I am sure all of you can identify with me that mosquitoes can be a real nuisance invading our outdoor as well as our indoor living spaces. Have you ever thought of spending some relaxing time outdoors seeking not only to get that much-needed fresh air as you connect with nature but to enjoy your beautifully maintained garden only to have those plans disturbed by mosquitoes?
The gooseberry plant or bush is “native to many parts of Europe and western Asia, this berry plant belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae and is commonly known as Amla, Indian gooseberry, and emblic myrobalans”. The gooseberry bush which is a citrus plant can be found growing naturally in rocky alpine thickets and the rocky woods in the lower country from France eastward, well into the Himalayas and peninsular India.
There are numerous insecticides that have been formulated to control garden insect pests and are sold under different trade names and brands. What I love about insecticides is their fast-acting effect, although some may deliver a quicker knock-down than others. Despite this fact, and as good as this sounds caution should be taken when turning to this method to control garden insect pests.
There are about 50 plus species of roses that range in so many colors, sizes, and shapes, most rose species are native to Asia while a smaller number are native to Europe, North America, and northwestern Africa. A rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae.
The Oregon grape is native to much of the western United States but grows mostly east of the Cascades from Central BC southward. This low-growing evergreen shrub produces pale yellow flowers form in long racemes of about eight inches. The leaves are blue-green turning dusky maroon during winter.
Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to control, these pests are a nuisance living off the blood of humans and animals, their bites are known to cause allergic reactions that can be fatal. Bed bugs also cause itching and sleep deprivation, their bites that cause itching can lead to secondary infections such as lymphangitis, ecthyma, and impetigo. Other health-related issues from bed bug bites include a swollen tongue, fever, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, blisters, and flu-like or nauseous feelings.
Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic and is a great way to control garden insect pests and other crawling insects this naturally occurring substance makes DE a must-have. As was discussed in my last article diatomaceous earth is a type of powder made from the sediment of fossilized algae found in bodies of water, such as streams, lakes rivers, and ocean beds. The cells of these algae were found to be high or have an abundance of a compound called silica. The dried sediment that is produced from fossils is said to be rich in silica.
Diatomaceous earth can also be used in edible gardens which makes DE a must-have, besides controlling garden insects we will be looking at other ways this natural substance can be of benefit in the garden.
Diatomaceous earth has made a name for itself earning its way into the hearts of gardeners, whether it’s a home garden that is to be taken care of or it may be on a wider scale such as commercial gardens even farmlands one thing is clear however and that is when pests issues arise many persons reach for DE that has proven to get the job done.
Diatomaceous earth is safe and non-toxic and is effective against all garden insect pests that crawl on plants. This is a contact powder that causes extreme dehydration. Once insects make contact diatomaceous earth absorbs the oils and the fat from the cuticle of the insect’s exoskeleton causing death because of dehydration.
Hibiscus are tropical/sub-tropical plants that produce an abundance of flowers that come in an array of colors, these perennials will enhance your garden with their many colorful blooms that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The hibiscus plant belongs to the mallow family Malvaceae and comprises some 679 species.
Besides its beautiful flower blooms, hibiscus is a hardy plant that can withstand harsh conditions but like other garden plants hibiscus also have its share of garden pests issues that can reduce a beautiful hibiscus to a nightmare. Some of these pests are mealybugs, the pink hibiscus mealybugs, thrips, aphids, scales, whiteflies, leafhoppers, fungus gnats, and the hibiscus sawfly. We will be discussing however the hibiscus sawfly and how we can bring control.
Mites are not spiders but are classed as arthropods and are among the most difficult garden pest to control, mites are closely related to ticks and spiders. The adult mites have eight legs and a piercing-sucking mouthpart that is like a hypodermic needle which they inject into the plant’s cells extracting the sap or the fluids.
Science estimates that there are at least 48,000 species of mites that can be found worldwide making this group a large family. Mites can be found just about anywhere, some of these places include crops, caves, pastures, salt and fresh water, thermal springs, and soils. Mites consume animal and plant matter, feeds on fungi, and assists in the decomposition of decaying organic material.
