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Agri & Gardening farmers using flowers instead of chemicals to tackle pests | Upload General

Farmers Using Flowers Instead Of Chemicals To Tackle Pests

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by: Marike Boonstra
farmers using flowers instead of chemicals to tackle pests | Upload

Flowers are colorful. They smell nice and brighten up many homes and gardens. But flowers have another crucial advantage: they attract insects. Pesticides are causing major problems: they are polluting drinking water, for example, and killing bees. That is why more and more farmers are now using flowers instead of these chemicals to tackle pests on their land. To ensure more beneficial bugs visit their fields to feed on pests, some farmers are planting ‘flower strips’ in and around their crops. This kind of biological pest control seems to be an excellent way of contributing to the ecological intensification of agriculture.

(Recommended: Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming)

Flowers instead of chemicals to tackle pests

With mounting evidence about the problems caused by pesticides, many of the insect-killers have been taken off the market in the UK and Europe. However, others are still frequently used; and that frequent use makes them less effective, as pests become resistant to the chemicals. Fortunately, there is a biological way to combat pests on land. The so-called flower strips can encourage natural opponents of agricultural pests. As a result, the damage to agricultural crops is less, and there is hardly any need to use polluting plant protection products. The natural enemies of pests in arable crops will do the job.

Experimenting with farmers using flowers, ‘a highway for bugs’

This kind of biological pest control is nothing new. Cultivating an environment where natural pest predators can live by growing flowers between other crops is already a common practice for promoting biodiversity. For example, farmers already know that aphids (a common pest for multiple crops) don't stand a chance if they must share their home with parasitic wasps. They will eat the lice in their larval state. But now, agriculturalists are experimenting with strips of flowers within their crops, creating a highway for bugs to travel farther and cover more ground for pest control.

It may be a strange sight: strips of land that generally should have one color, but now have all kinds of vividly colored flowers in the middle. Due to a new study, fourteen sites will look like this. The study tests how well the wildflowers attract pest-eating bugs, and how well they can help replace commercial – and polluting - pesticides.

(RecommendedRegenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3))

Pesticides will be the last line of defense on farms

The study includes borders of wildflowers around each field - something that some farmers have used over the past two decades in the area to promote general biodiversity, not specifically for pest control. Also, there are strips of flowers placed in the middle of fields. Small insects cannot travel far, but with these flower strips, they can enter the entire land. A similar study was done in Switzerland, where one of the results was that the leaf damage was reduced by 61%. The researchers estimated that choosing the right mix of flowers could increase yield 10%, making it economically self-sustaining or even profitable to keep planting flowers.

The research shows that the use of aggressive pesticides can probably not be eliminated entirely, but that this natural method will make a big difference in the necessary quantity. If this biological approach is combined with other techniques, such as using technology to diagnose vermin, pesticide use could be dramatically reduced, and serve as a last line of defense on farms, rather than the first thing farmers reach for.

                                                      7 Simple Strategies to Prevent Garden Pests

Biological method: farmers using flowers and herbs

You can also apply this organic method of pest control at home. By strategically placing insect repellent plants in your house or garden, you can keep annoying pests at bay. Curious about which flowers, plants, and herbs you should purchase as a natural bug repellent? According to the American company Aerex Pest Control, these are the best ways to keep those fleas, mosquitoes, and flies out.

Please note that these plants, herbs, and flowers will not exterminate complete pests. This way of biological pest control can be beneficial when combined with other forms of proactive pest control in and around your home.
man between flowers
Basil: repels mosquitoes and flies (and tastes great)

Aerex Pest Control says that basil is a ‘great solution for repelling mosquitoes and flies’. These annoying insects don’t like the smell of this herb. Basil grows best with lots of sun and water. You can buy basil in a container in almost every supermarket and plant it in your garden. Easy does it! An additional advantage: basil tastes excellent with some mozzarella and tomato.

Citronella: keeps the mosquitos away

Citronella is known for its mosquito repelling odor: it had essential oils in it that these insects hate. You can buy citronella candles or a spray, but you can also strategically place this plant with strongly lemon-scented leaves in your home or garden. “It does well in a pot, or in the ground in a sunny and well-drained location,” according to Aerex Pest Control.

Lavender: great for pest control

The sweet smell of lavender is great for a good night’s sleep, but also to help repel flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. Thereby, it is a fantastic plant for pest control. The beautiful purple flowers will not look out of place in a colorful garden. “This plant is easy to maintain since it can basically survive all weather conditions.”

Marigolds: repels and provide pops of color

Marigolds will repel mosquitoes and aphids since they dislike the scent of this beautiful plant. “Plant them in sunny areas of your garden. If you have a vegetable garden, you can plant these throughout your garden to provide pops of color.

Chrysanthemum: the greatest insect repeller among flowers

Chrysanthemum helps to repel a lot of pests, including spider mites, ticks, roaches, lice, and fleas aphids, according to Aerex. The special ingredient: pyrethrum. You can find this in numerous insect-repelling sprays, as well as pet shampoos. This beautiful flower will look great both indoors and outdoors.

