Organic Pesticides and Insecticides are Effective!

We maintain a strict chemical free operation - no chemicals of any kind! No pesticides, insecticides, antibiotics for any animals. Antiobiotics are used when an animal is sick, but never as a strictly preventative measure.

In order to utilize truly organic pesticides, we use products found in nature and sometimes nature itself. Chemicals do greater harm to the environment and have a much longer negative effect than people realize. Chemicals destroy the good bugs and insects that can actually eliminate the bad insects and/or make the earth more fertile.

Fly Predators

In order to control flies in the summer, we use organic pesticides such as Fly Predators from Spalding Labs.

How do they work?

According to Spalding Labs, Fly Predators stop pest flies by 'taking over' the fly's cocoon and this kills the immature fly. By keeping the 'good' Fly Predator population elevated, with regular releases, the 'bad' pest fly population can be nearly eradicated. Fly Predators do not totally eliminate the fly problem - they minimize it.

By putting out Fly Predators every month, we prevent the buildup of pest flies, which is much easier than getting rid of adult flies which is only 10% of the fly population.

Spalding Labs will help you calculate the number of Fly Predators you need based on the number and type of livestock on your property.

Spalding Labs - Fly Control

We have used Fly Predators for two years now and have noticeably fewer flies than our farm friends and neighbors.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is ground fossil shells from the remains of single-cell algae called diatoms. Our cattle and pigs have this organic pesticide available to them free choice. It is a natural way to control internal parasites and the animals will consume it as they need it. Check your local feed store for this food grade powder, or check out Ohio Earth Foods for more information and pricing.

Our cats and rabbits have Diatomaceous Earth sprinkled on their food once a week to keep them free of worms.

Our chickens love to roll in the dust, but since they are housed in a portable coop, they don't have a chance to create a good 'dust bowl'. To compensate, we move a children's small plastic swimming pool along with their coop and keep it filled with sand and diatomaceous earth. This helps keep the mites away and the chickens happy.

Vegetable Oil

For Pigs:

To combat the common swine problem of lice, we coat the pigs with vegetable oil. (Pig lice is not transferable to humans or other species of animal on your farm.) Two weeks later we coat them again to kill any lice that have emerged from the eggs that existed two weeks ago and have now hatched. The vegetable oil smothers the lice without contaminating the pig or the pastures with chemicals.

For Rabbits:

Vegetable oil can also be used to combat ear mites in rabbits. The vegetable oil smothers the mites without coating the rabbit with any chemicals.

For Cattle:

To combat lice problems, we pour vegetable oil down the middle of their backs and let it coat their skin. (Cattle lice is not transferable to humans or other species of animal on your farm.) Two weeks later we coat them again to kill any lice that have emerged from the eggs that existed two weeks ago and have now hatched. The vegetable oil smothers the lice without contaminating the cattle or the pastures with chemicals.

Organic Dormant Oil

Organic pesticides can often be found right in your pantry! Dormant oil sprayed on fruit trees smothers disease causing fungi, insects and their eggs when applied in very early spring before buds begin to open.

Organic Dormant Oil Recipe:

1 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons liquid dish soap

1 gallon water

Combine soap and oil and stir to blend thoroughly. Add water a bit at a time, stirring as you go. Pour the mixture into a clean garden spray container. Spray a coat of the mixture over the entire bark of a tree. Shake container frequently while spraying.

One gallon of this mixture will treat one tree.

Spray over the bark of fruit trees in early spring before the buds begin to open.

BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis)

This is a bacteria that naturally occurs in soil. These bacteria paralyze the digestive tracts of larvae.

This is usually applied to plants and then ingested by pests.

Btk is effective on cabbage loopers, imported cabbageworms, tomato hornworms, European corn borers, and other pests.

Btsd kills larvae of the Colorado potato beetle.

Bti kills mosquitos, black flies and fungus gnats.

Bats are also a great way to effectively and naturally reduce your mosquito population.

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in standing water, we use Mosquito Torpedos from Spalding Labs in our water troughs.

Beneficial Insects

The best way to eliminate the bad bugs is to bring good bugs to destroy them naturally. Plant hedgerows and flowering plants that attract beneficial insects.


Ladybugs (a.k.a. lady beetles or ladybird beetles) can eat 50 to 60 aphids a day.

They will also eat mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites, and various other soft-bodied insects.


Aphids may be green, black, brown, red, pink, or another color. They are slow moving and range in size from 1/16 to 1/8 inch long. Aphids suck great quantities of sap, causing leaves and stems to become distorted. Some plant sap is secreted as honeydew which makes the plant sticky

Praying Mantis

One egg case contains about 200 baby praying mantis.

Use 3 cases per 5,000 square feet or 10-100 cases per year per acre.

Young praying mantis will eat aphids, leafhoppers, mosquitos, caterpillar and other soft-bodies insects.

Adult praying mantis will eat beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and other nuisance insects.

Companion Planting

Certain flowers and herbs grown near other crops are know to deter pests, improve vigor, and increase yields.

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Diversify With Multiple Species


Multi-species grazing is a natural way of controlling both internal and external parasites. We have a mobile chicken coop that we move to follow the cattle. The idea being that they will scratch through the manure eating bugs and spreading the manure - much more cost efficient that filling a manure spreader, hooking it to a tractor and spreading the manure where it's needed.

100 hens will eat 7 lbs of bug protein each day: grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, worms, caterpillars, grubs and larvae. The hens should follow within 4 days of the pasture occupied by the cattle since the fly cycle is four days. More than 4 days and the flies will have already hatched.

Of course, as an added benefit, we collect delicious organic eggs from our chickens. We sell eggs to neighbors, and occasionally feed excess eggs to our pigs - they love them!

The next animal we hope to add to our farm is sheep. Since they are also ruminants, they fit right in with our grass based operation.


With small children around, leaving poison around to take care of any mouse population is simply not an option! Cats are very low maintenance but do a great job ridding our property of mice, chipmunks, moles, and rats (yes, rats are present in the spring thanks to our neighbor's practice of home deer processing).


Placing a bat house on the south side of a barn wall is a good start to attracting bats to your property. They do a great job keeping the mosquito population to a minimum. One bat will eat its own weight in insects in a single night.

Chemical poisons kill natural mosquito predators more effectively than mosquitos.

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This is a comprehensive guide to 'going green' for farmers, landscapers and managers. It contains detailed, proven instructions on the key components of organic landscaping - soil building, correct planting techniques, fertilizing, pest control and more.

Have you tried any of these suggestions? Were your results positive? Do you have other suggestions that worked?

Return from Organic Pesticides to Grass Fed Beef

Return from Organic Pesticides to Grass Fed Meat

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