Control Yard Pests

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Information about Control Yard Pests

Published on February 28, 2008

Author: Camilla


Control Yard Pests Responsibly:  Control Yard Pests Responsibly Introduction Pests Define Identify Integrated Pest Management Prevention Cultural Biological Chemical Physical Attracting Beneficials Author: Rebecca McNair Pesticide Consequences:  Pesticide Consequences Synthetic chemical pesticides were introduced in the 1940’s to control agricultural pests; unfortunately there were some unexpected consequences… Hazardous to humans Residues in food Environmental impacts Pests developed resistance Expensive to use Cycle of Pesticide Dependency:  Cycle of Pesticide Dependency Many chemical pesticides are broad spectrum, killing not only target pests but also beneficial organisms that serve as natural pest control systems. NO natural controls Indiscriminate mortality- pests and beneficials Dependence on chemical pesticides Slide4:                              In the days following a pesticide treatment, pests reproduce faster than predatory insects. By killing off beneficial insects, pest populations flourish. After Thomas Weissling Tolerance:  Tolerance Some damage to plants is natural. Don’t strive for a pest free yard; instead, decide on a realistic threshold of damage. What is a Pest, really?:  What is a Pest, really? Pest- plant, animal, or other organism that is out of place Diseases, Weeds, Insects, Reptiles, Mammals, Arthropods Of all insect species in the world, less than 1 % are considered pests Am I a Pest? This depends on where I am feeding, in the yard or the butterfly garden. Aphids:  Aphids Piercing-sucking mouthparts allow it to feed on plant juices Causes stunting and curling on new terminal growth Excrete honeydew Parasitized aphid mummy Honeydew Scales:  Scales 2 types: soft and armored scale Piercing-sucking mouthparts allow it to feed on plant juices Damage: Chlorotic spots, leaf drop Soft scales excrete honeydew Sooty mold (shown here) is a fungus that grows on honeydew excretions. Watch for pinholes, indicating parasitism by a wasp. Mealybugs:  Mealybugs Soft scale with piercing- sucking mouthparts Cottony appearance on stems and leaves Sooty mold Whiteflies:  Whiteflies Piercing-sucking mouthparts allow it to feed on plant juices Infest lower leaf surfaces Damaged leaves appear spotted Sooty mold Transmit plant viruses Immature whiteflies also damage plants. Spider Mites:  Spider Mites Tiny Piercing-sucking Mites, eggs, cast skins, and webs visible with hand lens Leaves appear stippled High infestation rates lead to mite migration Nematodes:  Nematodes Roundworms Feed on root tissues Cause dieback, decline, chlorosis Identify under microscope Roots infected by root knot nematodes are swollen. Thrips:  Thrips Feed on flowers and young foliage Found on the underside of leaf Excrement is shiny-black Transmit plant diseases Damaged plants appear flecked or bleached Cause leaf and flower distortions and bud drop Plant Diseases:  Plant Diseases Disease occurs when an agent impairs the necessary functions of a plant Plant Environment Pathogen Leaf Spots:  Leaf Spots Algal, bacterial or fungal pathogens Enters through injured tissues Spread by splashing water, and insects Root Rot:  Root Rot Poor growth, thinning canopy Yellowing and leaf drop Branch or plant death Roots dark and rotted, strip off easily Due to excessive soil moisture Poor drainage Over-watering Planting too deep Shallow rooting Environmental Stresses :  Environmental Stresses Drought Nutrient deficiency Variations in pH Mechanical damage Cold damage Excessive water or fertilizer Many environmental effects are mistakenly treated as pest problems. Herbicides injured this tomato plant. Integrated Pest Management (IPM):  Integrated Pest Management (IPM) IPM is the coordinated use of pest and environmental information and available pest control methods To prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means With the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment Principles of IPM:  Principles of IPM Sustainable Prevention Cultural Practices Biological Methods Physical Methods Chemical Methods After Dr. Norman Leppla -using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged Prevention:  Prevention Our most sustainable pest control method involves avoiding the introduction of pests (into our country, state or yard). Buy pest-free plants Select plants adapted to your yard Select resistant varieties Avoid notoriously problematic plants Properly install and maintain plants Key Plant, Key Pest:  Some key plants are likely to be infested by key pests. For example, Azaleas are commonly infested by lacebugs, particularly if the azalea is planted in a sunny location. Key Plant, Key Pest Scouting:  Scouting Monitor plants routinely to aid in early detection of an insect, disease, or other problem. Look for: Favorable conditions for pests Signs and symptoms of pests The pests Damage to plant