6 Best Organic Pest Control Products of 2022 [Reviews]

Pest laying eggs on a leaf

Your pest control choices can be as “green” as your lawn and garden in their prime. When pests turn the luscious landscape you work so hard to maintain into a scraggly, brown mess, don’t reach for hazardous chemicals. Instead, try one of the best organic pest control products of the year. 

Organic pest control products are safe around your family and pets. They’re less likely to harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, and they won’t pollute groundwater, lakes, or rivers with unnatural chemicals. This lawn care season, give organic a try with one of our top picks!

Top 6 organic pest control products – Reviews

1. Best neem oil spray: Natria Ready-to-Use Neem Oil Spray 

Natria 706250A Neem Oil Spray for Plants Pest Organic Disease Control, 24 Ounce 8 Pack, Ready-to-Use

This neem oil spray from Natria is ready-to-use, which means it comes already mixed with water in the bottle, and you don’t have to dilute it yourself before spraying. It kills pests that you directly spray with it and remains on plants for up to 14 days to kill other pests that come along. The spray won’t wash off with rain, as long as it has 24 hours to dry.  

For best results, apply the spray to every part of your plants every seven to 14 days. If it’s a heavy pest problem or your plants have fungus (neem oil acts as a fungicide, too), apply every seven days. Apply in the early morning or evening (when pollinators are not actively foraging) to avoid contact with pollinators. 

For more use instructions, read the product label. If you want to research further before purchasing, you can view the entire product label online here

If you checked the product label and noticed the spray contains only 0.9% neem oil, don’t be alarmed. Remember, this product is diluted on purpose. The other 99.1% of its ingredients are water and emulsifying agents to keep the water and oil from separating. Emulsifiers are often used in food, so they’re safe for organic gardening. 

Pests this product controls:

  • Aphids
  • Armyworms
  • Bagworms
  • Beetles (including Japanese beetles)
  • Budworms
  • Budworms
  • Caterpillars
  • Fruit flies
  • Hornworms
  • Leafhoppers
  • Leafminers
  • Loopers
  • Mealybugs
  • Midges
  • Mites (including spider mites)
  • Psyllids
  • Scales
  • Whiteflies

Is this product OMRI listed? Yes; View the OMRI certificate

ProsCons
No diluting required
Lasting residual effects
Not as cost-effective as the concentrate version that you mix with water yourself
May irritate your pets if they get into it before it dries

2. Best spinosad spray: Monterey Garden Insect Spray

Monterey LG6150 Garden Insect Spray, Insecticide & Pesticide with Spinosad Concentrate, 16 oz

You’ll be impressed with how quickly Monterey’s Garden Insect Spray with spinosad eradicates pests if you use it according to the label instructions. For some pests (namely fire ants and thrips), this product has wiped out entire infestations in 24 hours with just one application. Plus, spinosad has residual effects for two to four weeks after application. 

Note that this product is a concentrate, which means you will have to mix it with water before spraying, or else you might harm your plants. Mix a ½ tablespoon (0.25 fluid ounces) of Garden Insect Spray per pint of water, 1 tablespoon (0.5 fluid ounces) per quart of water, or 4 tablespoons (2 fluid ounces) per gallon of water. Shake the mixture well before spraying.

Note: Be careful how much Monterey spray you mix at one time. Only mix as much as you need for one use. You won’t be able to use any leftover later, and it will go to waste. 

If you want the fast-acting results we described above, you have to apply this product to the underside and upper side of all the foliage on your infested plants. For more use instructions, view the product label

Pests this product controls:

  • Armyworms
  • Bagworms
  • Beetles
  • Cabbage loopers
  • Cat fleas
  • Caterpillars
  • Colorado potato beetles
  • Corn borers
  • Cutworms
  • Earworms
  • Fire ants
  • Fireworms
  • Fruit flies
  • Fruitworms
  • Gall midges
  • Husk flies
  • Katydids
  • Leafminers
  • Leafrollers
  • Loopers
  • Moths
  • Navel orangeworms
  • Peach twig borers
  • Sawflies
  • Shuckworms
  • Thrips
  • Webworms

Is this product OMRI listed? Yes; View the OMRI certificate

ProsCons
Fast-acting
Residual effects
Works on many pests
Have to dilute it yourself
Toxic to bees if they come in contact with it within three hours of application

3. Best natural insecticidal soap: Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap

Safer Brand 5110-6 Insect Killing Soap, 32 Oz.