Some mites have also been known to affect human health, some of these health-related issues are minor to server skin irritation such as skin rashes, asthma, hay fever, and eczema which requires medical help. However, what I want us to turn our attention to are mites that affect ornamental plants and how to control them.
One of my favorite garden plants is Pentas, I have worked with these beauties on many landscape projects. Pentas is a genus of flowering plants that belong to the family Rubiaceae, this herbaceous perennial can be also grown as annuals and is native to Yemen East Africa thriving well in tropical regions such as the Arabian peninsula, Comoros, Madagascar, the Caribbean, South Florida, other tropical and sub-tropical regions.
Pentas also goes by the name Egyptian star flower and is commonly used as herbal medicine in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Uganda. What I love about Pentas is they are hardy-type plants that produce clusters of star-shaped flowers with colors of pink, white, purple, and red. Pentas are great to use in wildlife gardens to attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Pentas are known to be no-toxic and can reach heights of 1 to 3 feet, 3 to 8 feet, and are commonly grown as bedding or container plants.
As a landscape and garden professional for the past 25 years I have worked both outdoors and on the interior and a common thing I have discovered is the presence of garden insect pests that can become a real nuisance. I have worked on many beautiful garden projects and have seen that even in the most best-kept gardens insect pests will invade.
When garden insect pests show up at our doorsteps or should I say in our gardens we should treat them immediately when spotted. But in order to treat them, we must first identify them to employ the proper measures to eradicate them. There are many chemicals on the market which can be used to combat garden insect pest however, we must be very careful when handling these pesticides because if mishandled can cause more damage than good.
Understanding insect growth regulators and how to use them
The insect world is so vast, seeking to know all about them and their numbers will blow your mind, they are so diverse and many of them can adapt to the most unforgivable conditions. The presence of insects is and an indication that they are seeking food, shelter, and water but they can become a nuisance and if not brought under control can cause major damage.
It has been said that for every single human upon the planet there are more than 1 million insects which means that the insect world is vast and they outnumber us by far but not too worry as I often say there won’t be and invasion and if there ever is one which is unlikely we have the upper hand on them.
The hibiscus is a subtropical-tropical plant, this flowering beauty belongs to the mallow family Malvaceae. The hibiscus species are quite large, in fact, there are several hundred to choose from which produce stunning flowers that come in an array of colors. These perennials will provide your garden each year with beautiful flower bloom.
The bonus of using these plants as a part of your garden and landscape designs is hibiscus also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies and will have your garden oasis buzzing with activity. Hibiscus can grow up to as much as 15 ft, loves slightly acidic soil that is moist, loves the full sun, and prefers a fertilizer that is high in potassium to promote flower bloom.
Whether you’re growing tomatoes from your garden or from containers these fruits are delicious and will flavor your favorite salads and recipes giving that WOW. Not only will you be enjoying the flavors these fruits bring but the healthy side which is so beneficial to our health but what can put a damper on reaping a harvest is tomatoes which contract a disease.
All of that hard work will be paid off so don’t despair despite your tomatoes has disease issues you can still reap a harvest by following these methods as you nurse your tomato plants back to good health. Here are diseases to keep an eye on including how to treat them.
Ants are busy little insects that seem to be always involved in some sort of activity whether it’s looking for food, building a nest, or doing some other form of work we can be assured that these tiny insects are on the go continually. There are many species of ants that can be found in our homes and the home garden.
The presence of ants shows they are doing their part in bringing balance to our ecosystem, even if that means invading our gardens and landscapes. The downside to their presence is the awful sting they deliver, while some ants will not bite the fire ants are different and are known for their painful sting.
Creating your dream garden can be so rewarding especially as your plants are growing healthy and vibrant, there are so many garden types to chose from that it is just mind-blowing but what can really place a damper on things is to have uninvited guest invading our gardens seeking to make a meal out of our plants.
