Using low toxic pesticides, like soapy water, is a great idea. You can help control pest populations like aphids, thrips, mealybug, and even white fly. When using soapy water (solution recipe: http://bit.ly/2nElF3U), try to spray early in the morning or late in the evening. One should try to spray at this time of the day for three reasons: the temperature is cooler and pests move slower, beneficial insects are not as active during the early morning and late afternoon, and the risk of burning plants by damaging their waxy coating is drastically reduced. Additionally, when spraying the solution, make sure you completely spray the undersides of the leaves. This is where most of all the pests will be located.
Another low toxic alternative is neem oil. This oil extract is derived from a tree originated from India, and is known for its pest deterrent abilities. For whatever reason, insects and bugs do not like the scent and will not stay. To create a neem oil spray, read your bottles label and directions to determine the correct neem oil to water ratio.
Remember to keep your weeds in control, as they will harbor a plethora of pests and to always scout. Scouting is the process of monitoring pest populations in your garden by looking for pest damage, disease symptoms, and actual pests on the underside of leaves. The logic behind this method is, if one can stay ahead of the problem and prevent a large population boom, then one can prevent using high toxic chemicals. For more tips of pest monitoring and symptoms, visit http://bit.ly/2pvs1RB. Feel free to also check out the post Scouting and Pests: https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/pascoco/2017/03/31/scouting-and-pests/.
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