Pests are the major threat to any hydroponics system. However, there is a misconception that hydroponic gardens are free from pests. Just like soil-based gardens, hydroponics systems are also prone to pest infestation. Therefore, pest control in hydroponics becomes essential for any gardener. Failure to implement an effective pest control can result in weak or dead plants, which translates to losses to the gardener. However, the conditions in the hydroponic gardens allow pests to thrive and multiply. Fortunately, there is a wide array of ways to implement an effective pest control in hydroponics.
How to control pests in hydroponics
#1. Beneficial organisms
This is one of the most popular ways of controlling unwanted pests in hydroponics garden. Certain types of fungi and bacteria are known to push out pests in the hydroponics garden. They wipe out the pests by crowding or consuming them. Moreover, these bacteria and fungi release toxic compounds that create unfavorable conditions for the pests. The best thing about these beneficial organisms is that they eradicate pests without damaging the plants.
#2. Pesticidal soaps
Different types of pesticides can be used to control pests in hydroponics garden. For many years, pesticidal soaps have been used to provide non-toxic ways to restrain the pests. You can find a good pesticidal soap that is made from non-toxic compounds produced by plants. For instance, botanicals are easier to use and break down naturally when exposed to air and water. In fact, they are the best because they don’t leave harmful chemicals
#3. Neem oil
This is another effective pesticide that is known to eradicate over 400 types of pests that invade our gardens. Spraying the neem oil on the foliage of the plants will eliminate the existing pests while preventing future infestation. Neem oil alters the reproductive cycle of the pests, drastically reducing their population.
This is a safe and effective means of controlling the pests in your hydroponics garden. The flowers of the pyrethrum contain pyrethrins that are used in many commercial insecticides. Even a small dosage of pyrethrum can totally eliminate pests in your hydroponics system. However, you should read the label to ensure maximum safety while using this pesticide.
This is another effective pesticide for pests in the hydroponics garden. This broad spectrum insecticide can wipe out most of the pests that invade your garden. Moreover, Azatrol is very safe and pose no threat to the environment.
#6. Diatomaceous earth
This is another effective natural pest control method in hydroponics. Use a feather duster to apply the Diatomaceous earth dust on the leaves of your plants. However, you should avoid breathing this dust. Diatomaceous is safe right from planting to the day of harvest. Pests that bite your plants will die when they come in contact with Diatomaceous earth.
The heavily infested sections of the plants are removed to reduce the pests in your plants. This is effective when used in combination with other pest control methods. Removing the damaged part of your garden is important.
Pests can lead to devastation in hydroponics garden. Therefore, it is important to implement an appropriate pest control in hydroponics before you start counting losses. In this case, these pest control methods not only effective but are also safe to both plants and people.