I have seen the damage of what garden pests can do turning a dream garden into a nightmare, there are so many pests which can wreak havoc but the good news is we can strike back and win the war on these garden insect pests by bringing their invasion to an acceptable level.
Creating a Chemical-Free Environment with these Natural Methods
7 Effective ways to Eliminate Garden Insect Pests without Harming Humans and Pets
Creating and maintaining a garden can be very rewarding as it offers so many benefits, but too often the homeowner is faced with having a war on their hands with the many uninvited guess or garden insect pests that seek to make a meal out of their garden plants.
This was my experience on many occasions, I remembered I would make these beautiful designs watching them grow healthy then out of nowhere it seem garden insect pests would appear which would cause me to go running for a chemical to eliminate them.
Uprooting and winning the war on this garden insect pests
The flip side of the coin
Before we jump into the discussion of the root mealybugs there is also a family of mealybugs that live above ground. These mealybugs can often be found clinging to the foliage of garden plants, especially on the undersides. The reason for these mealybugs clinging to the undersides is to be protected from the elements such as the wind, rain, sun and also predator insects.
In extreme cases, these bugs infest not only the undersides of the plant foliage but the leaves surface and the stems as well. I have treated these garden insect pest on numerous occasions both in the landscape and garden areas and also on the interior. Quick action must be taken because if left unchecked mealybugs will cause serious damage such as.
The world of insect pests has become a challenge attacking and destroying food crops that have mounted into the millions of dollars. These insect pests are not only a menace or limited to field crops but have found their way into our home gardens. The demand for ways to control these pests has risen, but even so, safer approaches have been sorted thereby making food crops along with shrubs, flowering plants, etc… free of contaminants.
While these garden insect pests may be a challenge some good has come out of this nightmare because these bugs are not only increasing the productions of products to control them but have also brought balance to the eco-system being consumed both by the more friendly bugs and alsowildlife. The downside to this, however, is that beneficial insect is being eliminated in garden areas which are treated for these insect pests.
Plant roots are like what the heart is to humans and if there is a problem that spells BIG trouble. A plant root system consists of fibrous roots or feeder roots an also tap roots, each plays a major role in the health and life of garden plants and then there are roots which are known as adventitious roots these roots grow above ground from leaves and stems. No matter the plant species, how big or small all of them have one thing in common and that is the root system which they produce and depend on to survive.
One of the key factors in having success with garden plants is having knowledge of the root system in relation to the plant species and their individual water requirements. While some plants thrive on a great amount of moisture there are others that require less water ( Cactuses, Bromeliads, ZZ plants). There is another factor that affects a plant’s root system and it is a must that we have some knowledge in this area to have success with our gardens.
Before we go into detail about Bacillus thuringinsis we will be taking a short trip into the insect world. The insect world is so vast, there are trillions of them upon the planet that affects our lives in so many ways. What we will be discussing are two types of insects that are found in our home gardens. Many garden insect pests pose a threat to our garden and landscaping plants, whether a home garden or the more exotic garden which are the upscale gardens that were created for public viewing.
We have such a garden like this that is known as the botanical garden which gets many visitors each year as persons check out the many plant species that grace this garden area along with enjoying the entertainment and native dishes that is prepared. Apart from us enjoying our garden plants there are many insects that also enjoy our plants not that they want to sit back and admire their beauty but rather to make a meal out of them causing nothing but death and destruction.
Neem oils are very popular and are used in so many ways. These oils can be used for acne, skin and hair care, etc… but what I love about the neem oils is that they can also be used in the garden. The oil type that is formulated for garden use has proven to be effective as many gardeners are having much success with these oils winning the war on garden insect pests which can really do lots of damage.
The challenge with many pesticides is they are not environmentally friendly and can cause harm when coming in contact with humans and pets. But what I love about the neem oil is that it’s a gardener’s dream. These oils are environmentally friendly and can be applied to garden ornamental plants even edible gardens.
