Many types of flowers require insects for pollination. However, certain types of insects damage flowers and destroy plants. Although numerous types of insecticides remove these harmful pests, chemical insecticides pose a danger to pets and children, as well as the detested insects. Some nontoxic treatments safely remove insects from summer flowers, without damaging the plants or endangering the health of humans and animals.
Consider the natural food chain when treating your flowers for insects. Not all garden creatures damage the flowers; some enhance the health of the flower bed. Ladybugs eat thrips, both the adults and nymphs. Thrips are miniscule insects that feed upon summer flowers. Thrips in flowers create the appearance of dry, white tissue on the blossoms and foliage of affected plants. Releasing ladybugs into areas infested with thrips quickly resolves this problem. Other predators that protect the health of your flowers include praying mantis, green lacewings, garden snakes, frogs and lizards.
Various types of oils remove and deter bugs from summer flowers. These oils work by blocking the insects’ breathing apparatus, causing asphyxiation. Certain oils also interfere with some insects’ ability to metabolize food. Oils effectively remove insects from flowers when directly sprayed onto the foliage, blossoms and soil. Useful oils include cottonseed, soybean and vegetable oils. These oils rapidly evaporate, creating the need to reapply often. Avoid petroleum oils, which cause injury to plants.
Placing baits and traps in the flower bed safely removes many types of insects. Baits draw the insects into the traps, where they perish and die. To kill aphids, fill a brightly colored container with a little water, place it in the soil near the affected flowers. Aphids, attracted by the bright color, crawl into the water and drown.
Many plants contain compounds that deter insects. Place deterrent plants near flowers to avoid damage from insects. Strategically plant garlic, chives, anise and cilantro plants throughout your flower beds in order to safely discourage pests. Keep these deterrent plants in pots and move them from one area of the flower bed to another.