The Best Eco-Friendly Pest Fighters For Your Garden

Gardeners across California are making the switch to eco-friendly pest control products, as it’s becoming more apparent that chemical pesticide use is hurting the bugs we want to keep around, like bees and butterflies. We rely on those pollinating insects to help our plants produce food, and without them, our gardens won’t be as successful.

To protect our environment and our local wildlife while still eliminating the insects that cause major plant damage, try some of these environmentally friendly pest control methods. The honey bees will be thankful you did!


spraying plant natural pesticide summerwinds california

Castile Soap Spray

One of the simplest ways to kick pests to the curb is with an all-natural soap solution made with castile soap and water. Just fill up a spray bottle, and blast the bugs with a generous coating. Keep repeating this step every day or two until the problem is solved.

The natural soap won’t harm your plants, but it will kill a large range of insects like aphids, worms, thrips, mites, whiteflies, and young leafhoppers. For plants with dense foliage, check to see if the extra moisture in the spray is evaporating and not getting built up. Sometimes this can cause mildew growth, which you’ll want to remove with sanitized shears.

Tip Top Ladybugs Cup of Ladybugs with ladybug on a leaf

Bug Containers

When fighting against villainous garden bugs, you can get the friendly superbugs on your side! Predatory insects like ladybugs are amazing at munching up little insects like aphids and spider mites, and zero chemicals or sprays are required. You might be wondering, how do you manage to get a bunch of live ladybugs to go hunt in your garden all at once? Well, it’s actually a pretty cool process.

Bug containers hold hundreds of live bugs, but they’re kept refrigerated, which keeps the bugs in a state of sleep. Purchase them cold, then bring the box up to room temperature when you’re ready to release them. Once they’re warm and awake, they’ll be hungry and ready to hunt!

Bonide Natural Products

Bonide is a trusted brand in the gardening world, and they’ve released a line of certified organic, all-natural products that really do the trick. The active ingredients are typically sourced from bacterial cultures that pose no threat to our plants but will kill bugs if they ingest it. They have a pretty huge range of products to target different issues, including:

  • Bug & Slug Killer
  • Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew
  • Copper Fungicide
  • Sulfur Plant Fungicide
  • All Seasons Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil

SummerWinds carries many of Bonide’s popular environmentally friendly pesticides for crops and flowers, and we’ve got some big sales in the near future, so keep an eye out for upcoming deals on our favorite eco-friendly product line.

neem oil summerwinds california

Neem Oil

Derived from the neem tree, this potent essential oil not only kills active insects and larvae, but can kill eggs and overwintering pests too. Although it is very powerful, you won’t have to worry about it harming any other wildlife or your family pets—in fact; it’s often one of the active ingredients in dog shampoo!

Neem oil has two major functions: it stops bugs from eating the leaves, but it also disrupts their hormone systems, so they won’t mature to their next stage of development. Over 200 different species of insects can be eradicated with the use of neem oil, so chances are, if you have a pest problem, neem oil can take care of it. It even works on your indoor houseplants!

Have you got a pest situation that’s difficult to control, or perhaps you can’t quite figure out exactly which type of bug is munching away at your plants? Call us at SummerWinds, and we can help you troubleshoot your problem and recommend the best eco-friendly pest control options for your garden.


About SummerWinds Nursery: SummerWinds Garden Centers is a leading high-end retailer of garden and nursery products. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, SummerWinds operates retail nurseries in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, and in Silicon Valley, California, making it one of the largest independent retail nursery companies in the west. SummerWinds appeals to both the serious and casual gardeners, with a broad selection of premium gardening products and a friendly and knowledgeable staff.