Guidelines for Handling Insects at the Garden


BYP Garden uses Integrated Pest Management

Goal: To Keep our garden ecosystem healthy by following best practices

  1. Identify pest
  2. Monitor and assess pest numbers and damage
  3. Guidelines for when management action is needed
    • Level One: Minimal damage-Physically remove pest (hand, water spray, soapy water)
    • Level two: Increasing damage-Apply appropriate pesticide according to directions
    • Level three: Weekly spray by appointed team
  4. Always
    • Place an Insect Observation sign at plant
    • Note observation in blog
    • Fill out info on Pesticide Chart

Other Pest management Methods:
  • Biological control- attracting beneficial insects to the garden
  • Cultural Controls- proper water & fertilizer management
  • Mechanical & physical controls- row covers, traps, mulches, barriers

What Products Do We Use?


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1. Insecticidal Soap (Safer Soap)

Best for: aphids, sucking insects

Application: Spray on the insect. Insecticidal soap must come in direct contact
with the insect. It is no longer effective once it has dried. Avoid applying during high temperatures (90s).
How It Works: The fatty acids in the soap penetrate the insect’s outer covering and cause the cells to collapse.

Pros: One of the safest pesticides, non-toxic to animals, no residue, can be used on vegetables up to harvest.
Cons: Can burn or stress plants.
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2. BT (Bacillus thuringiensis)

Best for: Caterpillars (moth & butterfly larvae)

Application: Spray on leaves. It must be ingested by the targeted insect.

How It Works: BT is a stomach poison. It releases toxins in the stomachs of susceptible insects (cabbage worms) that cause them to stop eating and starve.

Pros: Bt strains are very host specific and will not harm people, birds or bees.
Cons: Slow acting, breaks down quickly, can be a skin irritant, short shelf life.
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3. Neem Oil

Best for: chewing insects, beetles, mites, aphids

Application: Sprayed onto plant leaves. It must be ingested by the insect. Avoid applying during high temperatures (90s).

How It Works: Upsets the insects hormonal system and prevents it from developing to its mature stage. Most effective on immature chewing insects and species that undergo complete metamorphosis. Also works as a suffocant at time of application.

Pros: Low degree of toxicity to humans.
Cons: Kills all insects,slow acting, breaks down in sunlight.
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4. Snail & Slug Bait (Sluggo, Sluggo Plus)

Best for: Snails & slugs, earwings, crawling insects

Application: Must be ingested by insect. Scatter 1 teaspoon per square yard

How it works: The bait is attractive to snails and slugs and lures them from their hiding places. Once eaten, they stop eating the plants and will die within 3-6 days. Sluggo Plus also attracts earwigs and cutworms.
Pros: Sluggo is non-toxic to animals, biodegradable, effective after rain.
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5. Diatomaceous Earth

Best for: ants, sow bugs, earwigs, crawling insects

Application: Apply to soil around plants. Must come in contact with the insect.

How it works: Composed of remains of microscopic phytoplankton call diatoms.
Absorbs lipids from the waxy layer of the insect’s exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate.

Pros: Very safe
Cons: Moisture reduces effectiveness
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6. KM Ant Pro Bait Station

Best for: Ants
Application: The unit is filled with liquid bait which is released in a small quantity of bait is released into a feeding tray.

How it works: Foraging ants take bait back to the nest, killing workers and queen.

Pros: Very safe, kills entire colony
Cons: Can be slow acting initially
updated 1/24/14