Managing Yard Pests

It is unrealistic, and even unwise, to strive for an insect-, disease- and weed-free yard. Many insects are beneficial, helping to keep pests under natural control. Many other insects simply coexist with humans causing us no harm. Many different kinds of insects are found in and around our homes, gardens, and yards. Most of these insects are completely harmless and may even provide valuable services for us. It may be easy for many of us to recognize lady beetles and praying mantids, but there are many other beneficial insects that attack yard pests. We call them, the good guys!

Carolina Yards Spotlight: Lawn Care Tips - Weeds and Pests

Manage Yard Pests Action Checklist:

  1. Learn to identify five beneficial insects that provide natural control of harmful pests.
  2. Avoid routine applications of pesticides. Treat only affected areas rather than spraying your entire lawn or yard. When using pesticides, the label is the law. Require that your maintenance company, if used, follow these strategies.
  3. Wherever possible use non-chemical approaches to pest control; cultural controls such as pruning of affected areas, hand-removing insects and clearing away diseased debris are all ways to reduce pest populations naturally.
  4. Use lower toxicity pesticides such as horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps, and biological controls. These effective, safe materials can control most plant pests.
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Did you know?

Communities and individuals are successfully managing pests by protecting beneficials and reducing the use of pesticides by using a management process known as Integrated Pest Management

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The pesticide label will tell you what amount to use for different target sites. Never use more than the label says. Overuse can injure plants and harm beneficial insects. In fact, if the label states a range of the amount of pesticide to use, you should use the least amount listed.

Additional Resources:

HGIC 2755 Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

HGIC 2756 Organic Pesticides

HGIC 2752 Pesticide Application Tips

HGIC 2753 How to Handle Pesticide Spills

HGIC 2750 How to Read the Pesticide Label

HGIC 2751 Pesticide Safety