Pesticides (including weed and bug killers) can be effective tools for controlling pests such as insects, weeds and diseases. Be sure you need a pesticide before you use it. On-going pest problems are often a sign that your lawn or garden is not getting what it needs to stay healthy. You need to correct the underlying problem to reduce the chance of pests re-appearing. Remember, a holistic - or integrated pest management - approach is the most effective way to manage pests.
- Start with prevention.
- Maintain healthy soil with compost and mulch.
- Select pest-resistant plants and put them in the sun/shade and soil conditions they like.
- Use a variety of plants so, if pests attack, your whole garden isn't at risk.
- Mow higher. Most grasses should be mowed to a height of two to three inches. Taller grass has more leaf surface and deeper roots and eventually chokes out many weeds.
- Clean out diseased plants so disease doesn't spread.
- Pull weeds before they go to seed and spread.
- Remove dead plants to reduce hiding places for insect pests.
- Identify the problem before you spray, squash or stomp.
- Whether it's a bug, disease or weed, you need to identify it to know how to effectively manage it. The cause of ailing plants or grass may not be pests or disease but incorrect mowing or pruning, improper watering or other easily corrected practices. That scary bug could actually be a beneficial "good bug" that eats problem pests.
- Accept a little damage - give nature time to work.
- Accept a few pests, as long as they are not harmful to the long-term effects of the landscape.