The insect world is so vast that it is mind-blowing. My mentor told me many years ago that for every human upon the planet there is about a million or more insect which means that the human population is far outnumbered, not to be afraid though because if there was ever an insect invasion we would have the upper hand.
The subject of this topic is so vast that it is beyond the scope of this article, however, we will be looking at two groups of insects that are present in our gardens. No matter the style, type, or size of our gardens we can all agree that the presence of garden insects will always be seen. When it comes to garden insects they are divided into two groups the good bugs and the bad bugs.
We put time and effort into our gardens because what we want is to reap a good harvest. But what happens when everything is looking so promising and then out of nowhere it hits you. You face the issue of having to resolve why your garden plants are experiencing blossom drop.
This has been the unfortunate experience of so many gardeners which can become very frustrating leaving some without a clue as to what to do. The good news is if this describes you then you have come to the right place to understand and bring to an end your plant’s blossom drop issues.
I have been deciding for some time now to write on this topic and kept putting it off but what caused me or inspire me this week to give it a go was taking notice of a Giger tree in one of the gardens which are located at our international airport that has been skeletonized.
My goal in writing this post is also to help those that are experiencing these issues to be able to eliminate this problem with the information that is provided. It gives such a wonderful feeling to walk in our gardens and to take notice of how well each plant is performing and growing.
When it comes to the world of insecticides there are so many to choose from that offer good results but the challenge with many of these insecticides is while they may get the job done many are harmful to pets and humans which is not good news.
The goal when seeking to eliminate insect pests is just that, eliminating them without causing harm to our family and pets. These soap sprays (insecticidal soap) were formulated for this intention and that is to keep everybody safe and happy including our pets.
In this article, we will be looking at how to use these insecticides and other advantages of these soap sprays.
Giving your garden plants a fighting chance
Garden insect pests can be a menace to a garden that is well manicured whether interior or exterior. This has been my experience working on many garden projects. To combat these insects pest one of the insecticides that I resorted to were insecticidal soaps that have gained recognition because of what they can do.
11 Safe Homemade Remedies to Eliminate Garden Pests
A challenge to many home gardeners is winning the war on garden pests that seeks to make a meal of their garden plants and by also spreading diseases without plants having a fighting chance to survive.
This can be frustrating because acquiring the knowledge is the difference between coming to your plant’s rescue helping them bounce back to good health or reading them their final rights.
The good news is we can do something to give our garden plants a fighting chance with the use of chemicals but then there is the flip side of the coin because many insecticides are harmful to humans and pets. What we don’t want is to put our families and pets at risk besides spending a few bucks when that hard-earned dollar could go towards something else.
Here are 7 plants that can keep insects at bay. These seven plants have proven to get the job done.
The world of insects is so fascinating. In fact, it is estimated that there are more than 9 quintillion species of insect worldwide. Many of these insects invade our gardens, landscapes and homes. These insects are divided into two groups, the bad bugs that feed on and destroy our garden plants and the good bugs that police our gardens by feeding on the bad bugs. The good bugs are also known as beneficial insects. Bees are beneficial insects, they may not feed on the bad bugs but they contribute to our gardens by pollinating garden plants.
The world of plants is amazing because many of these garden pests can be brought under control by some of these plants that repel and consume garden pests.
That is all well and good but what about insects that invade our homes, how can we control them with plants. The advantage of using plants is that this is a natural way to control indoor insects vs using sprays which can be harmful to humans and pets.
While it is true that at some point insect sprays may be needed, it is good to limit their use so we can breathe pure air which helps in promoting good health.
Have you ever had a battle with indoor pests that sought to pay you a visit as you were in the kitchen preparing that delicious meal, or sitting at the dinner table?
I have worked in the landscape and gardening field for many years and have had the challenge of having to deal with the many garden insect pests that can really be a menace. To bring solutions to this problem in some instances I resorted to using chemicals that proved to be of good help.
But can you imagine maintaining a garden without pesticides through insects pest is present? Now I know this sounds strange because the question is how then do we deal with those pesky insects and maintain a healthy garden at the same time?
