Best Pesticide

Hi, I am new to gardening outdoors (1st time). I have a huge insect problem with:
green beans tomato green bell pepper jalapeno
Onions, carrots and pickling cucumbers look fine, but they are still small.
My garden is located very close to a wooded area. Everthing is growing well, but the bugs are eating the leaves. I've tried a mixture of water, dish soap and vinegar, but it's not helping. I'm not sure what type of insects are eating the plants. If it helps, I had a ~4 inch basil plant in the garden that was eaten in two days. Any suggestions on a good/harmless pesticide? TIA
Mike
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On 17 Jun 2004 19:28:34 -0700 in
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (maldrich) graced the world with this thought:

The best way of dealing with something is to know what it is you're dealing with. If there isn't anything you see during the day, go out at night with a flashlight. Look at the leaves with a magnifying glass and see if there's any tiny critters. Do you have snails/slugs in your area? They're notorious "invisible" culprits, and would be highly suspect if they do live there (like they do here....) For what it's worth, surrounding your plants/bed with bare copper wire will keep snails and slugs out. And, what works for one pest may not work for the next, this is the main reason you need to have a good idea what you're dealing with.
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