Every gardener come across such things as diseases and pests amongst garden plants. No matter, whatever the control of diseases and pests in the garden is, there is always a chance of infection with disease-producing organisms and pest insects. Agricultural methods help reduce the incidence of diseases and pests in the garden. They contribute to avoiding the soil fatigability, as well as accumulation of specific disease agents and pests.
Thus, it is not advisable to plant tomatoes and potato as precursors for the perennial planting of raspberries and wild strawberry. These plants have common soil diseases. There are many examples of the plant usage as a combined defense against pests, for example, combined planting of wild strawberry and garlic. If you plant black elderberry (Sambucus) in the garden, gooseberry won’t be harmed by cankerworms (Abraxas grossulariata) and pyralid moths (Zophodia grossulariella). Plums and apples are not touched by the pea moth (Carpocapsa (Laspeyresia) pomonella); while black currant is not affected by the big bud mite (Tetranychus urticae). For pest garden control, it is important to attract predatory birds, such as chickadees, woodpeckers, and pikas, which eat eggs, caterpillars, and butterflies.
Some diseases and pests are widespread in many parts of the world, for example, the gypsy moth (Ocneria dispar).
The gypsy moth eats the buds, leaves, flowers buds, flowers and sets of apples, plums, apricots, pears, cherries, mulberry, and other fruit plants. The female gypsy moth can have a wing span of 8 cm, while the male can have one of 4.5 cm.
When the buds appear on the trees, and the temperature is 42.8 F (6 C), small gypsy moth caterpillars appear. They can spread throughout the garden by way of a light wind. They eat leaves, flowers, and sets. Within 24-30 days after the appearance of apple sets, caterpillars turn into cocoons and attach to the trunks, branches, and leaves of trees. In 14-20 days, depending on the air temperature, the butterflies come into the world and begin to fly. This usually occurs in July, when diseases and pests are the most active. The optimum temperature for this activity is 73.4-84.2 F (23-29 C). Females move a little, but males can find them at a big distance. Gypsy moths are very prone to breeding. Sometimes gardens are very much damaged by this pest. As a result, trees become weakened and the fruit yield drops. During this period, such trees can be affected by diseases and pests of other species too.
Gypsy moth adapts to different climate zones. That means the moth is characterized by great food selectivity, as well as the caterpillar and butterfly growth time, in different habitats. Butterflies lay eggs in different, often occasional places: on the stumps, bottom of the fence, at the base of the tree trunks, on stones, and walls. The egg mass of a gypsy moth is very noticeable. These are yellowish-gray pillows with a 2-3 cm diameter, covered with a thin hoary layer. The egg mass consists of 500-600 eggs, which remain throughout the winter. They are very hardy and can withstand temperatures of -50 C. In northern areas, the rest period of the gypsy moth is longer than in areas with mild and short winters.
Protective Measures against the Gypsy Moth
Diseases and pests of the garden can be avoided, and their impact on the garden can be reduced. The key move here is to take mechanical actions.
After the leaves fall, it is necessary to inspect all the areas that can be homes to the eggs of the gypsy moth once you have found egg masses, it is important to carefully scrape them with scrapers, preventing them from falling onto the ground. To do this, place any material and burn the eggs. The pockets of eggs on rocks and stumps are destroyed with the help of a kerosene covering. During summer, pheromone traps for butterflies can be set. Thus, it is possible to kill them. The surfaces are treated by insecticides to prevent the birth of caterpillars. In the spring, before buds come out and bloom, they are sprayed with bacterial preparations. This is a water emulsion of Bicol. In fact, 50-60g of Bicol is watered down. The prepared suspension should be used within 2-4 hours.
It must be remembered that Bicol irritates mucous membranes and skin. Therfore, in case of any skin contact, you should wash it off with water and soap. When using chemicals for combating diseases and pests in the garden, you should wear a mask and protective goggles.
Spraying is repeated over a period of 7-8 days, for both control and prevention.
The fight against diseases and pests of fruit plants is carried out regularly in order to prevent outbreaks of mass manifestation.
Diseases and pests in the garden reduce the protective functions of the garden trees and shrubs. This is why preventive measures are always more efficient. This allows you not only to protect the plants, but also to preserve the harvest.