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Sustainable Pest Control for Home and Garden Kathy Murray Maine Department of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources Kathy Murray.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Pest Control for Home and Garden Kathy Murray Maine Department of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources Kathy Murray."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Pest Control for Home and Garden Kathy Murray Maine Department of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources Kathy Murray Maine Department of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Resources

2 Got Pests? Viburnum Leaf Beetle Lily Leaf Beetle Japanese Beetle White Grubs

3 Use IPM! Integrated Pest Management Monitor for pests and pest-conducive conditions Prevent Pests: Use sanitation, maintenance and good horticultural practices Determine your Threshold: Is it really a pest? How many is too many? Use multiple pest control methods that eliminate pest access to food, water, shelter. Keep records: use a garden notebook

4 Elements of Garden IPM Know your enemy. Identify pests and good bugs. Send samples to UM Pest Management Office or local Extension office for ID. Visit or or other websites to ID pests and learn their food, water, shelter requirements Avoid pests –Use barriers (such as row covers, fence, bird netting) –Rotate crop families to new areas yearly

5 Elements of Garden IPM Use Good horticultural practices –Select right plants for right places –Choose pest-resistant, disease-resistant cultivars –Provide plants with optimal plant nutrition, right amt of water, optimal plant spacing. Protect and Encourage Natural Enemies –Spare the (pesticide) sprays –Diverse plantings including season-long offering of plants with flat, open flowers to provide nectar for small beneficial insects.

6 Physical IPM Methods Mulching –Can suppress weeds, conserve moisture, provide habitat for natural enemies –pull mulch away from the trunk to decrease pest/ disease potential Sanitation –Rake leaves to reduce disease –Prune away diseased plant tissue

7 Physical Methods Exclusion by screens, barriers (example: bird netting, row covers) Pruning infested/infected plants Physical removal. (example: hand-pick bugs!)

8 Know your (Natural) Enemies Lady bug larva. Eats aphids! Use GotPests website to ID beneficial insects

9 Spare the Sprays to Protect Beneficial Insects Dragonflies Spiders Small parasitic wasps Predatory mites Syrphid flies Ground beetles


11 Common Garden Pests and Solutions Striped cucumber beetle Transplant cukes, squash, zucchini, pumpkins instead of direct seed Cover with spun-bonded row cover (example Remay, Typar) until flowering.

12 Lily Leaf Beetle Plant daylilies instead of true lilies Hand pick beetles and larvae. Squish eggs. Space plantings to allow good sunlight penetration. Least-risk pesticide: neem (example Neemix, Bioneem) if needed.

13 Japanese Beetle Select non-preferred shrubs and trees (avoid linden, roses, crabapples, grapes, raspberries) Hand-pick beetles (but leave the parasitized beetles) Cover susceptible plants with protective netting Grub Control: Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Hb) nematodes. purchase on-line, water them in. Avoid Japanese beetle traps Note: Winsome fly eggs. This beetle has been attacked by a natural enemy!

14 Biological IPM Methods Rely on Natural Enemies Winsome Fly: natural enemy of Japanese Beetle Winsome fly eggs

15 Paper and Straw Mulch Suppresses Weeds Provides Habitat for Natural Enemies Keeps Soil from Drying Out

16 Slugs and Snails Control weeds Keep grass mown low or consider gravel strip around gardens Traps (beer cups or wooden boards) Copper foil ribbon around raised beds or pots.

17 Diseases Select resistant varieties Select good site (water drainage, good soil, full sun, air movement) Maintain good plant spacing Mulch prevents rain-splash of soil-borne diseases Rogue-out diseased plants Ensure plants get the right amount of sun, water, and nutrition.

18 Avoid Late Blight –Plant only certified potato seed –Destroy any volunteer potatoes –Plant only healthy tomato seedlings –Bag infected plants. Have disease confirmed by Extension. Dispose of infected plant tissue. Dont compost

19 What about Indoor Pests? Prevent Pests –Sanitation: dont give pests food, water –Keep them out: repair screens, doors, cracks, crevices Remove Pests –Vacuum, wash, comb, discard Use Physical Control Methods –heat or freeze infested materials –swat them! –Use traps (flies, mice, moths)

20 Fleas Treat the pet! –Bathe it and flea-comb often Vacuum a lot. Rugs, upholstered furniture, floors. Put vacuum bag in freezer after each use. Launder pet bedding Spot-on pet treatments (eg Frontline) are safer than flea powders, shampoos, sprays, bombs.

21 Mice Keep food (human, pet, bird) in pest-proof container. Empty garbage/compost daily. Use pest-proof garbage cans. Seal cracks in foundation, exterior walls, under doors, etc Trap them out

22 Bed Bugs When Travelling –Inspect hotel bed. Look for blackish spots and/or reddish-brown bugs (poppy-seed to apple-seed sized) along mattress seams. –Dont put suitcase on bed or floor. Inspect suitcase upon return home. Look in crevices/seams/pockets for bugs. Avoid second-hand furniture. Home Infestation –Systematically search and vacuum every crack/crevice/seam in bedroom. Eggs dont vacuum - scrape them up. Steam-clean carpet. –Seal mattress in zippered bedbug-proof mattress cover. Place traps under bed legs. –Hire reputable pest control company to inspect and treat (some use trained dogs and heat treatment instead of pesticides). Find resources at Bed Bug Interceptor under bed legs

23 Carpenter Ants Carpenter ant- damaged wood Locate Nests: Look for course sawdust next to wood, or oval holes about 1/8 wide, or put out food (try a milk/sugar paste) and follow them to nest or entry sites. Locate and seal ant entry sites such as gaps under doors or around windows and cracks in the foundation. Clean up and seal up food that attracts ants. Do carpentry to remove ant-infested wood. Ant baits such as those containing liquid borax or boric acid, placed near indoor ant activity is often effective.

24 Resources Maine Dept Agriculture: UMaine Extension: homeowner/ County Extension Office National Pesticide Information Center

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