Garden PestsGuide to Common Insect Pests and How to Control them Naturally.
How do Gardens Alive® products differ from synthetic chemical pesticides?
For two decades, Gardens Alive! had endeavored to help gardeners enjoy the bounty of their efforts using products that are environmentally responsible. Our pest control recommendations are based on our own gardening experience and annual field trials, along with research conducted by organic growers, universities and government labs.
How can you reduce your need for chemical pesticides?
There are many ways besides chemical pesticides to reduce pest damage in your garden. Prevention is your first line of defense. When pest damage does occur, use a combination of biological and botanical controls, as well as traps and lures. Biological controls include beneficial insects (like lady beetles), parasites (such as beneficial nematodes) and pathogens (like Green Step™). Botanical controls, such as Liquid Rotenone/Pyrethrin and neem-based products, are derived from plants. Reintroduce beneficial’s to re-establish the balance of insect life in your garden.
Consult your County Extension agent to learn what pests are common in your area. When you can, choose pest-resistant varieties that are adapted to your area. Give plants the nutrients and water they need so they wont be stressed (Stressed plants are more susceptible to pest damage). Choose natural fertilizers, which release their nutrients gradually. Add organic matter, such as compost, to the soil to improve water retention and to encourage beneficial microorganisms. Good prevention also includes the use of row covers, weed barrier mats, beneficial nematodes and pheromone lure traps.
Inspect plants often so that you can spot problems early and take action before damage gets out of hand. If the problem has just started, simply introducing beneficial insects may be enough to provide control for the rest of the season. Traps, barriers and preventative measures still will be useful, too. If plant damage is more extensive, use Bulls-Eye™, Oil-Away™ Supreme, Pyola™ or botanical controls to halt the problem quickly. Grub-Away® Nematodes and Bt-based products such as Green Step™ also are effective at this stage for grubs, caterpillars and some other pests.
Keep in mind that insect pests often “Bounce back” much more quickly than beneficial insects. To prevent secondary pest outbreaks and to reduce the need for further use of harsher botanical insecticides, reintroduce lady beetles, beneficial nematodes and other beneficial’s.
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