Safer Brand’s Insect Killing Soap uses potassium salts of fatty acids as its active ingredient, which is gentle on plants and the environment but effective for killing soft-bodied pests. This soap also includes a special ingredient: seaweed. Seaweed is great for your plants, and studies show that it deters mites. 

The problem with this product is that it only kills on-contact. So, it will wipe out the pests you directly spray with it, but it won’t remain on the plant to kill other pests. If you don’t hit every pest, your infestation will likely continue. So, you have to apply this product quite often for good results (but that’s the case with any insecticidal soap). 

This insecticidal soap spray is ready-to-use when you buy it. You don’t have to dilute it. For best results, spray your infested plants thoroughly, to the point that the product runs off the leaves in streams. Test the product on a small section of your plant first before spraying it all over to make sure the plant doesn’t react negatively. 

Safer Brand recommends spraying your plants every 5 to 7 days, but more frequent applications may be necessary for you. We recommend spraying your plants any time you see pests on them, regardless of the time between applications. 

For more use instructions, see the product label or Safer Brand’s website.

Pests this product controls:

  • Aphids
  • Earwigs
  • Grasshoppers
  • Harlequin bugs
  • Leafhoppers
  • Mealybugs
  • Mites
  • Plant bugs
  • Psyllids
  • Sawfly larvae
  • Soft scales
  • Spider mites
  • Squash bugs
  • Blossom thrips
  • Whiteflies

Is this product OMRI listed? Yes; View the OMRI certificate

ProsCons
Super gentle on plants and the environment
Comes ready to use
No residual effects
Requires heavy use and frequent applications for effective control 

4. Best diatomaceous earth (DE) product: Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade with powder duster

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a powder made of the ground-up fossils of tiny aquatic creatures. Some products contain a certain percentage of other minerals or substances, but this product from Harris is 100% pure DE.  

Why else do we love this particular DE product? First of all, it comes with its own powder duster, so you don’t have to buy any additional equipment to apply the DE powder effectively and efficiently. 

Other benefits of choosing the Harris brand: This product is made entirely in the United States. Harris sources its DE from mines in Nevada and packages products in Georgia. Plus, the brand donates 10% of its profits to its local humane society, so you can impact the lives of other animals while protecting wildlife in your own backyard with organic pest control.

DE controls many lawn and garden pests, and you can use it indoors, too. This product has wiped out whole populations of common household pests such as roaches, fleas, and ants. Just keep a couple of things in mind if you’re using it indoors: 1) DE is essentially dust, so it can get messy, and 2) It causes irritation if it gets in your eyes or you breathe too much of it in, so be very careful using it around pets.  

A warning that goes for all DE: It isn’t effective once it gets wet. For best results, apply this product when you don’t expect rain for at least 24 hours. If the pests are still there after a rain, you’ll need to apply DE again. 

Pests this product controls:

  • Ants (excluding fire, harvester, carpenter, and pharaoh ants)
  • Aphids
  • Armyworms
  • Bagworms
  • Beetles
  • Bermudagrass mirids
  • Billbugs
  • Blowflies
  • Box elder bugs
  • Branch and twig borers ​
  • Cadelles
  • Cankerworms
  • Caterpillars
  • Chalcids
  • Loopers
  • Lygus
  • Maggots
  • Mealybugs
  • Millipedes
  • Mole crickets
  • Moths
  • Mushroom flies
  • Navel orangeworms
  • Orange tortrix
  • Pink bollworms
  • Potato tuberworms
  • Proba bugs
  • Cheese skippers
  • Cherry fruit flies
  • Clover mites
  • Cockroaches
  • Corn earworms
  • Crane flies
  • Crickets
  • Cross-striped cabbageworms
  • Dark mealworms
  • Earwigs
  • Eriophyid mites
  • Fireworms
  • Fruit flies
  • Fruitworms
  • Garden symphylan
  • Glassy winged sharpshooters
  • Psyllids
  • Scales
  • Sharpshooters
  • Shore flies
  • Silverfish
  • Skippers
  • Slugs
  • Southern chinch bugs
  • Sowbugs
  • Springtails
  • Squash bugs
  • Stink bugs
  • Gnats (including fungus gnats)
  • Grain mites
  • Grape leaf skeletonizers
  • Grasshoppers
  • Green bugs
  • Harlequin bugs
  • Hornworms
  • Imported cabbageworms
  • Katydids
  • Lace bugs
  • Leaf-footed plant bugs
  • Leafhoppers
  • Leafminers
  • Leafrollers
  • Leaftiers
  • Tarnished plant bugs
  • Thrips
  • Tomato budworms
  • Tomato bugs
  • Tomato pinworms
  • Tomato russet mites
  • Vinegar flies
  • Webworms
  • Weevils
  • Whiteflies
  • Yellow mealworms

