Every vegetable garden is a perfect treat for pests and harmful bugs. If left untreated, these uninvited guests will destroy your veggies before the harvest or make your plant weak and vulnerable to infections.
If you are planning to start your own vegetable garden, you should definitely be aware of the pests that might attack and feed on your vegetables.
But the big question is what can you do about them. Prevention is the key, but once your garden is infected, you definitely need some extra help to get rid of these pests.
Most gardeners use pesticides to control, repel and avoid such infections since these pests can be annoying and ruin a wonderful gardening experience.
Organic vegetables are also sprayed using pesticides despite popular misbelief that they are not according to Michigan State University. The difference is that they are sprayed using organic pesticides.
Several organic pesticides are available online, and I have shortlisted some of them that I personally use for you to help protect your vegetables.
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Best Organic Pesticides for Vegetables
The best organic pesticides for vegetables are:
- Best Natural Pesticide – Safer Brand Insect Killing Neem Oil Concentrate
- Best Ready to Use Pesticide – Bonide Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew
- Best Rain Proof Pesticide – BioAdvanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control for Edible Gardening Concentrate
10 Best Organic Pesticides for Vegetables
1. Safer Brand Insect Killing Neem Oil Concentrate – Best Natural Pesticide
Neem oil is a biodegradable product with multiple benefits for plants and the top pick for treating any bugs or diseases in your edible garden; therefore, it deserves to be the first one on this list.
This neem oil extract kills all those pesky insects feeding on your vegetables since it plays a double role and acts as a miticide as well as a fungicide.
It is proven to eliminate spider mites, scales, whiteflies, and aphids, among other pests. You can also use it to treat diseases like bacterial blight, black spots, botrytis, powdery mildew, rust, etc.
- Can kill the pests in all three stages of growth, i.e., egg, larvae, or adult
- Regular sprays can also destroy overwintered pests or eggs
- Easy application as a spray
- Suitable for organic gardening of edible crops and vegetables (OMRI listed)
- Long-lasting – single bottle can create 16 gallons of solution
- Leftover product can be stored for later use
- Has a weird smell
- Some of the ingredients are not disclosed by the manufacturer
Click here to buy this pesticide on Amazon
2. Bonide Captain Jack’s DeadBug Brew – Best Ready to Use Pesticide
A vegetable garden has several types of plants; therefore, a single product to care for all of them makes it convenient and economical for a gardener. This product works on fruiting vegetables, tuberous vegetables, and leafy vegetables.
The best feature of this pesticide is that it will only target harmful pests and will not impact beneficial insects. Impacting beneficial insects is a major concern for several gardeners because most products in the market will end up killing the insects beneficial for the garden and the ecosystem.
This is a ready-to-use product, so you do not have to worry about mixing or ratios. It is suitable for all types of edible, ornamental plants and lawn care.
- Treats a variety of pests, including caterpillars, thrips, spider mites, and worms
- Classified as organic because of Spinosad as the active ingredient
- No mixing required
- Easy application with the spray bottle
- Some customers complained about receiving spoiled product
- Only for outdoor use
3. BioAdvanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control for Edible Gardening Concentrate – Best Rain Proof Pesticide
If mealybugs, thrips, aphids, and scales are frequent guests in your edible garden, you definitely need this formula for your plants.
BioAdvanced has specially formulated this insect control product for a large number of edible crops, including fruits and vegetables with 0.235% Imidacloprid. This solution will kill the insects, but a thorough application will also help prevent future infections.
A single application can provide protection for a whole season. The solution is also rainproof, meaning it will not wash away after rain, and you don’t have to bother about reapplication.
According to the manufacturer, you should use ½ ounce of concentrate for every 10 sq ft of veggies. Just remember that you should follow the pre-harvest period instructions before application and consumption of the vegetables.
- Can be used on upto 640 sq ft of the vegetable area
- Effective against all 25 insects listed on the bottle
- Works well on tomato, pepper, cucumber, carrots, and herb crops
- Few customers received leaked bottles
4. HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade – Best Easy to Use Pesticide
Diatomaceous Earth is one of the safest options to kill bugs in the vegetable garden, and it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Most gardeners refer to it as an affordable pest control method; however, you have to reapply it every time it rains.
This product kills the bugs after direct contact and also by removing moisture from the application area. Most insects need a certain level of moisture and humidity to thrive, so a lack of moisture will indirectly kill the bugs.
This food-grade product can be safely used for all types of edible plants since it has no additives or fillers. This non-toxic pest control is safe to use around pets and children.
