Although it seems rather easy to set up gardening and pest control, there are many things that you must consider first. In fact, many of the things that you’ll read about here are not discussed often. Before you start your garden pest control, consider this…
Gardening and pest control is at least as old as agriculture. It’s an industry that’s growing rapidly. The pest control business has grown more than 50 percent in the last 5 years or so, and nationwide it has become a $7 billion industry.
With more homes being built in rural areas the problem of pest control has become more urgent.
What is Gardening and Pest Control?
It’s basically the reduction or eradication of pests. Whereas structural pest control is the control of household pests and wood-destroying pests and organisms or such other pests which may invade households or structures, gardening and pest control tends to be the control of pests that are affecting your plants, lawn and/or soil. That can sometimes spill over into the house as well, but by and large, it’s the garden we’re talking about here.
In order to protect our growing areas as well as our health, proper gardening and pest control is a necessity. It is often ignored until pests and their damage are discovered or it has got out of hand. Well there are measures you can take to help eradicate the problem.
How Do We Control Pests in the Garden?
Many people see gardening and pest control as a do-it-yourself job. Well that’s fair enough – up to a point. Gardening pest control is like visiting the doctor: to prescribe effective treatment your physician must correctly diagnose the problem and determine the extent of the injury as well as the potential for further injury. In surveys, it’s been found that many householders don’t bother to read the instructions carefully or feel the need to vary the instructions ‘because they feel they know better’.
That leads to over-concentrated doses of insecticide for example which could be hazardous to your health and any visitors. Of course we are specifically referring to chemicals, as chemical pest control is still the predominant type today. However, that said, the long-term effects of chemicals has led to a renewed interest in traditional and biological pest control towards the end of the 20th century.
For those who don’t do DIY gardening and pest control, there is the option of monthly visits from your local company. One advantage is that someone should be looking at your house and garden for pest problems regularly. One disadvantage is that homeowners insist that PCOs apply a chemical treatment monthly whether there is a pest problem or not!
The facts of pesticide use in the home and garden are very surprising:
- Each year 67 million pounds of pesticides are applied to lawns.
- Suburban lawns and gardens receive far heavier pesticide applications per acre than most agricultural areas.
Think before you spray a pesticide. You may kill the insects that are helping you keep pests in check. This means you will have to spray more in the future. Also, insects benefit your garden by pollinating your plants, helping them grow and propagate. Don’t use persistent, broad-spectrum, contact insecticides like diazinon, malathion and carbaryl. These provide only temporary pest control and are likely to kill more of the natural enemies than the pests. When their enemies are gone, pest populations may soar and become more of a problem than before they were sprayed.
Most consumers also don’t realize how potentially harmful they can be:
- Pesticides are easily tracked indoors — an EPA study found 23 pesticides in dust and air inside homes.
- Lawn chemicals can harm pets. Dog owners who use the herbicide 2,4,-D four or more times per season, double their dog’s risk of developing lymphoma.
It’s an eye-opening shock isn’t it? Can we really, really not be without these methods of pest control?
Gardening and Natural Pest Control
We believe the logical approach to gardening and pest control is to create a balance of organisms in your yard or garden. Natural pest control is less expensive than buying and applying pesticides, and it’s safer for your garden, natural wildlife and the environment.
Let’s look at some hints and tips to help your gardening and pest control:
- Beneficial insects that prey on problem bugs are available for sale
- If a plant, even a tree, has insect pest or disease problems every year, it’s time to replace it with a more tolerant variety, or another type of plant that doesn’t have these problems.
- By preventing pests from reaching your plants, you can avoid the damage they cause. And in cases where you only see a few pests, physically removing them can often keep the problem under control.
Let’s also look at some useful bugs you want to encourage in your garden:
Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.)