Organic Pesticides for Gardens

Organic gardening is a process of gardening with the use of organic and natural materials. It involves all phases of gardening. Organic gardening is safer and healthier. Chemical pesticides and botanical and mineral based pesticides both have toxicity ratings based on danger to humans, animals, and the environment. They range from CAUTION, WARNING, or DANGER. Botanical ones can still be used in organic gardens because they are lower in toxicity.


Sabadilla is a botanical pesticide that comes from the seeds of the sabadilla lily. The active ingredient is veratrine, which is one of the least toxic of the botanical insecticides, althout it can be irritating to the eyes and cause sneezing if inhaled. Sebadilla breaks down rapidly in sunlight. Sabadilla will affect caterpillars, thrips, and stink bugs directly by contact or by stomach poisoning upon ingestion.


Neem is a botanical pesticide that comes from the neem tree of India. Neem seeds contain high concentrations of azadirachtin and other active chemical compounds. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered Neemguard, Turplex, and Margosan-O for preventing the feeding activity of some moths and their larvae. They also affect the growth of the larvae by stunting them and preventing molting into the next life stage, thus causing death.


Rotenone is a resinous compound that comes from the extract of the derris plant in Asia and cube plants in South America. It is commonly used to control leaf-feeding caterpillars, beetles and aphids on contact or by stomach poisoning. This pesticide is highly toxic to fish from runoff into lakes and streams, somewhat toxic to mammals, but has no harmful residue on plants. Rotenone can be used either as a dust or spray, and masks are recommended during application.

Nicotine Sulfate

Nicotine Sulfate is a botanical pesticide extracted from tobacco. It is highly toxic to warm-blooded animals and is quickly soaked up through the skin. Due to the fact that it breaks down quickly in the environment, it is legal to use on organically grown crops. Nicotine Sulfate is usually sold as a 40 percent concentrated liquid, which is diluted with water and used as a spray. It helps eliminate piece-sucking insects such as aphids and thrips. It is more effective in warm weather.

Keywords: Organic Gardening, Organic Pesticides, Pesticides Garden

About this Author

Sheri Engstrom has been writing for 15 years. She is currently a gardening writer for Demand Studios. Engstrom completed the master gardener program at the University of Minnesota Extension service. She is published in their book "The Best Plants for 30 Tough Sites." She is also the online education examiner Minneapolis for