Dealing With Pest Insects

New Thinking About Pest Insect Control

New Way To Analyze Insect Problems

The chemical companies just love the way Yardeners deal with pest insect and disease  problems in the yard.  Our basic modus operandi is to take care of the general maintenance of the yard and simply wait until an insect or disease problem shows up.  Here’s the good part.  We identify the insect or disease, buy some chemical pesticide, apply it according to the label, and then sit back and wait until another problem comes along.  The same  problem usually returns next year so then we go out and buy even more insecticide. We come back year after year; think grubs.  


In the past decades science has offered several new variables that we might want to consider when analyzing how to behave when that Japanese beetle appears, chomping away on our roses. 


First we’ve learned that 95% of all plants that are hit by a pest insect or a problem disease, are in serious stress BEFORE the bug or disease showed up.  That means that a plant that is really happy and not in any stress will seldom have any problems with insects or disease, even if they are in the area.


Secondly we’ve learned that the primary cause of stress in a plant in the home landscape is the lousy soil our plants have to call home.  Yes, drought can cause stress, extreme heat can cause stress, but in the final analysis the quality of the soil is the critical variable as to whether a plant will experience stress.


So now, if we want to eliminate a pest insect from ever again being a problem, we have three questions to ask.  What is the bug and what do I need to kill those guys currently in residence?  Then I assume that the problem plant is in stress for some reason, so what is the cause of that stress?  And finally if we know the soil around that plant is lousy, it is very likely much of the stress which led to the attack by the insect is caused by our bad soil.


Now our approach should be make good soil, identify the cause of stress if it something other than bad soil, and identify the critter.  For the short term we apply an insecticide to deal with the critter already in place.  Then we decide whether we have good or bad soil.  If it is bad we fix it.  We confirm any other causes of the stress and eliminate thos.  Now next year we should not be seeing that particular pest insect again. 





Master List Of Pest Insects In This Website

On the left we've divided up pest insects into those plant groups where each insect is most likely to appear. If you know which insect you are looking for, here is the master list:

Adelgid, Wooly Click Here
Ants Click Here
Aphid Click Here
Armyworm Click Here
Asian Long Horned Beetle Click Here
Asiatic Garden Beetle Click Here
Asparagus Beetle Click Here
Bagworm Click Here
Bark Beetle Click Here
Billbug Click Here
Blister Beetle Click Here
Borers Click Here
Cabbage Looper Click Here
Cabbage Worm Click Here
Cankerworm Click Here
Carpenter Ants Click Here
Carrot Rust Fly Click Here
Carrot Weevil Click Here
Caterpillars Click Here
Chinch Bug Click Here
Colorado Potato Beetle Click Here
Corn Earworm Click Here
Cucumber Beetle Click Here
Cutworm Click Here
Earwigs Outdoors Click Here
European Corn Borer Click Here
Fire Ants Click Here
Flea Beetle Click Here
Fleas Click Here
Grasshoppers Click Here
Grubs Click Here
Gypsy Moth Click Here
Hornets Click Here
Hornworms Click Here
Japanese Beetle Click Here
Lacebug Click Here
Leafhopper Click Here
Leafminer Click Here
Leafroller Click Here
Mealybugs Outdoors Click Here
Mexican Bean Beetle Click Here
Mites Click Here
Mosquito Click Here
Nematodes Click Here
Parsleyworm Click Here
Plant Bug Click Here
Sawfly Click Here
Scale Click Here
Slugs and Snails Click Here
Sod Webworm Click Here
Squash Bug Click Here
Squash Vine Borer Click Here
Tent Caterpillar Click Here
Thrips Click Here
Ticks, Deer Click Here
Wasps Click Here
Weevil Click Here
Whiteflies Click Here
Wireworm Click Here
Yellowjackets Click Here

There are two scientific facts you need to understand to have a healthy perspective about dealing with pest insects in your yard.

Fact Number One - Over 95% of all the insects born in your yard die within the first year because of weather or being eaten by songbirds, ants, spiders, ground beetles, and other beneficial insects. If you have a healthy ecosystem in your yard, the pest insect problems are few and not terribly serious.

Fact Number Two - Virtually every time a pest insect attacks a plant in your yard, that plant was in a state of stress BEFORE the insect arrived. Pest insects seldom bother healthy plants. So the best way to control pest insect problems is to find all the ways you can to have very healthy plants.

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