Warning! Garden pests are out there and will destroy your plants and veggies if given the opportunity. At Fort Collins Nursery we take pests seriously and have solutions for all your common pest related problems.When it comes to garden pests, prevention is always the best option and there are several things you can do to keep them from showing up in the first place. Keep your foliage dry by watering the base of the plants and build healthy soil. Remove weak and dying plants and clear the garden of weeds and plant debris.
If your garden is already under attack, the first step is identifying the problem by spotting the destructive culprits or the damage they have caused. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to look at your plant samples or photos to help with diagnosis. Once you identify the problem we can help with the control process. Here is a list of several popular products we offer to combat some of the more common problems:
- Live-Ladybugs & Lacewings- Ladybugs and lacewings are beneficial insects that naturally feed on garden pests like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, and other soft bodied insects. To put them to work, simply tap them out of the cardboard container around your garden in the morning, evening or on an overcast day. They move slowly during those times and will go straight to the food source. They will stick around as long as they find a good food source but will otherwise fly away and seek food sources elsewhere. (Sorry, we do not sell miniature leashes to keep them from moving on!)
- Beneficial Nematodes- Nematodes are beneficial microscopic organisms that live naturally in soil throughout the world and are parasitic to insects that have a larval or pupal life stage that occurs in the soil. They are particularly effective against cutworms, beetles, and root weevil larvae. Nematode eggs are microscopic and come in a small sponge a million at a time. These are mixed with water and applied to the soil, where they hatch and go to work.
- Monterey B.t.- B.t. (bacillus thuringiensis) is used to combat caterpillars & worms that munch on your beloved fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and shade trees. B.t is a biological insecticide and OMRI listed for organic gardening. B.t. comes in an easy to mix, ready to use liquid concentrate and may be applied up to and on the day of harvest.
- Diatomaceous Earth- Diatomaceous Earth is a natural contact insecticide that works by causing abrasions on insects as they come in contact with the product, resulting in loss of body fluids followed by dehydration. It is very effective in controlling snails, slugs, cockroaches, ants, earwigs and other listed crawling insects. Diatomaceous Earth is digestible by earthworms and will not cause them any harm. Use a hand duster or bulbous duster to apply light coating of dust to areas where crawling pests are found or may hide. Because it is a non-chemical control that does not harm mammals, it is safe to use around the house, including around pets and children.
- Fertilome Triple Action Plus- Triple Action Plus is used to control insects, diseases, certain fungus, and mites on vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, roses, flowers and shrubs. Triple Action is a combination of pyrethrin (a naturally occurring insecticide extracted from certain chrysanthemums) and neem oil (a plant extract that acts as an insecticide and fungicide). This product kills eggs, larvae and adult stages of many pest insects including whiteflies, aphids, spider mites, beetles, fungus gnats, ants, fleas and many others, as well as controlling powdery mildew, black spot, and rust. Triple Action Plus comes in a ready to use spray and in concentrate.
- Safer® Brand Insect Killing Soap- Safer® Brand Insect Killing Soap kills soft bodied insects including aphids, mealybug, and mites on contact. Safer® soap utilizes the power of potassium salts of fatty acids to weaken the insect’s waxy protective outer shell. It is OMRI listed for organic gardening and breaks down into its natural elements within 7-10 days and will not persist in the environment. Apply every 7-10 days when insects are present or as needed to prevent further damage.
Gardening takes a lot of work, sweat, (and sometimes tears) to achieve the success we strive for. Don’t let garden pests spoil your fun!
Originally published on July 3rd, 2018. Updated on June 30th, 2023.