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How to Get Rid of Garden Pests

Learn how to get rid of garden pests in this Howcast video with expert Jeff White.

Transcript

"My name is Jeff White and I'm a Research Entomologist for Bedbug Central, and the host of Bedbug TV. BedbugCentral.com. I have no idea how I got into bugs and bedbugs. And here I am six years later. And having a lot of fun working with bedbugs. And I'll be talking to you about pest control.

Everybody looks forward to the warmer months and the ability to go out and plant your garden. You know- having fresh fruit growing out in the garden.. but what happens when your garden is invaded by some pest that's defoliating your plants? What are you gonna do? And that's what we want to talk about now- is.. is.. what can I do if I have insects showing up in my garden? And the first thing to know is that many times, gardens are so small that you can just go out and remove those pests what we call 'mechanically'. And what that means is just go out and take a look at the plants. A lot of times if all of a sudden leaves are disappearing, there could be a caterpillar somewhere associated with that plant. Look at the plant, and most importantly, flip the leaves over. A lot of times, those caterpillars are on the bottoms of those leaves. And you could just go ahead sometimes and remove those pests. Just take your hands and wipe them off the actual leaves, dispose of them outside the garden, or possibly even take a vacuum and remove them. A lot of times, that's good enough to actually dispose of the pests. Now if you do have a big enough of a problem that you do need to apply a pesticide, the most important thing to do is try to choose a pesticide that's labeled for the plant that you're going to be applying it on. Certain pesticides can actually be toxic to certain plants, and actually, the leaves may fall off when you apply it to them and they aren't labeled for use on that specific plant. And so, if you're going to choose a pesticide, read the label very carefully and make sure that the plant is on the label, and also, try to make sure that the pest is on the label. If you don't know what you're dealing with, you can often look up your local extension office. A lot of state universities have extension offices in all different counties, and you can find a knowledgeable expert in these offices that you can sometimes talk to for free. And so do your research. Identify the pest you're dealing with, choose the right pesticide, and when you apply it, make sure that you don't just spray the top of the plant down, but you also get to the bottom of those leaves. That's a lot of times where your pests are hiding, is on the bottom of those leaves- and if you just spray down on the plant, you may not actually get to the area where the actual pest is. And so those are a few ways that you can control those nasty critters that are eating the plants in your garden, and good luck with those springin' summer gardens. "

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