Central Florida is home to several types of insects that will be tempted by the plants in your yard – for better and for worse. While some of the bugs will benefit your plants, others have the potential to decimate them. Your goal is to welcome the good ones and fend off the nasties, but you want to do this in a way that is environmentally friendly.
Are Insects Bugging Your Garden? Follow These Helpful Tips.
Step 1: Educate yourself. Become familiar with the insects commonly found in Central Florida, then think about the plants in your landscape and try to predict which insects may be attracted. Once you figure this out, you can learn how to identify the signs that an insect has made your garden its home, and if it’s there to help or cause harm.
Step 2: Water before dawn. Set your irrigation system to complete its cycle before sunrise. Doing this will allow any standing water to evaporate with the morning rays, so you will not be creating an irresistible oasis for bugs.
Step 3: Keep a watchful eye. Check your lawn and landscape weekly for the beginning signs of insect infestation. If you find evidence that a bad bugger is shacking up in your yard, don’t panic. Your diligence has paid off and you are ready to act, so damage is minimal.
Step 4: The soft approach. Always begin your insect eradication with non-chemical applications like diatomaceous earth and the least toxic pesticides such as insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils. Remember: Applying insecticides shouldn’t be a routine. Only treat for bugs when a problem arises.
Step 5: Shower your plants with love! Spraying your landscape plants with water has the potential to wash away some insects and their eggs before they have a chance to multiply and cause devastation.
Step 6: Call in the army! Introduce beneficial insects into your landscape, so they can wage battle on the baddies. Some helpful species include parasitic wasps, cryptolaemus beetles, ladybugs, lacewings, predator mites, and parasitic nematodes.
Step 7: Don’t overdo it! If you must use a stronger pesticide, use the spot treatment method by only applying pesticide to the worst problem areas. Once you have put a dent in the bad bug population, the friendlies in your garden can successfully attack and eat the rest.
It’s good practice to monitor your irrigation system on a regular basis to make sure it’s turning on and shutting off in accordance with the settings. Too much or too little water can make your garden a cozy place for unwanted insects. If you’re not sure your system is running like it should, call us or complete our request service form and we’ll come take a look.
Knowledge is Power!
Now that you know how to identify and tackle the malicious insects that frequent Central Florida yards and gardens, you’re ready to enjoy your Florida-friendly landscape while keeping the environment healthy for both people and wildlife.