Kids can deter pests and critters using organic gardening techniques, as no poison is safe. Kids can grow their food in organic raised bed gardens in a complex biological community creating conditions that make pest problems minimal. In the picture above, a row cover is used to deter pests and critters.
Kids can observe all kinds of bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, and ants pollinate the flowers necessary for fruit to set. Kids can also watch Ladybugs and praying mantises eat huge numbers of aphids that could destroy their crop. These beneficial insects are killed by pesticides along with the bad bugs, who have evolved into super-bugs after building immunity to the chemicals.
To have a sustainable organic garden, kids need to build a wire fence around their garden, have rich organic soil mulched with compost, and plant organic varieties that do well in local conditions. They need to plant herbs, marigolds, and nasturtiums that will attract pollinators and repel pests; intercrop veggies to plant with companion veggies; and practice crop rotation each season. Kids need to cover young seedlings with wire baskets, net fruit trees, use cover cloths to keep out cabbage moths, and hang old CD’s to keep birds, insects, and critters away.
Kids can handpick caterpillars and beetles off their plants early in the morning or in the evening when it is cool. Or they can use a blast of water from the hose to wash away bugs. Kids can put gritty barriers, like sand or gravel, around their plants to make it difficult for slugs and snails. Kids can encourage birds, who will eat hundreds of pests, by planting native shrubs and berries. Kids can build an owl house to encourage the best rodent catcher. Kids can create a pond to bring in lots of garden helpers, like dragonflies, frogs, and toads. Instead of using harmful chemicals that poison the food, the insects, and the wildlife, kids can practice pest prevention, observation, and good sanitation and create a balanced ecosystem.