Having a beautiful garden can be such a wonderful and rewarding experience as you connect with nature by giving nature a helping hand. What I find interesting however is the many types of gardens that grace our landscapes.
But no matter the type or size of gardens we have we can all agree on one thing and that is having a garden does have its benefits. But even then every garden has its share of issues no matter the size or type that must be dealt with.
Working in the field of landscape and gardening for many years I have had to deal with many uninvited garden pests that sort to make a meal out of those beautiful gardens I labored so hard over.
Two pests, in particular, that menace are snails and slugs.
One of the surest ways to ensure that your plants are healthy at all times is to do a garden inspection or scouting and what that means is putting on those comfortable shoes and with a hand lens, pen, and notepad walking about in your garden and recording any findings that may be a threat to plant life.
In other words, you become a plant detective which is great because this is a sure way to notice and control any plant issues in the early stages.
This photo shows a picture of a ladybug that is a beneficial insect feeding on mealybugs that feed on garden plants.
It is a true garden fact for those of us who spend time in the great outdoors as we connect with nature, we face the challenge of having to wage war on those garden pests known as the bad bugs.
I have faced these garden pests many times before, there is nothing like having a garden that is growing so beautiful and then it almost knocks you off your feet to see there is some uninvited guest that has moved in and is making a feast of your garden plants.
Because of these garden pests, many methods of controlling these bad bugs have been applied to bring relief to the home and business owners.
Gardens add that flavour and bring that unique touch to our homes and office buildings. Besides the many benefits that a garden offers one of the main features of a garden is that it can increase the value of any property as long as it is maintained in the proper way.
One of the things that many homeowners and business establishment faced over the years is the challenge of having (uninvited guest) insects invade their gardens and landscapes.
In this article, we will be looking at insects that invade our homes and attacks our interior plants. Have you ever purchased a plant from your plant nursery hoping it would add flavor to that area that needed a facelift along with the hopes that this plant would also purify the air by removing impurities
only to find your plant not doing as well and starts to take on a sickly appearance, your trophy or your prize that you thought would purify the air along with adding beauty now becomes an eyesore? What went wrong?
There are many factors that can influence plant disease. We will be looking at some of these basic facts. While this article will not be covering all aspects of plant disease, we will be looking at some general information.
If plants are not cared for properly eg. in the case of overwatering, it can cause plant disease or the gardener may have used an infected tool that was not properly sterilized.
Also, it may be situations that are out of your control that trigger plant disease eg. rain is an environmental factor that is out of our control. It can cause a plant to get so much water that the soil becomes saturated or waterlogged.
For plant life to survive the right requirements must be met. This is known as “Proper Cultural Practices” meaning that plants must be placed in the right location whether full, partial, or filtered sun, also the proper soil medium is needed, the right amount of water, along with the correct type and amount of fertilizer and correct pruning methods.
When plant requirements are met, there is less chance that they will be attacked by insects because insects attack plants that are stressed.
Identifying Beneficial Insects and Garden Insect Pests
One of the many challenges that many homeowners and gardeners face is dealing with pests that not only invade but destroy our gardens. There is nothing more hurtful than laboring so hard to establish your dream garden by devoting weekend after weekend to give your yard a total makeover and in the midst of all that joy and excitement disaster strikes.
All of that hard work seems to be headed down the drain. Your lovely garden that was once the talk of the neighborhood is now nothing more than a thing of the past. Though all may seem hopeless, the good news is there is still a chance for recovery in the midst of your frustration.
One of the keys to pest control is to understand the conditions that cause them to thrive along with their life cycle. Garden insect is divided into two categories, In the two groups we have good bugs and then theirs is the bad bugs.
It is said that for every human being upon planet earth there are about a million or more bugs. So as you can see, the insect world outnumbers us, humans.
