Leaf Skeletonizer In Your Garden
How to control leaf skeletonizer
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 is 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 and will be able to eliminate this problem with the information which 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 so nicely.
However, our gardens and landscapes are always under attack by insect pests. There are many methods that are used in bringing these garden insect pests under control such as
1. Mechinal Control-Which involves the use of pruning and handpicking
2. Chemical Control-Which involves the use of chemicals such as insecticidal soap sprays, organics and other pesticides that can be harmful to humans and pets which should be used with caution by reading the manufactures label and following the direction.
3. Biological Control-Which involves the use of good bugs such as ladybugs, praying mantis, mealybug destroyer etc… to get rid of insect pest.
Each of these methods has its advantages over garden insect pests based on timing. A garden issue that affects many garden plants is the leaf skeletonizer that causes severe damage to plants.
Many home gardeners are confused when facing this problem without a clue as to what it is or what to do. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the leaf skeletonizer and how to bring this pest problem under control.
What is leaf skeletonizer?
Leaf skeletonizer is when the leaves of your garden plants are so damaged that there is nothing left except the rib structure or skeleton if I can use that word. The garden pests that are responsible for this destruction is this moth that’s in this photo.
How does leaf skeletonizer works?
The adult moth lays her eggs on the underside of the plant leaves in a cluster, the reason for the adult moth laying her eggs on the underside of the leaves is to protect her eggs from predator insects and the elements such as the sun, rain and wind.
Once the eggs have hatched the larvae start feeding on the leaves. These larvae are heavy feeders or have a huge appetite, this is the reason for such destruction. The lifecycle of these larvae includes five stages. With each stage, the larvae grow larger.
As we all know plants manufacture their food by means of a process call photosynthesis, which is made possible by the plant leaves that contain chlorophyll, because of the leaves being skeletonized the plant is unable to produce its foods when this happens your garden plant goes under further stress which puts the entire plant in danger of dying.
That’s why it is so important to deal with this issue immediately seeking to eliminate the insect pest that is responsible for this bringing this problem under control.
Leaf skeletonizer in your garden
How to control these insects
Controlling these insects and bringing them under control is the first step in the right direction to help your garden plants recover.
Proper cultural practice is a great way to lessen that chance of your garden plants falling prey to this issue and if your garden plants should fall prey these practices along with proper treatment will cause your plant to bounce back. Meeting the full requirements of your garden plant is so important. These requirements include
1. Proper location of your garden plant as far as light requirements are concerned.
2. The right soil type.
3. Giving your garden plants the right amount of water.
4. Placing your plants on a fertilizer program and follow feeding directions that are found on the manufacturer’s label.
Mechinal control is a good method to implement in the war against these insects. Handpicking-with a flashlight at nighttime take a walk in your garden, you are sure to find some of these insect pests.
Also pruning and eliminating infected leaves properly will also help in bringing these insect pests under control.
A word of caution here, when using chemicals apply the lease toxic first seeking to get results and always follow the manufacturer’s direction that is on the label because as I was thought by my instructor that the label is the law. Here are some chemicals which have proven to be effective.
1. Bacillus thuringiense.
2. Insectdial soap spray.
3. Horticultural grade oil.
4. Neem oil.
5. Bayer advance vegetable and garden insect spray rts.
6. Bayer advance vegetable and garden insect spray.
The final word
Don’t despair all is not lost though your garden plants may be sickly and fighting for their lives with your help and by implementing these steps your garden plants will bounce back to good health performing at their best being something you can be proud of.