Pest Control

At Spring Ledge our plants are not immune to pests. Here are some of our most common problems and their solutions.

Greenhouse

In the greenhouse, our most common insect problems are aphids, whiteflies, fungus gnats and thrips.

We control the aphids and whiteflies most easily with good sanitation practices and the prophalactic release of beneficial insects (“good bugs”). In case of a major outbreak of aphids or whiteflies, we rely on biorational controls such as Beuvaria bassiana (Botaniguard), Endeavor, and Safer soaps. These controls are naturally occuring pesticides in a concentrated form for use in greenhouse environments.

We control fungus gnats using preventive rates of Bt (Gnatrol) and prophilactic releases of nematodes (Steinernema feltiae & S. carpocapsae). We also control the environment by keeping algea and mold down and being careful not to over-water the plants.

We try to control thrips with releases of beneficial mites such as Hypoaspis miles and Neofallacis cucumeris. Thrips, however, tend to outwit our efforts and we use control measures including Beuvaria bassiana (Botaniguard), Conserve SC, a biorational substance, and in extreme cases, a stronger chemical.

Ugh…thrips! These buggers are tiny, live in the flowers and buds of plants, and cause feeding streaks on blossoms and leaves. These cosmetic problems are just the beginning. They also transmit several virus diseases. Yes, even plants can have viruses, and just like animals, there is no cure for the virus. Thrips transmit a particularly devastating pair of viruses. One is the Necrotic Impatiens Spotted Virus and the other is the Tobacco Mosaic Wilt Virus.

Field

Lets move on to field crop pests. Well, geez, I guess there aren’t any pests in the field, huh Tasha?

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