Is this product OMRI listed? Yes; View the OMRI certificate

ProsCons
Controls many pests in the lawn, garden, and home
Pure DE with no additional substances
Comes with application tool 
Doesn’t work anymore after it gets wet
Causes irritation if you get it in your eyes or breathe in a lot of it

5. Best Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) product: Monterey B.t. Biological Insecticide

Monterey P-Monterey B.t. Concentrate 16 Ounce

Bacillus thuringiensis (commonly called Bt) is a natural bacteria that kills caterpillars and worms (not including earthworms), and boy does this concentrate from Monterey do the trick! It has eliminated whole infestations of cabbageworms, caterpillars on potted plants, tobacco worms on petunias, and more.

If you want success with this product, it’s very important to follow the application instructions on the product label. For one, since this product is a concentrate, you have to dilute it with water using the correct ratio. You can then spray it using a regular spray bottle or a hose-end sprayer (the label includes directions for each).

Another reason you have to follow the instructions carefully is that this product is only effective if the pests eat it. So, you have to spray it when the pests are feeding, usually in the morning or evening. Spray it all over the tops and bottoms of leaves so no matter where pests take a bite out of your plant, they’ll get a bite of Bt, too. 

You may still see pests crawling around your plants for a week or so after applying this product, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working. Bt doesn’t kill pests immediately. It causes them to stop eating, which eventually results in their death. 

You’ll likely have to reapply Monterey Bt after five to seven days for continued control. You also should reapply after heavy rains, which can wash the product off plant leaves. This concentrated form is a more economical choice than Monterey’s ready-to-use Bt spray because of the need for repeat applications. 

A note on shelf life: Some distributors claim this product has a shelf life of five years, but in real life, it’s often most effective in the first season you purchase it and less potent after one year. Also, if you store it outdoors or in a non-temperature-controlled garage or shed where it can get very hot or freeze, it may lose some of its potency.

Pests this product controls:

  • Bagworms
  • Cabbage loopers
  • Elm spanworms
  • Fall cankerworms
  • Fall webworms
  • Gypsy moths
  • Imported cabbageworms
  • Spring cankerworms
  • Tent caterpillars
  • Tomato hornworms
  • Other caterpillars and worm-type insects

Is this product OMRI listed? Yes; View the OMRI certificate

ProsCons
Great at eliminating worms and caterpillars that eat your plants
More cost-effective than ready-to-use sprays
Have to mix it yourself before spraying
Usually needs repeat applications
Not as effective after a year 

6. Best non-toxic pest trap: NiHome Non-Toxic Fly Catcher

NiHome 48-Pack Sticky Plant Bug Trap Indoor Outdoor Yellow Fly Catcher Nontoxic Odorless Home Garden Plant

These super-sticky traps from NiHome catch flies and other small pests buzzing around your plants. They have stakes so you can stick them in the ground or in pots, and they also come with twist ties you can use to attach the traps higher up on plants. 

Since these traps don’t use any toxic substances, they’re safe to use indoors or outdoors. Just beware: When we say the glue is super sticky, we mean SUPER sticky. If a pet swats at one of these or a small child grabs it, they’ll probably be walking around with a fly trap stuck to them until you help them remove it. 

