Selective control is the answer – Controlling Those Pests

2 Dec 2019

We need insects in our garden, so use a product that only controls the pests.

Insects are necessary in our gardens. They play an important role in the natural ecosystems that keep our gardens healthy and alive. As such, using blanket pesticides with the intention of killing pests, can wreak havoc on all insect populations, and is not only irresponsible, but also counterproductive. Our gardens need biodiversity and balance. Without this balance keeping your garden healthy can be tricky. This is where using a product like EcoBuz Pest Pro comes in useful.

Some pests, that are insects, that do need to be controlled are red spider mite, whitefly, tomato leaf miner and false codling moth, and Pest Pro is registered for all of these.

Red spider mite pests

Red spider mite pests can be a real pain, especially in dry conditions during summer. They breed and spread rapidly, are difficult to detect, and require perseverance and persistence to control them once they have established themselves. Look out for tell-tale signs of infestation: discolouration of the upper leaf surface, lack of new growth, and plants looking dull and lacklustre. These pests need to be controlled as they suck the sap from the leaves, causing plants to lose condition rapidly.

Whitefly pests

Whitefly can be difficult to control because as soon as you start to spray they fly off and settle on another plant. They suck the sap of plants, weakening them and also potentially transmitting disease. Like red spider mites, they are particularly problematic during the hot months, although they prefer humidity.

Tomato leaf miner pests

pests tomato leaf miner

Tomatoes suffer from many diseases and pests under the sun, one of which is tomato leaf miner. The little pests, which are the larvae of moths, ‘mine’ their way through the leaves of the host plant, creating trails that can be seen on the leaves. In low numbers these larvae cause just cosmetic damage, but if the population explodes then the damage can affect the plant’s health and crop, also making it more vulnerable to other afflictions.

False codling moth pests

pests false codling moth

It is the larvae or caterpillars of the false codling moth that causes the damage. They hatch after the adult lays the leaves on the surface of the fruit (avocadoes, citrus, macadamias, grapes, etc) and then burrow into the fruit. Not only do these pests eat away at the inside of the fruit, but the holes they create in the surface allow entry to other pests and diseases.

Pest Pro contains spores of the beneficial fungi Beauvaria bassiana – a soil-borne fungi that occurs naturally and commonly in many soils. The strain used in Pest Pro was originally isolated from beneath a rooibos plant in Clanwilliam and is well adapted to the hot, dry conditions of our country. Pest Pro is a 100% South African product, comprehensively researched, developed and commercialised in KZN. Pest Pro is well established in the local agricultural industry and is currently being registered in the EU and USA. Pest Pro (Reg No L 10579, Act 36 of 1947) is a biological pest-control solution that is safe, non-toxic and friendly to beneficial insects including bees, ladybirds, parasitoid wasps, lacewings, earthworms, birds and fish. Pest Pro is also OMRI certified (Organic).

How does Pest Pro work?

Pest Pro applications are recommended as a foliar spray. Best efficacy is obtained with direct contact of the target pests, so ensure good coverage of the affected foliage and flowers or fruit. It is important to note that whitefly and red spider mite are commonly found on the underside of leaves, so ensure you reach these areas. When spores make contact with the pests (or are ingested), they germinate, penetrate, grow and multiply inside the body, ultimately resulting in the death of the pest. This process takes 3 – 5 days, but pest behaviour alters much sooner. Pest Pro is effective on all life stages – insects, eggs and larvae. Three applications are recommended at 7 – 14-day intervals.

Important info when using biological products such as Pest Pro

Because the active ingredient in Pest Pro is a fungus, the use of broad spectrum fungicides should be avoided for at least three days before and after applications. For increased efficacy applications should be made during the late afternoon or early evening as spores are UV sensitive.

Read more about targeting caterpillars here.

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