Pesticides Approved for Organic Production That Every Gardener Might Like to Try

— Written By Bill Hanlin and last updated by JoAnne Gryder
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲
Fresh organic farmers market fruit and vegetable on display

Fresh organic farmers market fruit and vegetable on display

Many people think gardeners that grow organically never use pesticides. There are pesticides that are approved for organic production and can effectively control insect pests and diseases. Pesticides used in organic production are mainly derived from natural products like plants and minerals.

Botanical pesticides, as the name implies, are derived from plants. Common botanicals, that can be found locally, include pyrethrum, neem, and garlic. These types of products are non-selective, which means they can control a wide variety of pests.

Biological pesticides contain disease organisms or toxins derived from these organisms. Probably the most common biological is an organism called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Biologicals usually have a narrow pest range that they control. Bt, for example, just controls caterpillars.

Pesticides that are derived from minerals are also commonly used in organics and include sulfur, copper and diatomaceous earth. Sulfur and copper can be very effective in suppressing plant diseases, while diatomaceous earth helps repel certain insects. Care should be taken in using mineral based pesticides, like copper, as they may damage the plant in certain conditions.

Spray oils are generally derived from plants or animals, although some oils may be petroleum based. Oils work by suffocating insect pests like scales and mites, so thorough coverage is needed. Again, care should be taken as oils can also damage plants if you have freezing conditions or hot weather after application.

Other chemicals used in organic production include insecticidal soaps and insect pheromones. Read the label if you choose to use one of the products to make sure that it is going to control the pest you have. Also, realize that most of the products break down very quickly, so reapplying often may be needed for satisfactory pest control.