier like dish soap, organic mild soap, or castile soap to add to blend it thoroughly with the water. It is after all an oil and will separate! If you're using Castile or organic soap just mix 5ml-20ml depending on the size of a spray bottle (5ml per liter), or just add a few drops of dish soap to suffice. Dawn dish soap is the popular choice but just regular Dawn, nothing with additional ingredients like bleach is recommended for obvious reasons.


Just remember to always look for the cold pressed Neem Oil when finding an option to help repel and control pests along with fungal disease for your garden/facility! Dyna-Gro Neem oil is a popular one. It stays true to its purpose as a cold-pressed Neem Oil option. Monterey (of course!) is another popular Neem Oil selection and is the more cost-effective of the two!




Central Coast Garden Products Green Cleaner!

Green Cleaner by Central Coast Garden Products is a very VERY effective spider mite spray that kills a wide variety of issues your garden may face. A pesticide, miticide, and fungicide treatment that will fit in any IPM program, on any crop, from start to harvest! Green Cleaner has a distinct variety of ingredients that make it a top-notch choice, especially for spider mites, as it kills them on contact AND eliminates their ways to reproduce.


This product's active ingredients are soybean oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, citric acid, and isopropyl alcohol. This mixture makes the deadly concoction for those pesky pests that are allured to your garden! Green Cleaner kills insects by dehydrating their bodies and suffocating them simultaneously, a one-two punch! The soybean oil acts as a repellent and is the active ingredient that suffocates the insects bothering your garden, the citric acid also helps handle the bugs plus keeps the fungi issues at bay! Sodium lauryl sulfate is practically insecticidal soap and iso alcohol has the disinfectant benefit of killing pathogens and other problems, but also helps with the dry time of the spray.


Green Cleaner, used in the right lighting conditions, which is typically done early morning, late evening, or before any "night" phase for those growing in indoor facilities, will not harm any of your crops nor stress them out! It is all-natural, safe around pets, food, and can be used up to the day of harvest.


Green Cleaner is well-concentrated and can be used in various growth stages of your plant's life. For heavy infestation, it recommends 2oz (60ml) per gallon of water during the first day while decreasing by half on the second day, and half again by the third day. The same routine applies for normal infestation, but you only use 1 oz (30ml) per gallon of water on the first day instead of 2oz.



You would use 1/2 oz per gallon of water when used as a preventative/maintenance! When used as a preventative, make sure to saturate the whole plant which includes the underside, and spray the pot and top layer of soil to take care of any pests, such as fungus gnats that like to reside there.


Green Cleaner is a great product by a great company that makes a wide variety of items, such as their pH adjusters, which are the highest concentration of phosphoric acid that is reasonably priced that you can find on the market, which means better bang for your buck! Green Cleaner is a true KO product and a great preventative spray overall!





Organishield

Organishield Crop Control is a fairly new pesticide product on the market, but is making a huge splash! An OMRI Listed insecticide/miticide, this product's active ingredient is something I've yet to see in the organic pesticide market, and that's the use of SOEs or Sucrose Octanoate Esters. SOEs were used originally in food preservatives, food additives, and cosmetics for over the last 80 + years as an emulsifier. It was discovered in the 1980s that certain plants like wild tobacco, secrete SOEs to ward off plants as a defense mechanism. The team at Organishield Pest Control was able to formulate an insecticide from the SOE's on a larger scale and thus began Organishield!



We stumbled upon this product from word of mouth through a few of our commercial farm friends and customers and were instantly intrigued just by the key ingredient alone! Sucrose Octanoate Esters are not found in any pesticide that we have seen from a gardener/retailer perspective. It's normally essential oils (soybean oil, rosemary oil, etc.), citric acid, potassium salts of fatty acids, or a mixture of two of the three! We ordered it for our garden/hydroponic store and had to try it out for ourselves, and the results were AMAZING. It melts the exoskeletons and it also handles a wide range of insects from grasshoppers to spider mites! Organishield has many other features and benefits such as:

  • No insect tolerance

  • Fast-acting. Kills on contact within minutes to hours.

  • OMRI Listed

  • Does not contain oils

  • Use up to the day of harvest

  • Safe to spray with the lights on, or in the heat of the sun


The last one on that list is a big winner in my books! Not having to wait till dusk or early morning to spray and ACTUALLY spray when you're ready and available! It's a huge benefit that I have yet to see on any of the organic and inorganic pesticides/fungicides on the market. The first one on the list is a key factor as well because when you spray one kind of multi-use spray over and over and over again, the pests CAN grow immunity to what you use, and have a big problem on your hands! They call them super pests at that point and you'll definitely have to switch it up!




Organishield eliminates many pests in our gardens and facilities such as aphids, adelgids, mites, fungus Gnats, thrips, whiteflies, caterpillars, soft scales, leafhoppers, leafminers, and many many more!

Very simple to use with a mix rate of 80ml per gallon of water for the first time and infestations. It will get rid of any nuisance that pertains to your garden then you follow up with maintenance once every 7-10 days to ensure no pests will harm your flowers, herbs, vegetables, and so forth!




MGK Pyganic Gardening

MGK, a company of Sumitomo Chemical, is a leader in the insect pest management field, as they handle a variety of pests ranging from your garden bugs that we're talking about in this session, household pests like bed bugs or ants, to agriculture applications that are needed around our livestock. One of their products, Pyganic Gardening, is a great product used in all horticultural applications big and small! It is OMRI Listed as it has trace amounts of pyrethrin which is derived from daisy flowers such as Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium aka Mums.


Pyrethrin is a highly effective biological insecticide that causes a toxic effect on those mangy pests that affect our gardens every day! It kills on contact as well!

MGK Pyganic is just one of many pyrethrin products on the market but one of the most popular and in-demand sprays today. MGK Pyganic has three different types: Pyganic EC Crop Protection 5.0 II, Pyganic Specialty, and Pyganic Gardening


The big difference in all three is the more active ingredient: Pyrethrin and concentration. The first two are more concentrated and contain more pyrethrin, as they both contain 5% pyrethrins and Pyganic Gardening only has 1.4%. Pyganic breaks down rapidly, so it does not stay in the environment long.


Pyganic Gardening is safe to use on all plants, flowers, and their blooms. However, be wary of beneficial bugs because they will harm ladybugs and pollinators like honey bees if it comes to contact. We do not recommend using it if you decide to use beneficial insects (which is an excellent choice) for your indoor facility or outdoor gardens. That being said, Pyganic Gardening is a great tool for ANY IPM regiment out there, with. a mix rate of 1 ounce to 1.4 fluid ounces, it's definitely a cost-effective and very useful approach to your gardening needs.



In Conclusion...

Like I said in the earlier post or part 1 of this continuous segment, there are SOOO many organic and inorganic pesticides with many different brands and manufacturers, it'll be impossible to say which is best or cheapest, or most convenient because each product is very unique, especially with active ingredients that fight off pests and mold in different methods. When used correctly, they all will benefit your garden or facility in some way! Providing a healthy IPM rotation if you are a commercial farmer is always key and it being organic helps to know the consumers are safe from any toxic chemicals that might invade our bodies. One of the joys I find in writing these articles is the knowledge we're able to share with people over these products. The input and knowledge that we gain are just as rewarding if not more for us, so do not be afraid to reach out to us and start a conversation if you are in the Southern Oklahoma area come say hello! Until next time, we hope all our readers have a blessed day/evening!


Devin Garrett - Co-Owner of PJ's Plants and Nutrition, LLC


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