• Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Link to SK Organic Resources
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden

Insects and Invertebrates

Additional information on certain pests

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  • Enough ladybugs and lacewings usually take care of this but it was a cool spring and it may take them a while to catch up to infestations as I saw so few of them this year.
  • Usually, a strong jet of water a few times/day should dislodge them, or insecticidal soap should be helpful. I don't recommend pyrethrins and many people react badly to them and they are not natural. Think of the Raid ad: 'nature with industry's help'. They are manufactured to be more potent and last longer.
  • Lights Out for Aphids (Beyond Pesticides, November 13, 2012) There’s a new tool in the fight against aphids. Research published in the journal Horticultural Science discovered that reducing the amount of ultra-violet (UV) light in an environment can shrink the population of an aphid infestation.    The researchers note that UV radiation acts as an important visual cue not only for aphids, but also other insect pests such as whiteflies, moths, and thrips.

Bed bugs 

  • Bed Bugs? Chemical Pesticides Aren’t the Answer (EWG, October 4, 2018) with link to the excellent University of Minnesota site Let's Beat the Bed Bugs

  • Managing Bed Bugs Without Harmful Pesticides  (NCAP: Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, Feb 3, 2014) This 12 minutes video discusses strategies for preventing and managing bed bugs without pesticides. It includes information about potential health risks of foggers, bug bombs, and other chemicals commonly used for bed bug treatment. It also teaches you to identify the various stages of bed bugs.

  • A resource for local governments on dealing with bedbugs:

  • Kill Bed Bugs with Heat   100% Success Rate. 100% Guaranteed Serving Regina and Saskatchewan. Also use a dog for bed bug detection. 

  • A one pager on how to handle bed bug problems from a Canadian leader in alternatives (Environmental Health Association of Quebec, spring 2011 newsletter p.7)
  • PANNA search on bed bugs includes the following:    Got Bed Bugs? Don't Panic from Beyond Pesticides is a very comprehensive article dealing with identification, detection including where to look for them, as well as prevention and control.
  • Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite! from Scientific American subtitle: pest management proves more effective than pesticides. This is a more traditional article comparing IPM versus regular pest control in effectiveness and cost.
  • Bedbugs May Be Controlled by Natural Fungus  (Beyond Pesticides, November 29, 2012)  The fungus is also an effective biological control for many other household pests, including termites, aphids, and chinch bugs.
  • Yet Again, Researchers Prove Bed Bugs Resistant to Common Pesticides (Beyond Pesticides, June 7th, 2012) A new study confirms several other recent study findings on the inability of commonly used pyrethroid based pesticide products to control bed bug infestations. The results reinforce the voices of concerned citizens and environmental groups calling for a wider adoption of proven, non-toxic methods to manage bed bugs and other ...  

  • Drug Will Turn Your Blood into a Pesticide Toxic to Bed Bugs(Beyond Pesticides, November 16, 2012) New research suggests that the drug Stromectal (manufactured by Merck & Co.), which is typically used to treat parasitic worms, may also kill bed bugs. The active ingredient in the drug is ivermectin, which has also been getting publicity recently for its efficacy in killing head lice. Unfortunately, ivermectin, a member of the avermectin family of compounds, appears risky, and even unnecessary given that there are safe non-toxic methods to control and prevent bed bug and head lice infestations. 

Beetle - Red Lily  How to kill Red Lily Beetle - homemade remedy

Cockroaches - Preventive Practices Work Best


Fruit Flies



Mites (Spider Mites)

  • Ultraviolet Light Researched as a Pest Control Technique   (Beyond Pesticides, December 14, 2022) Ultraviolet (UV-C) light has the potential to successfully manage mite (Tetranychus urticae) populations without reducing yields or resorting to toxic pesticides, according to research published by scientists at University of Florida. “Since very few miticides (sprays) are currently effective in suppressing twospotted spider mites in strawberries, the use of UV light provides an effective physical control method that can be used in fields and in high-tunnel strawberry production systems,” says study author Sriyanka Lahiri, PhD. The findings provide an encouraging technique for farmers, but further investigation is needed to observe the success of this approach in other cropping systems.

