How to do pest identification? Sometimes you try to do everything right, but pests still find their way to your garden. When you suspect pests are at work in your garden, the first step is to identify the assailant.
Sometimes you can catch the pest in the act, but often you’ll have to figure it out based on the type of damage. Here are some hints to help you identify the culprit.
Join the pest patrol.
Make it a habit to walk through your garden at least once a weekin early morning if you canwhile the air is cool and moist. Insects are cold-blooded and can’t move very fast until the sun heats them up.
Give plants a thorough inspection, checking the undersides of leaves and the stems, flowers, tree bark and roots for insects, eggs, webs, or damage.
Most insect problems can be solved easily if you spot them in time. At this stage, a blast of water or a pinch of your fingers may be all it takes to stop pests dead in their tracks. Look before you squish, though. You don’t want to destroy insects that aren’t causing problems.
If you find damage, jot down a few notes: the identity of the affected plant, the plant parts that are affected, and the kind of damage. You can even collect sample insects and samples of damaged leaves for later identification. Put them in pill bottles or plastic bags so you can examine them later with a magnifying glass.
If you can’t seem to pinpoint the pest, you may want to take your notes to garden enter for help in making an accurate diagnosis.
Record your trials and errors.
Make notes about what works to control the pests and what doesn’t. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to refine your plan for the next season.
Putting Pests under Arrest
There are many techniques specific to the species that can help you control insect pests (we’ll get to those in the identification guide). But there are also a few techniques that work to control any pest.
Blasting spider mites and soft bodied insects like aphids with a strong stream of water from your hose can knock them from the plant or kill them outright. Be sure to get the undersides of the leaves, too.
Some insects are big enough to pick off. These include caterpillars, large beetles, and slugs. Squash them, or drop them into a pelvis or a bucket of soapy water. The soap reduces the surface tension of the water, so the pests sink rather than swim. In the morning, when insects are too cold to move, you can shake pests off your plants onto a sheet, which you then empty into the soapy water. To flush out hidden pests, try spraying plants with a fine mist of water.
Trapping works for small populations. Don’t use it for heavy infestations, or you’ll attract more pests to your yard. Buy commercially available traps that are coated on the inside with sex hormones and floral fragrances that attract specific insects.
Save the sprays for last.
Organic gardeners save insecticidal and fungicidal sprays and dusts for the last resort. They know the possible hazards to the environment, to beneficial insects and animals, and to their own safety. But, on rare occasions, pest problems do require intervention with dusts and sprays.
Reproduction garden pest prevention is better if you know his appearance and his living conditions. Pest identification will help you find useful and harmful insects.
Read also: Garden Pest Control