Insects are an essential part of a healthy garden system, especially the ones that help ensure a good harvest. Some bugs are also beneficial as they feed on plant-damaging insects like aphids, fruit worms, roaches, Japanese beetles, and more.
Once these pests gain a toehold on your garden, you might as well say goodbye to your vegetables. To combat them, you will need the best insecticide for vegetable garden. One that is both is effective and fast in getting rid of destructive pests without harming your plants or the beneficial insects.
How to Choose the Best Insecticide for Vegetable Garden
It can be quite tricky to eliminate pests without doing any harm to your plants. You should choose insecticides that don’t contain any toxic components. Also, consider the following factors when choosing the best insecticide for vegetable garden:
If your vegetable garden is heavily infested and it requires immediate treatment, the best option is for a chemical formula. Usually, these emergency cases will need additional care after applying the insecticide. This ensures that your vegetables remain safe for consumption.
Of course, insecticides with organic formulations are always the safer choice but you may have to reapply the product frequently. A common mistake among beginner gardeners is applying organic insecticides too frequently.
They believe that this will boost the effectiveness of the product. However, doing this isn’t recommended as it might do more harm, especially to the beneficial insects in your garden. You might even end up clogging your soil.
Insecticides will work on the most common types of insects like caterpillars and worms. But there are more challenging pests that need special treatment. In most cases, insecticides can kill pests right after direct contact and you will immediately see the results after the first application.
Another method of eliminating these unwanted pests is through digestion. After applying the insecticide to your plants, you will have to wait for the insects to eat on the vegetables or leaves.
This might take between 3 to 7 days. Then there are insecticides with a dual effect – aside from eliminating pests, they will also protect your garden for a long time since some of the substances remain on the plants after application.
Today’s broad-spectrum insecticides can eliminate different insect species although most vegetable plants are only threatened by a few types of pests. Therefore, you can reduce the risk of harming the beneficial insects by identifying and targeting specific pests.
You know that your tomato plants have fruit worms when your tomatoes have “entry holes.” Mexican bean beetles look like pink-colored ladybugs that chew on the leaves of your plants. Squash bugs feed on the stems of squash plants at the ground level.
Knowing these signs will make it easier for you to find the best insecticide for vegetable garden. Some broad-spectrum insecticides can kill all of these species, the timing of application and your plant’s location will differ for each pest.
Based on their physical properties, you can insecticides classify insecticides into different types:
Whether it’s broad-spectrum or targeted, this type acts fast because it immediately delivers the active ingredients. You can use liquid insecticides by directly spraying them on stems, root zones, and the foliage of plants to get rid of active pests.
Liquid insecticides come in both ready-to-spray and concentrated formulas. Concentrates in the long run are a less expensive option. But you must first dilute them with water before application. Ready-to-spray insecticides will save you time and effort in mixing, but they are more expensive.
Most granular insecticides are broad-spectrum treatments that are very persistent and effective in the treatment of garden pests in the soil. On the downside, they can also cause harm to beneficial bugs.
It’s very easy to apply the granules. Simply sprinkle them in the problem area of the soil. When you’re done, you must store the granular insecticide in a sealed canister.
Most dust insecticides are for broad-spectrum treatments, especially on the lower surfaces of leaves. This type has many advantages including being very easy to store, having a long shelf life, and working quickly after application to stems, foliage, or soil.
On the downside, applying dust insecticides evenly can be a little tricky. These chemicals can be efficiently and easily applied using a garden duster. This tool mixes the dust insecticide gently in an airstream that dispenses the dust in a cloud. This provides an even coat over your plants.
Top 5 Insecticides for Vegetable Garden
#1. Bonide Pyrethrin Garden Outdoor Insecticide Concentrate
Bonide Pyrethrin Garden Outdoor Insecticide Concentrate is the best insecticide for vegetable garden if you have problems with leafhoppers, beetles, aphids, webworms, and other garden insects.
It’s effective, fast, and specially designed for use on garden vegetables like beans, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, and more along with flowers like geraniums, dogwoods, begonias, azaleas, roses, ornamental shrubs, and trees.
- Gets rid of different kinds of pests.
- Contains Pyrethrins as an active ingredient, which targets the nervous systems of insects.
- You can use this on different vegetables without leaving any residue.
- It’s very easy to apply this insecticide by following the instructions.
- It has a strong smell.
- It has an oily consistency.
#2. HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food
HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food is one of the most popular organic insect killers for gardens. You can apply this pesticide to your vegetable plants to inhibit different kinds of pests and insects from munching on the fruits and leaves.
This is a non-toxic product as it contains fossilized remains ad crushed shells of oceanic organisms. The shells are smoothly ground so that they get into the skeletons of the pests then make them too uncomfortable to stay in your garden.
- Keeps different kinds of insects away from your garden.
- Doesn’t contain any fillers or additives.
- Listed with OMRI, which means that it holds up to high organic standards.
- Includes a powder duster for easier application.
- Some claim that it isn’t effective against ants.
- May contain allergens.
#3. Monterey LG6150 Garden Insecticide
Monterey LG6150 Garden Insecticide was primarily designed for the protection of your vegetables, fruits, and other plants from different types of pests. Its most active ingredient is spinosad – a biological insecticide produced by a special type of bacteria.
The main advantages of using this product include its efficiency, environmental friendliness, and compatibility with other tools. This product contains the latest agricultural chemistry introduced and approved for organic gardening. It’s also safe for use around pets and people.
- Odorless and fast-acting insecticide.
- Controls a wide variety of insects to treat your vegetables quickly.
- You can use it for other kinds of plants too.
- East to apply using different types of sprayers.
- Some claim that it doesn’t work on aphids.
- Some claim that it turned their plants brown.
#4. PyGanic Gardening Botanical Insecticide
PyGanic Gardening Botanical Insecticide breaks down in the sunlight. This means it won’t do any harm to beneficial insects that stay in your plants during the daytime. If you spray this insecticide after sunset, it will start working.
Because of its low toxicity, this insecticide won’t kill earthworms either, which are very important for the soil. Since this is an organic insecticide, it won’t damage your plants. Just make sure to carefully follow the instructions on the label to get all the advantages of this product.
- You can use it throughout the growing season no matter what the size of your garden is.
- Contains pyrethrins, which is botanically derived making it an excellent choice.
- You can use this on different types of vegetables.
- Kills over 200 types of insects that damage crops.
- Some claim that it doesn’t work on root aphids.
- Some claim that it isn’t safe for pets.
#5. Garden Safe Brand Multi-Purpose Garden Insect Killer
Garden Safe Brand Multi-Purpose Garden Insect Killer is an organic insecticide that contains botanical ingredients. It’s great for vegetables, flowering plants, trees, shrubs, and houseplants.
The insecticide kills pests immediately after contact making it perfect for eliminating green fruitworms, tomato hornworms, aphids, and other insects. You can use this product for both outdoor and indoor plants and it’s best to apply it every week for up to ten weeks.
- Kills different kinds of insects and different types of plants.
- You can use this both outdoors and indoors.
- Ready to apply on the upper and lower surfaces of leaves.
- You can apply this every week or only as needed to prevent infestations.
- Some claim that it isn’t effective on gnats.
- Some claim that it isn’t potent enough.
Seeing your vegetable garden flourish is enough reason to make this a lifetime hobby. Once understand what your plants need, finding the best insecticide will come easy. All you need to do is to consider all of the factors discussed here, then choose one of the insecticides from our list to protect your plants!