Mites (Varroa Mites)  also see  bee die-off 

  • natural Varroa mite control with HopGuard II, derived from hop compounds.. Safe during honey flow

  • Growing Sunflowers Near Honey Bee Colonies Helps Reduce Mite Problems(Beyond Pesticides, January 18, 2023) Sunflower plantings have the potential to significantly reduce mite infestations in nearby honey bee colonies, according to research recently published in the Journal of Economic Entomology by researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). For every doubling of sunflower crop production, models employed show a nearly 1/3 decrease in varroa mite infestation. For the fall pollen feeding experiment, colonies fed sunflower pollen saw a 2.75 fold reduction in the intensity of Varroa infestation compared to the artificial pollen treatment. For the spring feeding, Varroa was found in only one-third of hives sampled. Neither the fall nor spring feed experiment, or the individual caged bee experiment saw a significant effect on viral loading or Nosema prevalence, however.



  • Scientists Discover Parasite that “Liquifies” Slugs, Shows Promise as Potential New Biological Control   (Beyond Pesticides, December 8, 2020)  It isn’t a pesticide, but a nematode (Phasmarhabditis spp.), a microscopic animal whose phylum contains potentially millions of different species. Oregon State researchers think they’ve found the specific type of nematode that will parasitize and kill Deroceras reticulatum, also known as the grey garden slug. The research underscores the critical importance of funding and supporting research on biological controls and other non-toxic pest management approaches.
  • Slugs and Snails Controlled with Bread Dough, Really   (Beyond Pesticides, August 25, 2021)    Slugs and snails overwhelmingly chose to feed on the bread dough baited traps....Although researchers used toxic metaldehyde to kill slugs when they got to the bait, discretely located traps can ensure that a pesticide is not used in a broadcast manner and disposed of properly. However, many traps and baits, such as the Snailer, will work with bread dough and water without the need for additional pesticide, as they bar pests from exiting and cause the slug or snail to drown.'


NCAP factsheets - solutions

PANNA links to alternatives fact sheet

  • Flies  from University of California IPM Online
  • Moths and Carpet Beetles (alternatives to mothballs)from 'Bugs'
  • and many more, some about the same pests as the ones covered in Beyond Pesticides and NCAP.

University of Saskatchewan

Governmenet of Canada

  • Chinch Bugs description and cultural management. Add that a wet bac will pick up 100 % of eggs, larvae and adults. Not present in SK.

National Geographic videos on insect and invertebrate parasites in action

 Invasive Species Centre in Sault Sainte-Marie, Ontario. There is mention of chemical control of many species but usually in the form of painting a cut trunk or wicking in small areas. In the fact sheets I looked at, there were other more effective methods. There is extensive information of each species and extensive information of all control methods previously tried including biological. Also info on invasive plants, as well as invasive insects, fish and invertebrates, aquatic plants, and pathogens.

Viruses Shown to Be Effective Biological Control (Beyond Pesticides, November 30, 2023) Scientists at Minami Kyushu University in Japan have made a groundbreaking discovery of a new biological control for a target insect. They have identified a virus in tobacco cutworms that kills males, creating all-female generations. The discovery was described in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences and The New York Times as evidence that multiple viruses have evolved to kill male insects...  This “male-killing” virus could be added to the growing attempts to control unwanted insects with biological, as distinguished from genetically engineered (GE) solutions.

