Weeding out pests


POSTED: Friday, March 06, 2009

Tips from Brian and Imelda Cyr, who will lead a pest-management session at the Urban Garden Center on March 14:

» Start with a healthy plant. A plant given proper water, nutrients, air and light will be less vulnerable to pests and diseases.

» Monitor your garden at least once a week. Look for pests and pest damage. Examine all parts of your plants (atop and under leaves, around stems, in buds or developing fruit). Use a magnifying glass.

» Sticky tape or pheromone traps (available at garden shops) can help catch pests.

» To catch nocturnal creatures such as snails and slugs, place a piece of wood in the garden area. Snails and slugs will hide beneath it during the day, making it easier to locate and remove them.

» Remove leaves, debris and weeds that can hide pests. Clip off diseased and damaged leaves.

» Don't assume unknown insects are pests. They could be beneficial insects. Insect guides are available at public libraries.

» If your plants show damage, but no insects are found, consider other sources, such as wind damage, nutrient deficiency or animal pests.

» Keep pesticides in original containers or properly labeled bottles. Using unlabeled soda bottles or general house-cleaning bottles can lead to accidental poisoning.