- OMRI listed
- Comes with a duster for easy application
- Can also kill some of the beneficial insects
- Customers received ripped bags
You can easily buy this product on Amazon by clicking here
5. Dr. Earth Ready to Use Disease Control Fungicide – Best Pesticide for Long Term Protection
Dr. Earth is a well-known brand that offers several high-quality products for gardeners and plant lovers. This disease and pest control product is organic and natural, making it perfect for your veggies. Applying it once will provide protection for several weeks.
Make sure you spray it on all plant surfaces for maximum results. This product is mainly designed for diseases like powdery mildew, black spot, and rust, but the essential oils and other ingredients can also work against pests and help the damaged foliage in healing. You can use this spray on vegetables up to the day of harvest.
Dilute the fungicide in water before application.
- 100% organic and safe to use on vegetables
- Long-lasting, premium results
- Year-round protection against most diseases and pests with multiple applications
- OMRI listed
- Has a natural smell
- Packaging needs to be improved
6. Summit Spray Oil for Garden Insects –Best Overall Pesticide
This spray oil can be used on most fruits, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants. It’s a ready-to-use spray to kill bugs like whiteflies, spider mites, aphids, fungus gnats, etc.
This oil has no synthetic chemicals or toxic products; therefore, it helps in getting rid of the pests without contaminating the vegetables.
This oil is not just good in killing the pests but also helps in repelling them, all the while leaving a shiny look on the leaves. The hose end makes the application straightforward. All you have to do is attach the bottle to a garden hose or sprayer to cover a large vegetable garden.
What differentiates this product from others is that it does not poison the pests; instead, it suffocates them to death. This oil is highly effective against soft-bodied insects.
The special formula can be utilized in almost any season throughout the year with minimal chances of burning the vegetable or leaves.
- OMRI listed
- Free from synthetic chemicals
- Can also be used for powdery mildew
- No long term residual which results in the death of beneficial insects
- Non-toxic for people and pets
- Not for indoor application
- Customers received leaked package
7. Organic Laboratories Organocide 3-in-1 Garden Spray – Best Multiuse Pesticide
This 3-in-1 garden spray can kill almost anything that might feed or destroy your vegetables. This spray will kill nasty bugs like aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, fungus gnats and help you control common diseases like powdery mildew and black spots.
There are no strict rules for application. In fact, you can apply it during harvest as well. If you have concerns about organic gardening practices, this product fulfills that criteria as well since it’s OMRI certified for organic use. It can help you get rid of the pest at any stage- eggs, larvae, nymphs, or adults.
The special formula includes fish oil and sesame oil, which results in a heavier product that can last longer on the applied surface. You will need 3 oz of this concentrate for each 1 gallon of water. It’s best to dilute the mix when spraying heavily damaged plants to avoid additional stress.
If you adhere to the manufacturers’ instructions, this oil is safe for beneficial insects like butterflies, bees, ladybugs. Since this oil will kill the pests by contact, you should thoroughly spray the infected areas. After the oil dries on the plant, it transforms into a thin coating that will trap the insects landing on the plant.
- Functions as a miticide, insecticide, and fungicide
- Environment-friendly and OMRI listed
- Does not include neonicotinoids
- Works as a dormant oil to mitigate overwintering pests
- The leftover solution can be stored for up to 45 days
- Not for indoor use
- Has a strong odor
8. Garden Safe Brand Houseplant & Garden Insect Killer – Best for Budget Pesticide
This product is made using botanical insecticides, which means it’s safe to use around edible fruits and veggies, although you can also use it to treat houseplants, trees, and shrubs.
It kills common pests like aphids as well as specific ones like tomato hornworms or fruitworms. Keep in mind this spray kills the pest on contact; therefore, make sure you spray the infected plant thoroughly.
You can use this insect killer for the veggies in the outdoor garden as well as those growing in your indoor kitchen garden. This is a ready-to-use pest control solution, and getting the pack of 4 sprays is an economical choice. If you notice the pests are returning, you can repeat the treatment without burning the plant. Several customers have reported it is highly effective for treating fungus gnats.
- Suitable up to the day of harvest
- Money-back guarantee
- Does not require mixing and is easy to use
- Minimal odor
- Fast-acting solution will kill the bugs in a short period compared to other pesticides
- Might be harsh for young plants
9. Monterey Bacillus Thuringiensis (B.t.) Worm & Caterpillar Killer – Best Pesticide for Caterpillars
This pesticide is designed specifically for worms and caterpillars. It’s highly recommended for foliage vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, mustard greens, tomatoes, lettuce, cauliflower, etc.