Eliminating Pesticides Increases Crop Yields, Debunking Myth of Pesticide Benefits (Beyond Pesticides, February 12, 2021) Recent research points to an example of such ecosystem efficacy. The study, by researchers in California and China, sought to evaluate whether increased population densities of fungi might be suppressing nematode populations in California production fields frequently planted with the cole crops (such as brussels sprouts and broccoli) they favor. The research finds that a diverse population of fungi in soils is highly likely to be effectively killing nematodes that threaten such crops. These research results demonstrate how faulty the use of fungicides — which in 2012 amounted to 105 million pounds in the U.S — is likely to be. These compounds destroy fungi that provide a variety of beneficial and economically valuable ecosystem (and crop) services. Fungi decompose and recycle nutrients, improve moisture retention, and even act as biological controls for some fungal diseases. Many other pesticides, including glyphosate (which is an antibiotic) threaten microbial life, as well.

Biological Management Has Added Billions in Benefits to Agricultural Economies    (Beyond Pesticides, September 29, 2020) 'While the green revolution is often heralded in conventional agriculture circles as the key agricultural innovation of the last century, new research finds that biological controls likely had a bigger beneficial impact on world crop production.   The success of these programs had critically important implications for agricultural economies in the region. “Biological control delivered durable pest control in myriad Asia-Pacific agriculture sectors, permitting yield-loss recoveries up to 73%, 81% and 100% in cassava, banana and coconut crops respectively, said Dr. Furlong.'

Good news for Canadian bees, other pollinators and gardeners – major garden centres shut down use of neonic pesticides   (Friends of the Earth, 12 June, 2019)  'Top place for neonic-free flowering plants goes to two big box chain stores and one regional chain: Home Depot, Lowes (which includes RONA and Reno-Depot Corporate stores across Canada and Sheridan Nurseries in Ontario.  As a close second, Canadian Tire Corporation reported that it has reached 95% neonicotinoid free. Home Hardware reports 100% neonic-free products from its distribution centres, but Friends of the Earth notes that many Home Hardware stores host local nurseries and it is not clear that their plants are neonic-free. Both Costco and Walmart report progress in removing neonics on their websites, but are not reporting on Canadian-specific markets. Loblaw, with the largest number of outlets – some 2500 in Canada – is recycling its 2016 statement saying that since 2014 it has been “developing a plan”. Empire Company, which owns Sobey, IGA, Safeway and other stores, has not responded to Friends of the Earth. '...there is no response from Atlantic Canada’s Kent Chain, Quebec’s Botanix Garden Centres or BC’s Art Knapp PlantlandFriends of the Earth hopes they will respond soon.'  SNAP Comment: at least in Ontario. It has happened many times that, as pesticides got banned in Ontario. they were shipped West because we had no pesticide law yet. I hope the same isn't true for bedding plants. However, this is a survey so hopefully the companies answered truthfully. Always ask for neonicotinoid-free plants.

Coconut-Derived Insect Repellent More Effective than the Hazardous DEET  (Beyond Pesticides, November 6, 2018) 'Scientists... have discovered natural compounds derived from coconut oil that are more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, bed bugs and other insects. Given the long-lasting efficacy of the compounds researchers tested, commercialization could make the regular use of toxic insect repellents, like DEET, obsolete. Scientists zeroed in on a blend of C8 (caprylic acid), C10 (capric acid), and C12 (lauric acid) fatty acids as the most effective repellent mixture. Individually, only C12 exhibited anywhere near the same efficacy as the specific blend identified.'

Bugs  additional fact sheets Living with Bugs: Least-toxic Solutions to Everyday Bug Problems by Jack DeAngelis, Ohio State University, 2009, companion book to ‘Bugs website, covering 50+ most common household pests with drawings and photographs to help with identification

             Cockroaches (information below)

Many of these pests and more are each covered by a slide in the power point presentation of SNAP's Organic Gardening class. Also see Additonal information below

If you do a google search on ants, aphids, or any pest you are dealing with on the major websites I have listed in alternatives (NCAPPANNA, or Beyond Pesticides), you can likely find other ideas and a much more complete answer.

Below is extra information on ants, aphids, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, grasshoppers, lice, mosquitoes and ticks.