It is also a proven fact that the majority of bugs are good bugs so we see that the probability of us losing the battle with the right knowledge and care is very slim. In actuality, it is this small number of bad bugs that does all the damage to our vegetable garden, our herb garden, our fruit trees, our landscape, and even our interior plants.
So in this article, we will be looking at ways to destroy these pests that seek to become a menace to our landscapes and gardens. Research has also shown that we can not totally get rid of all those bad bugs, but what we can do is to keep them at an acceptable level where they will no longer be a threat by decreasing their population, the process of which the good bugs are used to control the bad bugs is called BIOLOGICAL CONTROL.
Biological control is an environmentally safe way to keep the bad bugs under control.
Now let’s begin our research with some of the good guys.
First of all, what is the purpose of these good bugs and how do they help us?
Well, the good news is that the good bugs feed on the bad bugs. They do not feed on our plants only on the bad bugs. You may have seen some of them in your garden but did not know what they were and mistook them for the bad bugs. Talk about the mistaking of an identity!
Can we now have the drum roll as we bring into the spotlight ‘the good guys?
Let me introduce to you ‘the ladybug’. Ladybugs are not bugs but are actually beetles. There are about 4,000 species of lady beetles worldwide. These beetles can be purchased online or from your local nursery.
As soon as they are delivered you can release them into your garden. The best time to release them is in the evening time so they don’t fly away. Once they are there the females will start laying their eggs which is an added bonus. Lady beetles feed on a whole list of insects including aphids, tomato hornworm, mealy bugs, scales, whitefly, mites, cabbage moth, broccoli worm, and a host of soft body insects
Those bad bugs don’t stand a chance with the praying mantis on the loose. There are about 2,500 species of praying mantis. The praying mantis gets its popular name because of how its two front legs are always bent like they are praying.
The life cycle of the praying mantis consists of three stages: The egg, nymph, and adult stage. These insects can be found mostly in warmer climates.
The majority of these insects can be found in the rainforest. Others can be found in Meadowlands, deserts, and grasslands. The praying mantis can also be purchased online or from your local nursery.
These insects feed on fruit flies, grasshoppers, spiders, whiteflies, moths, crickets, flies, cockroaches, aphids, caterpillars, mosquitoes, beetles, and other soft body insects.
Lacewing insects are another group of insects that you can release into your garden to control bad bugs such as spider mites, caterpillars, citrus mealybugs, aphids, thrips, cottony cushion scales, and other insects. The adult lacewing does not kill other insects but feeds on sweet nectar and pollen.
The lace larva eliminates bad bugs. The adult female lays her eggs on the foliage or leaves then after a few days, the eggs hatch and the larva emerges from the eggs.
Soldier beetles have a very beautiful color of orange mixed with spots of black. This beetle can be found in your garden feeding on aphids, mealy bugs, caterpillars, whiteflies, and other soft body garden pests but also including sad to say the beneficial insects.
You can check out your local garden nursery for this insect or you can attract them by planting goldenrod or catnip in your garden.
Damsel bugs are another one of the good guys that help to protect our gardens against these outlaw bugs whose only objective is death and destruction. Damsel bugs are a light brownish and white color.
These bugs feed on a host of insects including mealybugs, thrips, leafhoppers, caterpillars, and other soft body insects. They can be collected from alfalfa fields by using a net or you can check your nursery to see if they carry them.
Damsel bugs go through three stages which are egg, nymph, and adult. The eggs are laid in the stem of plants. Damsel bugs eggs hatch soon after they are laid. The nymphs shed their skin several times before entering adulthood.
Assassin bugs live up to their names by eliminating the bad bugs. These good guys have no mercy when it comes to the enemy. There are 135 species of assassin bugs worldwide. The male is somewhat large, it has thickened forewings with membranous tips for handling prey. Adults are black, reddish, or brown and have very small eyes. The assassin bug also has long slender legs and a narrow head. The assassin bug uses its needle-like beak to injure its enemy. It then injects a venom that paralyzes its victim. This venom liquefies the internal contents of its prey. The assassin bug then uses its straw-like beak and sucks out the contents.