Natural pest and disease control | Living the Country Life
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Natural pest and disease control

You needn't get out the chemical arsenal to rid your garden of unwanted pests and diseases.
  • Japanese beetles

    Leaves are skeletonized.<br><br>
    SOLUTION:<br>
    Use pheromone traps (most successful if your neighbors will use them, too). Apply milky disease spores to your yard to controlbeetle larvae. Handpick the beetles in early morning when they are slow-moving. Use insecticidal soap for severe infestations.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 8, 2012
    Tags: Pests, Insects, Bugs
  • Spider mites

    Symptoms include stippled leaves that turn reddish or yellow and have fine webbing. Use a magnifying glass to check the underside of leaves for the tiny red mites.<br>PREVENTION:<br>
    Adequate watering is the first line of defense; mites target water-stressed plants in hot, dry weather.<br>SOLUTION:<br>
    Knock these pests off plants with a fine spray of water, or use predatory mites. For severe or prolonged infesta-tions, spray using citrus oils, neem oil (see leaf miners), insecticidal soap, or pyrethrin (a plant extract).<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 8, 2012
    Tags: Pests, Insects, Bugs
  • Leaf Miners

    Leaves have tan or brown blotches or serpentine trails.<br>SOLUTION:<br>
    Cut off and destroy infected leaves and remove all plant debris in fall. Parasitic wasps will control leaf miners. As a last resort, apply neem oil (an extract from the seeds of the neem tree that repels and poisons insects and regulates their growth) or insecticidal soap when the first tunnels appear.
    <br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 8, 2012
    Tags: Pests, Insects, Bugs
  • Scale insect

    Leaves are pale and discolored; tiny brown spots appear on their undersides and stems. Female scale insects attach to plants and reproduce; their young suck the life out of plants and excrete sticky honeydew.<br>SOLUTION:<br>
    Remove infected leaves. Gently scrape insects from plants with your fingernail or a thin piece of cardboard. Wipe the undersides of leaves with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil mixed into 3/4 cup warm water. If the problem persists, spray with insecticidal soap. Repeat treatments as needed.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 8, 2012
    Tags: Pests, Insects, Bugs
  • Powdery mildew

    Leaves are covered with a powdery white coating that is unsightly but is seldom fatal to the plant.<br>PREVENTION:<br>
    This fungal problem typically occurs late in the growing season, often brought on by drought stress. Water plants deeply once a week during dry spells and mulch to conserve soil moisture. Ensure adequate air circulation.<br>SOLUTION:<br>
    Pick and destroy infected leaves; do not compost them.
    <br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 8, 2012
    Tags: Pests, Insects, Bugs
  • Aphids

    Leaves crinkle or curl and have a sticky coating on their undersides.<br>PREVENTION:<br>
    Aphids are a problem common to water-stressed plants; ensure plants receive adequate moisture.
    <br>SOLUTION:<br>
    Remove heavily infected leaves and stems. Use a fine spray of water, along with your fingers, to dislodge aphids from leaves and buds. Repeat as necessary. Or, wipe warm soapy water on stems and leaves. Lady beetles eat large quantities of aphids, but soap is harmful to them, so use one method at a time.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 8, 2012
    Tags: Pests, Insects, Bugs
  • Leaf spot

    Leaves show yellow, brown, or black spots, which are caused by one of several fungi. <br>PREVENTION:<br>
    Space plants to provide good air circulation and keep the garden free of debris. Avoid watering at night or wetting foliage when watering.<br>SOLUTION:<br>
    Remove and destroy infected foliage; do not compost it. Destroy seriously infected plants. If leaf spot is a serious problem over a large area, apply a preventive ­sulfur spray.
    <br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 8, 2012
    Tags: Pests, Insects, Bugs
  • Black spot on roses

    Circular black spots appear on leaves; spots may be surrounded by yellowed tissue. Leaves may drop. Black spot also affects stems. <br>PREVENTION:<br>
    Plant resistant varieties. Black spot is a fungal disease that thrives in moist conditions, so ensure good air circulation. <br>SOLUTION:<br>
    Remove all affected leaves to generate new, healthy foliage. Spray plants thoroughly with a solution of 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 quart water. For severe or persistent infections, spray with neem oil (see leaf miners).<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: May 8, 2012
    Tags: Pests, Insects, Bugs
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