The traps last for a long time, even outdoors. Sun and moisture don’t affect their stickiness, and you don’t have to replace them until they’re totally covered in bugs. Since one pack comes with 48 traps, you won’t need to restock for a while. 

This product has some limitations: While the traps are great at catching flies, gnats, and similar flying pests, they aren’t very effective for crawling pests that eat your plants, such as aphids. And while you can control minor infestations with these, a more thorough pest control product (like the others on this list) will likely be necessary for large infestations. 

Pests this product controls:

  • Small flying pests

Is this product OMRI listed? No

ProsCons
Sticky glue on both sides of each trap to catch as many pests as possible
Very easy to set up
Comes with 48 packs per trap 
Not very useful for crawling pests
Have to watch out for the glue around pets and small children and while you’re installing the traps
Two hands holding a minature house with yard in the background
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Buyers guide to organic pest control products

If you’re new to the world of organic pest control, you might not understand what the products on this list are or how they work. In this guide, we’ll explain more about the most popular types of organic pest control to help you figure out which is best for your lawn and garden. 

Types of organic pest control 

These are some of the most popular types of organic pest control products you’ll find while shopping. Most are represented in our top picks, but some are highly specific to your situation, so you’ll have to find the best option for yourself. 

  • Neem oil: Neem oil comes from the seeds of neem trees, and it contains the natural pesticide azadirachtin. There are two kinds of neem oil products available for you to buy.

    Pure neem oil contains azadirachtin and kills pests when they ingest it.

    Clarified hydrophobic neem oil, the more common of the two, has been processed and no longer contains azadirachtin, but it can still suffocate pests in immature stages, such as grubs and caterpillars.
  • Spinosad: Spinosad is made of fermented bacteria that naturally occur in soil. It kills bugs by paralyzing them, either on contact or when they eat leaves that have been treated.

    Spinosad is toxic to bees, but once it dries on your plants, it won’t bother the bees anymore. It’s also toxic to some marine mollusks, so it can cause problems for aquatic ecosystems if it gets into natural bodies of water.
  • Insecticidal soap: Insecticidal soaps are made using potassium salts of fatty acids, and they kill soft-bodied insects by dehydrating them and suffocating them.

    You can purchase insecticidal soap spray or make your own using certain soaps (NOT detergents) that contain no additives or fragrances.
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE): Diatoms are microscopic aquatic organisms. Diatomaceous earth is made by crushing diatom fossils into fine powder. To humans and other large animals (like pets), DE is soft. But for insects, the microscopic pieces have sharp edges that puncture their exoskeleton and lungs, killing them.

    DE can harm beneficial insects if it comes in contact with them, so spread DE on the ground, away from flowers where pollinators like bees and butterflies hang out.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt): Bt is a microbe that naturally occurs in soil. This microbe produces toxins that infect insect larvae if ingested. Once infected, an insect will stop eating altogether and starve.

    There are different strains of Bt to target different pests. Some strains are harmful to honeybees, so look out for that on the product label of any Bt insecticide you buy.
  • Pest traps: There are different types of pest traps. Some work like the one from NiHome in our top picks and simply catch pests with an adhesive. Others contain bait and poison that pests eat and pass on to other members of their colony if applicable.

    There are lots of recipes online for DIY eco-friendly bait traps for different types of pests, especially ant baits.
  • Beneficial nematodes: Nematodes are microscopic organisms that live in soil, and the beneficial nematodes prey on more than 200 insects that cause problems in the lawn and garden.

    You can buy live beneficial nematodes online or from garden centers, but the best place to buy them is directly from a producer, so you can make sure they’re alive and as fresh as possible when you get them. They have to be alive when you introduce them to your soil for them to be effective.

    There are several different species available for controlling different pests, so you have to find the right nematode species for whatever pest you’re dealing with. 
  • Milky spore: Milky spore is another bacterium that poisons insects when they eat it, but this one works only on Japanese beetle grubs. When the grubs eat the milky spores, their internal fluids turn to a milky consistency, and they die within a few weeks.

    Introducing milky spore to the soil can control the grub population for 10 to 20 years, but it takes a few years after application to see results.
  • Predator or parasitoid insects: There are many insects that eat common lawn and garden pests (predators) or that lay eggs inside pests, killing them (parasitoids).