If used as directed, this product is not harmful to beneficial garden insects like ladybugs, honeybees, earthworms, or birds.
This insect killer is certified by OMRI for the organic gardening of edible and non-edible crops. Mix this biological insecticide with water and apply it using a sprayer.
This product will poison and kill the bugs, therefore, repeat applications in case of heavy infestation. The pests will stop feeding on the plant after ingesting this pesticide and soon die. Apply the pesticide to both sides of the foliage for optimum control.
Avoid applying this product on a sunny, hot day because that will simply waste the product.
- Safe for the environment
- Proven to kill caterpillars and harmful worms
- Easy to apply as a spray
- Premium protection for foliage against chewing pests
- Can be applied to the vegetable plant up to the time of harvest
- Customers received damaged bottles
10. Monterey Horticultural Oil Concentrate – Best Oil Pesticide
Monterey aims to provide professional quality products for home gardeners. This is one of the premium quality horticulture oil on the market.
It acts as an insect killer as well as a leaf protector for foliar plants. It targets all types of soft-bodied insects like mealybugs, whiteflies, aphids even spider mites.
Horticulture oils can be used throughout the year during the growing season. However, if you want to protect the plant from possible infection during dormant months, you can apply it at the beginning of dormancy to enhance its effectiveness against pests.
- Can be used during dormancy
- Can be used as a fungicide, miticide, and insecticide
- Suitable for fruit trees
- Organic and OMRI certified for organic production
- Does not work well against worms or caterpillars
When it comes to plants, neem oil can act as a pesticide and fungicide. Neem oil is inexpensive and easily available in many formulas online or in local stores.
It’s effective against a variety of pests in the vegetable garden, on ornamental trees, fruit trees, and almost every other plant in your garden. Most importantly, it’s not harmful to the beneficial insects in the garden. Check out the detailed article about how to use neem oil on houseplants for more information.
Winner: Safer Brand Insect Killing Neem Oil Concentrate
Organic vs. Synthetic Pesticides
The simplest way to understand these two types of pesticides is to know that organic pesticides are created using ingredients from natural sources, whereas synthetic pesticides are produced using chemical conversions.
There is a constant debate about which one is better for the garden because even natural pesticides might not be 100% safe. Before you finalize the type of pesticide you want to use for vegetables, it’s best to determine the type of pests and the level of infestation.
Organic pest management techniques are the safest choice since most of them are environment friendly, but if the pests are spreading fast and you have a heavy infestation, you might have to go with a stronger, synthetic pesticide as a last resort.
Tips to Prevent a Pest Infestation in the Vegetable Garden
Gardeners believe that most pesticides (organic and synthetic) will end up killing the beneficial insects, leaving harmful chemicals, or disturbing the soil pH.
Therefore, it’s important to take precautions to avoid any of these situations. You can try the following tips to avoid any pests from destroying your vegetable crops:
- If you want your garden to thrive, you should practice crop rotation. This will starve and confuse the pests.
- Research the crops you will be adding to the garden and try to plant disease and pest-resistant varieties. Remember, some crops are more prone to certain pests than others. You should plant the vegetables according to the plant requirements. Otherwise, inaccurate growing conditions will make your plant vulnerable to bacteria and bugs.
- Diversify your vegetable garden by interplanting varieties. Planting the same vegetables in a single row makes it easier for the pests to feed and locate the host plant. But if you have multiple plants in a small area, the pest won’t have access to the host plant easily.
- Introduce beneficial insects (ladybugs, lacewings, etc.) in your garden as they will feed on pests. These insects can be attracted by growing plants they like, or you can buy them from stores. Even if your garden is infected, these bugs will prevent the infection from spreading.
- Try adding physical barriers like row covers if you suspect your plant might be prone to pests. This will keep the pests out, but your plant will still receive sunlight, moisture, and air.
- Regularly inspect your vegetables for signs of pest damage. This will help in identifying the infection early on. Some common signs include chewed leaves with holes, discolored leaves, wilted plants with deformed leaves, and veggies.
Conclusion About Best Organic Pesticides for Vegetables
This article shares some of the best options for organic pest killers. The best pesticide is the one that kills the pests with minimal damage to the ecosystem; therefore, choose wisely so that you have healthy vegetables after harvest.
Always rotate crops in your vegetable garden and get rid of infected plants as soon as possible to prevent a pest infestation. You should also buy your soil, fertilizers, and even plants from a reliable source and test them for any bugs or infections before introducing them to the garden.
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Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.