Leaf spot, leaf curl, feeding Frass- insect excretions Presence of natural enemies Cultural Practices:  Cultural Practices We can also avoid problems with insects and diseases through proper design, installation, and maintenance. Stressed plants are more susceptible to attack, like the Chinese Elm with crowded roots shown here. Water Wisely:  Water Wisely Water during the early morning, when leaves are already wet Avoid overhead irrigation of woody ornamentals Many foliar diseases gain entry into plants through the water remaining on leaves. Biological Control:  Biological Control The use of living organisms to control pests Lady beetles and their larvae feed on aphids and other soft bodied insects. They are commercially available in bulk. Predators Parasites Pathogens Predators:  Predators In general, predators are larger, faster, more aggressive and present in relatively fewer numbers than their prey. Assassin bug Predatory mite Bigeyed bugs are raised commercially to control whiteflies, spider mites, aphids, caterpillars, & thrips. Predators:  Predators Can kill large numbers of prey Generalists, rather than specialists Often social creatures Wasps, ants Wasps can also be pests if they congregate in the wrong places, like inside your home. Parasites:  Parasites Very specialized Often small Look for: A trail of bodies Exit holes Color changes Healthy aphids Parasitized aphids Pathogens:  Pathogens Naturally occurring insect diseases Bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa Often specific to host Lag time- may take a few days to provide control Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium that kills caterpillars, when ingested. Attract Beneficial Insects by: :  Attract Beneficial Insects by: Not using harmful pesticides Providing food Nectar and pollen Plant diversity Providing shelter Enhance vertical layers Food for Thought:  Food for Thought Many herbs and fragrant flowering plants attract natural enemies Gaillardia Milkweeds Goldenrod Echinacea Sunflower Clover Cilantro Dill Fennel Mustards Clover also fixes atmospheric nitrogen into a form available to other plants. As A Last Resort….:  As A Last Resort…. Sometimes, major pest damage reaches a level that is unacceptable to the observer. When all previous management efforts have been ineffective, individuals may wish to apply: Physical methods These are the least sustainable methods discussed because they are labor intensive, and often require repeated treatments. Chemical methods Physical Management:  Physical Management Remove pests by hand Remove infested parts Establish barriers to prevent pest access to plants Yellow sticky paper attracts whiteflies and other insects. These traps help to monitor pest populations in greenhouses. Chemicals:  Chemicals Choose least harmful pesticides Use selective pesticides rather than broad spectrum killers Spot treat where pests are abundant, rather than the entire yard Follow pesticide label instructions carefully Management Strategies:  Management Strategies “Sap Suckers”- (aphids, soft scales, mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites) Biological controls Soaps and oils Caterpillars- Bt Plant Chewers- (grasshoppers, beetles, leaf miners) Use a proper insecticide if damage warrants action Insect Management Strategies:  Management Strategies Leaf Spots- Avoid overhead irrigation Improve air circulation Sanitize- remove infected plant parts to avoid reinfection Stem Cankers/ Stem rots- Change watering and pruning practices Root rots- Change watering practices Remove infected plant and roots Wilt- Remove infected plant Disease For More Information on:  For More Information on Visit: Features: Newsletters, presentations, news releases, photo galleries, tutorials, videos, training, publications, diagnostic clinic, listserv, links and more! Further Reading  Further Reading ENY 298 Landscape Integrated Pest Management ENY-276 Beneficial Insects and Mites CIR 642 Homeowners' Guide to Pesticide Safety ENY 292 What’s Bugging Me WEC-20 Dealing with Unwanted Wildlife in an Urban Environment PDMG-V1-01 Characteristics of Plant Disease Thanks for your attention!:  Thanks for your attention! The following presentation was made possible through a grant from FL DEP and EPA. Special thanks to the following reviewers for their valued contributions: FL114 ELM Design Team and the FYN Subcommittee Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, UF Agriculture Education and Communication Department Environmental Horticulture Department Entomology and Nematology Department Soil and Water Sciences Department Florida Cooperative Extension Service in: Alachua, Broward, Clay, Hillsborough, Lake, Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Volusia Counties Florida Organics Recycling Center for Excellence The Center For Wetlands, UF United States Department of Agriculture FL Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences: Division of Plant Industry

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