(Recommended: New Foodscape Alternatives Gets Attention In The Netherlands)

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Farmers Using Flowers Instead Of Chemicals To Tackle Pests

Flowers are colorful. They smell nice and brighten up many homes and gardens. But flowers have another crucial advantage: they attract insects. Pesticides are causing major problems: they are polluting drinking water, for example, and killing bees. That is why more and more farmers are now using flowers instead of these chemicals to tackle pests on their land. To ensure more beneficial bugs visit their fields to feed on pests, some farmers are planting ‘flower strips’ in and around their crops. This kind of biological pest control seems to be an excellent way of contributing to the ecological intensification of agriculture. ( Recommended:  Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming ) Flowers instead of chemicals to tackle pests With mounting evidence about the problems caused by pesticides, many of the insect-killers have been taken off the market in the UK and Europe. However, others are still frequently used; and that frequent use makes them less effective, as pests become resistant to the chemicals. Fortunately, there is a biological way to combat pests on land. The so-called flower strips can encourage natural opponents of agricultural pests. As a result, the damage to agricultural crops is less, and there is hardly any need to use polluting plant protection products. The natural enemies of pests in arable crops will do the job. Experimenting with farmers using flowers, ‘a highway for bugs’ This kind of biological pest control is nothing new. Cultivating an environment where natural pest predators can live by growing flowers between other crops is already a common practice for promoting biodiversity. For example, farmers already know that aphids (a common pest for multiple crops) don't stand a chance if they must share their home with parasitic wasps. They will eat the lice in their larval state. But now, agriculturalists are experimenting with strips of flowers within their crops, creating a highway for bugs to travel farther and cover more ground for pest control. It may be a strange sight: strips of land that generally should have one color, but now have all kinds of vividly colored flowers in the middle. Due to a new study, fourteen sites will look like this. The study tests how well the wildflowers attract pest-eating bugs, and how well they can help replace commercial – and polluting - pesticides. ( Recommended :  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3) ) Pesticides will be the last line of defense on farms The study includes borders of wildflowers around each field - something that some farmers have used over the past two decades in the area to promote general biodiversity, not specifically for pest control. Also, there are strips of flowers placed in the middle of fields. Small insects cannot travel far, but with these flower strips, they can enter the entire land. A similar study was done in Switzerland, where one of the results was that the leaf damage was reduced by 61%. The researchers estimated that choosing the right mix of flowers could increase yield 10%, making it economically self-sustaining or even profitable to keep planting flowers. The research shows that the use of aggressive pesticides can probably not be eliminated entirely, but that this natural method will make a big difference in the necessary quantity. If this biological approach is combined with other techniques, such as using technology to diagnose vermin, pesticide use could be dramatically reduced, and serve as a last line of defense on farms, rather than the first thing farmers reach for. {youtube}                                                       7 Simple Strategies to Prevent Garden Pests Biological method: farmers using flowers and herbs You can also apply this organic method of pest control at home. By strategically placing insect repellent plants in your house or garden, you can keep annoying pests at bay. Curious about which flowers, plants, and herbs you should purchase as a natural bug repellent? According to the American company Aerex Pest Control, these are the best ways to keep those fleas, mosquitoes, and flies out. Please note that these plants, herbs, and flowers will not exterminate complete pests. This way of biological pest control can be beneficial when combined with other forms of proactive pest control in and around your home. Basil: repels mosquitoes and flies (and tastes great) Aerex Pest Control says that basil is a ‘great solution for repelling mosquitoes and flies’. These annoying insects don’t like the smell of this herb. Basil grows best with lots of sun and water. You can buy basil in a container in almost every supermarket and plant it in your garden. Easy does it! An additional advantage: basil tastes excellent with some mozzarella and tomato. Citronella: keeps the mosquitos away Citronella is known for its mosquito repelling odor: it had essential oils in it that these insects hate. You can buy citronella candles or a spray, but you can also strategically place this plant with strongly lemon-scented leaves in your home or garden. “It does well in a pot, or in the ground in a sunny and well-drained location,” according to Aerex Pest Control. Lavender: great for pest control The sweet smell of lavender is great for a good night’s sleep, but also to help repel flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. Thereby, it is a fantastic plant for pest control. The beautiful purple flowers will not look out of place in a colorful garden. “This plant is easy to maintain since it can basically survive all weather conditions.” Marigolds: repels and provide pops of color Marigolds will repel mosquitoes and aphids since they dislike the scent of this beautiful plant. “Plant them in sunny areas of your garden. If you have a vegetable garden, you can plant these throughout your garden to provide pops of color. Chrysanthemum: the greatest insect repeller among flowers Chrysanthemum helps to repel a lot of pests, including spider mites, ticks, roaches, lice, and fleas aphids, according to Aerex. The special ingredient: pyrethrum. You can find this in numerous insect-repelling sprays, as well as pet shampoos. This beautiful flower will look great both indoors and outdoors. ( Recommended:  New Foodscape Alternatives Gets Attention In The Netherlands )