Handling Insect Pests in Your Greenhouse

Insect pests can hinder the growth of plants in your greenhouse. Use these tips to help you better protect your indoor garden from harm.


| January 2015


Wanting to get the most out of your greenhouse? In The Greenhouse Gardener’s Manual (Timber Press, 2014), author Roger Marshall provides information on how to choose, heat, irrigate and maintain your greenhouse. This excerpt, which details the best methods for controlling unwanted insect pests, is from Chapter 10, “Controlling Greenhouse Pests and Diseases.”

Buy this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Greenhouse Gardener’s Manual.

Talk to any greenhouse grower and they will tell you that the two worst pest problems are aphids and whitefly. You might also find sow bugs, mealybugs, scale insects, and red spider mites. Larger greenhouse pests include slugs and snails that hitch a ride under the rim of large pots or in the drain holes of larger pots. Although screened windows can keep out butterflies and moths, you may also find a caterpillar or two feeding on your plants. Lastly, rodents can get into the greenhouse. Mice are a common problem and I’ve had groundhogs, skunks, and even a fisher that ate all the goldfish in my greenhouse pond one night when I forgot to close the door.

The best way to control insect pests is to be careful what you bring into your greenhouse. An isolation chamber can be a convenient way to keep new plants separate from the main population of greenhouse plants until you are satisfied that they are pest-free.

Whether to use insecticides is a personal decision. I prefer not to spray pesticides of any kind inside the greenhouse because they can kill off beneficial insects along with problematic ones and I find the effects of the product are multiplied by being in an enclosed structure. I have noticed that the odor of a pesticide in the greenhouse can last several days. Also, continual use of the same insecticide can eventually give rise to insecticide-resistant bugs.

My preference is to take the approach of Integrated Pest Management (ipm). This means I always begin with the least toxic type of prevention before moving on to more drastic measures. I start with barriers and screens to keep out pests, rotate crops, eliminate host plants in the vicinity of the greenhouse, isolate incoming plants, keep the greenhouse clean, handpick pests, and finally, bring in natural enemies such as ladybugs to feed on harmful insects. All these controls can easily be integrated into your greenhouse practice before you need to resort to chemical pesticides.

PaulDozier
12/22/2017 1:21:11 AM

Handling insect pest is not an easy task at all. The warm, moist conditions in a greenhouse favor the growth of many pests and diseases as well as your chosen plants. The best way to keep your greenhouse pest-free is to pay attention to everything that is brought in the greenhouse or if the situation is out of control, then consulting a professional pest controller like Pest Control Brookfield CT, Exterminator West Haven CT, [Exterminator Wallingford CT]( http://www.yalepest.com/wallingford-pest-exterminators ), Pest Control Branford CT or someone which you can find near by you. The steps to prevent the trouble are as follows: Use clean soil, Keep a clean house, Good growing practices, Be aware and look for signs of trouble regularly. Keeping your greenhouse healthy and productive is not a difficult thing, but it does require constant attention. Plants grown in a greenhouse are subject to a number of pests and diseases. Greenhouse pest includes Aphids, White Fly, Red Spider Mites, Scale Insects, Leaf Miners, Vine Weevils, slugs, snails, etc.






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