Plants or Landscaping
Problem: Insects are found on plants,
in gardens, or in landscaping.
Background: Many chemicals are available for controlling
the insects that infest outdoor areas around the home. The
following suggestions are alternative, no chemical methods
of preventing or reducing many Of these pests. If the
suggestions don’t seem to be effective, contact your local
extension service office or an experienced nursery person.
What to do: For aphids, remove by dislodging with water
spray and spraying with Safers soap solution. Preserve
natural predators by protecting ladybugs and lacewings in
their immature stage. Plant resistant varieties of
honeysuckle which deter witches’ broom aphids. For apple
maggots, remove fallen apples. For a standard-sized tree,
hang 8 sticky apple traps, or make them using 3-inch
diameter spheres painted bright red or black and coated
with a sticky substance such as Tanglefoot or Stickem
Special (available in gar den centers).
For cabbage looper and imported cabbage worm, remove
caterpillars by hand. Apply Bacillus thuringiensis, a
natural material available under a variety of product
names. For Colorado potato beetle, remove immature- and
adult-stage insects by hand. Apply san diego Bacillus
thuringiensis, a natural material. The san diego variety
is specifically for beetle adults and is available under
the name M-ONE. For cut- worms, place cardboard collars
around the transplants, making sure the cardboard extends
at least 2 inches above and below the ground (the center
core from paper towels works well). Remove cutworms by
hand that are hiding in burrows near plants during the
day, and those found above ground at night. For European
corn borer and corn earworm, apply Bacillus thuringiensis.
For flea beetles, control weeds. For hornworms, handpick
caterpillars and apply Bacillus thuringiensis. For iris
borer, remove old stalks and plant debris in late summer.
Remove and destroy infested plants. For picnic, sap, and
fungus beetles, re move damaged and overripe fruit and
vegetables. Regularly harvest crops as they ripen. Remove
rose chafers by hand. Place a cheesecloth barrier around
plants as protection during the chafer’s flight period in
early summer. For squash vine borer, slit the plant’s stem
length wise at the point of attack, remove larvae from
vines by hand and cover vines with moist soil to encourage
Special advice: Don’t bring infested plants into the home.
For plants in the home, remove caterpillars, slugs and
other pests by hand; for spider mites, wash leaves with a
mild detergent solution, swab with rubbing alcohol, or
spray with Safers soap solution; for scales and mealy
bugs, remove with rubbing alcohol or spray with Safers
soap solution; for aphids, spray plants with a Safers soap
solution; for fungus gnats and springtails, allow soil to
dry to a depth of 1 inch before watering; re pot plants
affected by millipedes.
Helpful hint: For slugs outdoors, control soil moisture by
watering only when necessary; remove by hand. Remove dead
leaves and other potential hiding places. Cups filled with
beer sunk in the ground will attract and drown slugs.
Place boards and shingles on the ground, and remove any
slugs attracted to such areas.