    You can purchase many predator and parasitoid insects and introduce them to your yard to control pests, but the exact species you need to introduce totally depends on the pest you’re dealing with.
  • Homemade remedies: In addition to pest control products you can buy in stores, there are many organic home remedies you can make yourself that have proven effective for different pests. These might be sprays, baits, or simply a kitchen ingredient that repels a certain pest.

    A quick Google search will probably show you several homemade remedies to try for the pests in your lawn and garden. 

This video from Buzzfeed Nifty will show you how to make a few different homemade pesticide sprays with no harmful chemicals:

What does it mean to be OMRI listed?

While you’re researching organic pest control products, you’ll see the phrase “OMRI listed” all over the place. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is an international nonprofit that determines which products can be used in organic gardening based on USDA National Organic Program standards. 

If a product is OMRI listed, that means it has been thoroughly reviewed by experts and certified as organic. Using OMRI-listed products can give you peace of mind that what you’re using in your lawn and garden is truly organic. 

FAQ about organic pest control 

Does organic pest control really work?

Short answer: Yes! Organic pest control methods are effective for dealing with lawn and garden pests, but if you expect organic products to work exactly like chemicals, you will be disappointed. While most chemical pesticides kill insects immediately and indiscriminately, organic products require a little patience and forethought. 

Most organic pesticides need some time to lower pest populations. You might not see results for a few days or a few weeks, depending on the product — but that doesn’t mean it’s not working. Organic options are also more selective, so you have to identify the pest in your lawn and garden first and then choose the right type of organic pesticide for that species.  

But organic pest control is worth the wait and the work. When you use methods that don’t harm beneficial insects, those insects will prey on your pests and help keep populations down. Plus, pollinators like bees and butterflies help your garden produce more seeds and fruits for plant reproduction. 

Are organic pest control products more expensive?

Yes, in most cases, organic pest control products are more expensive than their chemical counterparts. Even if the cost is the same or less upfront, organic products often need more frequent applications than chemicals, which results in a higher cost in the long run.  

Remember, though: There are lots of DIY organic pest control options that cost far less than any products you can buy, whether organic or inorganic. If cost is keeping you from going organic, you should definitely look into homemade remedies before purchasing chemicals. 

Is neem oil organic?

Yes, neem oil is considered organic because it comes from the naturally occurring neem tree. But something you should know: Neem oil is slightly toxic to fish and other aquatic animals, and it can harm bees if you aren’t careful to avoid contact with them. 

Can you eat vegetables sprayed with organic pesticides?

One of the benefits of organic pesticides is that they aren’t toxic to humans, so, yes, it is safe to eat fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed with organic pesticides. Even so, you should always wash produce before eating it. 

Beyond the products: Cultural practices to prevent lawn and garden pests

Organic pest control products work best when they don’t have to work alone. You can use our picks for the best organic pest control products to eliminate pest infestations, but there’s also a lot you can do to prevent those infestations in the first place. 

Here are some lawn and garden care tips that will help prevent pests:

  • Keep your grass and plants healthy and remove any diseased or dead portions immediately. Pests attack sick and dying plants more often and more vigorously than healthy plants.
  • Don’t overwater your lawn and garden, as excess moisture attracts many pests. Learn how much water your grass type and plant species need to survive, then only water that much.
  • Dethatch your lawn to remove excess thatch, the layer of grass clippings and other plant matter that builds up in your lawn over time. Many pests make their homes in thick thatch.

    How thick is too thick? That depends on your grass type. Some grasses do well with more thatch than others. As a general rule of thumb, most people recommend dethatching when the layer is more than ¾ inch thick.
  • Encourage birds to live in your yard, as birds eat many common pests that plague lawns and gardens. 

With proper lawn care and garden maintenance, you may never need pest control products in the first place! And without proper care, your pest problems are only going to get worse, no matter what products you use. 

Don’t want to put in the work to prevent pests on your lawn? Let Lawn Love’s local lawn care pros put in the work for you. 

Main photo credit: Pixabay | Pexels

Jordan Ardoin

Jordan Ardoin is a writer and indoor plant enthusiast hailing from Florida. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her two cats around the house and trying to keep her houseplants alive.