I live in the tropics and love plants, esp. those that have air-purifying qualities and those that are edible. However, I have a fear of insects. My home right now has been free of ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches, rats because I have no plants at all, both inside and outside. But I’m building a new home and with larger land size, I hope to have a garden. With so many advances in science, are there truly effective ways to avoid insects, worms and rats? (I do know some can be beneficial to a garden)
A huge loud no. Part of you wants to garden. The other part is afraid of insects. There is no way you can do both. And you live in paradise.
I wish I could just give you what I know about insects...they are so dang amazing, very cool and we humans could not survive at all without them.
Very few insects are 'bad' guys. Seriously. There is not one insect species if I had the power would I exterminate. Insects are part of the structure of this life. Without them again, we will die.
What caused this insect fear? If this continues you will never go out of doors, you do know this yes? Agoraphobia? Something like that. Fear of insects will ruin your entire life. What have you done to ensure no mosquitoes, rats, ants, cockroaches is in your world? Did you use any pesticides I should know about?
You are telling me you want to garden. You NEED to garden! I can not imagine a world without dirt under my nails and the smell of wet soil. Preserving food; canning (oh so pretty), dehydrating (oh so easy) and storing potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots in a 'potato cellar'...just need to build one.
If you are this fearful about insects I would check out some great shrinks that can help you get over insects! Your problem is Entomophobia. Fear of insects. Sending a site to get you started. I want you to be able to get out of doors and garden and there is not one other gardener that will tell you otherwise.
Insects are brilliant creatures. Find a great entomologist. Learning about insects is the first step the most necessary step towards conquering this fear that if not checked will keep you isolated in the house.
Did I say that you will never be able to garden in the dirt out of doors without insects. They are a critical part of the soil, plants, this world! Perhaps, hydroponics in a sterile room if you don't want to go through the process undoing this fear.
I am hoping I am helping. I am not Ms.Tactful. I want you to be able to enjoy dirt and plants and sunlight and rain and well, insects are part and parcel a garden. Entomophobia
In short, no. Insects and other life forms within the soil (and there are billions, many of which you cannot see without a strong microscope, such as bacteria) are an essential part of an eco system, and life cannot exist without them. No one wants rats near or in their houses, or even in a garden, but insects are a critical part of bio diversity. Some, in large numbers, can become major pests, but its all about balance. Worms are particularly critical in soil, and may even occur in pots. Human beings are just part of the panoply of life forms on the planet, and without all those others, we would not survive.
Where you live, you likely have some very unpleasant and undesirable insects and other life forms; I have a phobia about spiders, but it doesn't stop me having a garden or pot plants both in and outside the house. In my experience, even without any plants, spiders appear inside the house anyway and must be dealt with, quaking with terror or not. And having to deal with them down the years has reduced my phobic reaction, although I daresay, were it possible in the UK, having a tarantula running about would be something I'd find very difficult to cope with, but it does seem, if you have to steel yourself to deal with a phobic reaction, it can be done, over time with controlled or limited exposure.
There may be certain plants which are known to be attractive to certain creatures that you could avoid, but since the spectrum of smaller life forms that you are afraid of is so broad, some tolerance of the more harmless and beneficial ones would be necessary. Perhaps some therapy for your phobia about these things would be the way forward; phobic, fearful reactions to certain things (spiders, snakes, large or small flying insects, vermin) are part of a normal, primal protective mechanism in humans, but when it's so wide ranging, it's a problem.
While the two existing No answers are generally correct, there is a Yes answer, here it is.
Yes; but it is not simple. You have to have a place to grow the plants that is insect free, then you have to add plants that don't have insects on them. The easiest way to do this is growing from seed in a Hydroponic Garden. Many plants depend on insects for fertilization (to make more plants), if you exclude insects you will need to manually assist the "fusion of gametes to initiate the development of a new individual organism".
Australia has a large number of indigenous species of spiders with fatal bites and in my limited experience the spiders are accepted as a fact of life. It's also affluent enough to afford whatever technologies it deems it needs. The fact that Australians don't generally do what you're considering makes me think it's either not possible or not practical. But there may be something out there so take a look at Australian spider control techniques.
Yes, move upstairs:
A more down to Earth solution is a plant growth chamber.
In your area new homes ought to be built to standards that take local conditions into account.
Along with watertight they should be pest-tight also. I rarely get bugs in my home, when I do I attempt to live-capture them and take them outside. If you like the exercise locate your garden in the back corner of your property, away from your home. If you want nothing to do with tiny pests move to Alaska.