Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing. We’ve written about the best natural cleaning products and kitchen trash cans as recommended by professionals. We’ve also rounded up the best natural dish soaps, but here we’re zeroing in on the best natural weed killer and pest controllers for your organic garden, as reviewed on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best natural insect sprays
“I live in North Texas where the fleas and ticks are horrible this year; add to that the fact that we live in the country surrounded on one side by 10,000 acres, and you have a huge infestation on your hands. I have used this as directed, and the fleas and ticks are down about 90 percent; still find one on occasion, but what a difference this has made. Great smell and easy to use. It didn’t harm my bees or hummingbirds either. I recommend this to anyone wanting a natural pest control.”
“Due to the heat, we’ve seen an increase of insects inside and around our home. Just a few sprays around the doors and windows has helped keep irritating crickets and unwanted spiders and moths out of our living spaces. The smell is rather potent, but not unpleasant. We have multiple pets in our family, so we don’t use any chemicals or poisons anywhere near their areas. Eco Defense is made with essential oils, and has proven to be safe around our pets. As long as the spray keeps working, we’ll continue to use it.”
“My one-year-old apple trees were being attacked by woolly aphids, so I decided to give this product a try as a nonchemical pesticide option. After diluting the product to the specified concentration and giving the tree a good spray up and down, the recurring woolly aphid infestation has died off, and has not returned since. If anyone else is having identified pest problems and wants to give this product a chance, I highly recommend it.”
“Excellent product and a great price. Highly effective on fleas and ticks, and a little goes a long way. We’ve used this as an insecticide and added to pest spray to repel mosquito and biting flies. My kitty gets a drop on her collar every few weeks and has been flea- and tick-free. For the dog, we use a few other essential oils since canines can tolerate additional oils (cats are fine with neem oil, but be careful using anything else on your feline friends). Since the woods around us are home to ticks and the pooch frequently is hiking around the mountains with us, I’m very pleased he hasn’t had a single tick attach, although we’ve found a few crawling on him. Since I’ve had Lyme and still suffer multiple issues, having a natural repellent is a huge relief.”
“Sprayed it in the sun room, the one where my kids leave the screen door open all the time. Took care of flies and mosquitoes immediately. Then over the next few days, it kept killing the newcomers. Worked on the bugs for over a week with one application. Sprayed on metal and glass, and everything that landed in that area joined its friends on the sill in a pile. Safe for the dog and kids. Happy, happy.”
“Neem oil in my sprayer is an important part of my organic gardening plan! Organic gardening in the South is challenging; we don’t get good hard freezes that can help balance the insect population that may attack our food crops. I mix neem oil with water and go after a wide variety of pests that appear on my garden plants. I don’t hurt the birds, earthworms, or the pollinators that I want to encourage in my garden. A good rule of thumb is to apply it in the early morning or evening to be absolutely sure it won’t hurt bees and other ‘good guys.’ Overall, you can be assured that it won’t hurt the good guys unless you absolutely saturate your plants in the hot sunny heat of the day when bees are active on the plants! Neem oil is an excellent addition to the organic gardener’s toolbox.”
“I don’t know how such an ecofriendly insecticide can work so well, but it does. I had an ant problem that I attempted to fix using several very toxic products. Nothing worked. Then I sprayed this EcoRaider inside the basement along the rim joists. Within two days, no ants! I couldn’t believe how effective it was, so I tried it again in another section of the house that was also having the same tiny ant problem that wouldn’t succumb to other sprays and ant-bait poisons. Again, complete eradication of the pests within a few days. The product even smells okay.”
“This is my new must-have. I have a LOT of houseplants and often get mealybugs or spider mites. I use the measured amount of Safer in one gallon of water, lay my houseplants outside, and spray them on both sides of their leaves. There are no harsh smells, and it dries really fast. WORKS GREAT!!! This soap has never harmed my plants in any way. I’ve used it on my pothos, fern, Chinese evergreen, philodendron plants, bella palm, ZZ plant, and bamboo. When I spray the plants, the soap mixture drips into the soil with no harm done at all. It clears my plants of insects for good. When I have a bug problem, I repeat application about seven days later as a precautionary measure. Always works for me! I have also sprayed my petunias in the beginning of the summer because of a whitefly infestation in the yard. Once again it worked like a charm. I will always have this on hand and highly recommend it to anyone with plants both indoors and out.”
“This natural pesticide works very well on the giant water bugs that crawl up through my radiator grates, which are built into my apartment walls. I think they smell the cat food and come up to get some. They creep me out, but the Wondercide seems to kill them quickly, and it doesn’t bother my cats at all. It has a pleasant cedar scent and doesn’t stain any fabrics. I use it everywhere that I have seen these big, scary water bugs! It’s a bit pricey but well worth the cost!”
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