Like any other gardener, aquaponic gardeners face pest issues as well. Pests are common in all types of gardens and are never as serious as you might initially think. However, at times you may witness an increase in the number of pests present and may want to get everything controlled to avoid damage to the growth of your plants.
If you are an aquaponic gardener or are planning to install your aquaponic system, you won’t want to use chemical pesticides as they may harm your plants and your fish. Instead, you will want to opt for more organic options. In this article, we will guide you through different ways to control pests within your aquaponic system.
Why Not Use Pesticide In Your Aquaponic?
The use of pesticides is not recommended even in any conventional garden because it can harm your plant and its growth rate, but also it can be detrimental to your own health. Aquaponic systems are very sensitive, as your plants are not the only living things within the system. You need to think about your fish, too; pesticides may kill your fish.
Additionally, one of the main reasons not to use pesticides is that aquaponic is designed to grow organic food, which means pesticides or fertilizers may corrupt the result.
Aquaponics Pest Prevention and Control
So now you may ask how to get rid of pests or how to prevent pests from accessing your aquaponic? We have listed several ways in which you won’t have the need for harmful pesticides…
- Companion Planting- Companion planting is an organic way of repelling pests through the action of growing another plant along with your vegetation that may repulse pests by their scent or taste.
- Removal Of Pests Manually- This method may be lengthy, but it is also very organic. Get yourself a toothbrush and brush the pests away. You need to make sure that there are no pests left because they may procreate.
- Water Spray- In nature, the rain protects plants from flying pests, as the water droplets keep them off the plants. You need to replicate the rain’s action using a water spray. This method will be beneficial only if you have flying pests.
Insects are beneficial for a garden as when it comes to pollination. Some insects are a nuisance to your plants, while others can be beneficial as they act as predators, which is a good control method for pests. You can buy these insects from your garden supplier. They are widely available. Some of the best insect predators to introduce into your eco-system include:
- Ladybugs- well-known as predators. They feed on aphids, beetles, caterpillars and insect eggs.It does not matter whether you choose adults or larvae as they both carry do a great job.
- Green Lacewings- The Lacewings eat a large number of insects; caterpillars, leafhoppers, aphids and moth eggs…the list goes on.
- Tachinid Flies- The tachinid flies are an excellent pollinator and feeds on an extensive list of pests such as beetles, grasshoppers and squash bugs.
Common Aquaponics Pests
- Aphids: physically removed, beneficial insects and organic pesticides.
- Caterpillars: Squishing, exclusion nets and organic spray.
- Tomato Hornworm: physically removed and beneficial insects.
- Mealybugs: Dab with rubbing alcohol.
In an aquaponic, when removing or preventing pests, you need to take into consideration your fish, and I suggest that you check for pests regularly. Whenever you are using organic pest control, make sure to read the label carefully and follow the application guidelines. Let us know in the comments how youcontrol pests in your aquaponic system.