Pest Control: Prevention

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Naturally, playing keep away is better!  An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure when it comes to controlling unwanted garden pests.  Our gardening experts are at your disposal, to help you identify the problem, plan the prevention, and when needed, provide you with the cure.

If you don’t have a garden journal, why not start one this year!  They are terrific for keep track of successes and failure, conditions and treatments, ideas and reminders and more!  It’s a good place to note, too, what kind of pests appear in your garden and when, so that you can be prepared the following year.  To get you started, here are some insects common to our area that chances are you will have to tackle sooner or later:

*Bagworms looooove evergreens and have a way of becoming well established before you even know they’re there!  They are most vulnerable this time of year when they are young and without their protective bags/sacks.  So attack now!

Product Recommendation: Natural Guard’s Spinosad or Bonide Systemic Insect Control. Also check out smaller evergreens that may still contain overwintering bagworm sacks from last year that can picked off manually.

*Soft Scale comes in many forms and affects lots of trees and shrubs like holly, camellia, azaleas, etc., and houseplants too!  The scales often reside on branches or the underside of foliage and can be bumpy or scaley, or appear as a sticky/sappy residue known as Honey Due. Blech!  The easiest way to treat/control/prevent Soft Scale is with a one-time easy-use soil drench solution.  For heavy infestations and faster results, combine it with a foliar horticultural oil. 

Product Recommendation:  Fertilome Tree & Shrub Insecticide drench and Fertilome Horticultural Oil Spray.

*Hard Scale is most common on the many varieties of tough-but-beautiful evergreen Euonymus shrubs that are popular around here.  It is a white and brown scale, also found on branches and associated with Honey Due.  For controlling and/or eliminating Hard Scale, the soil drench is ineffective.  Instead, repeated applications of a horticultural spray is your best bet.  Small infestations are easy to miss, so preventative spraying is a must. For heavy infestations, we recommend an aggressive pruning to physically remove a lot of the scale before treatment is in order first, followed up by weekly foliar applications for at least four weeks

Product RecommendationFertilome Horticultural Oil Spray.

*Lace Bugs are very common in our area on azaleas and rhododendrons – two of our favorite shrubs!  They reside on the undersides of the leaves and start hatching this month with spring warming.  Lace Bugs feed on the internal part of the foliage and affect the quality and overall appearance of these pretty shrubs.  They pierce the foliage and suck on its contents, creating a faded speckled white/bleached appearance on the leaves.  Nasty!  Happily, lace bugs are easily controlled with an insecticide drench applied to the root system – no special sprayers or tricky mixing required!  If caught in the middle of their infestation, a foliar systemic insecticide will produce quicker results. Our pros will gladly answer any questions you have about its use. 

Product Recommendation: Fertilome Tree & Shrub Insecticide Drench for a simple soil drench or Bonide Acephate Systemic Insect Control for foliar applications.

*Aphids, commonly called plant lice are very common in our neck of the woods! For treatment on edibles, Natural Guard Diatomaceous Earth available in dust or spray or Safer Insecticidal Soap. For non edibles, Bonide Systemic Insect Spray is super effective and won’t wash away even with rainfall!

Remember:  if you experienced a problem with a certain insect previously, chances are it will come back since most are linked to a particular environment or a specific tree/shrub.   The cyclical nature of insects makes them easy to predict, therefore easy to prevent!  All you need is the know-how, and with the Evergreen of Johnson Experts and their wealth of knowledge at your disposal, you can’t go wrong!

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