Washington Post: Pest Management
1/27/2007PUBLICATION: Washington Post
SECTION: Real Estate; F05
Some tips for integrated pest management:
* Site preparation is important. Healthy soil usually equals healthy plants. Dig in composted organic material. Ensure proper pH.
* Don't bag grass trimmings; mow regularly.
* Top-dress planting beds with a 2-inch layer of compost to control weeds, hold moisture and add nutrients.
* Install disease-resistant plants.
* Water thoroughly when planting and during dry periods.
* Selectively prune. Don't shear into balls and rectangles.
* Weed regularly.
* Employ physical controls, such as manual pest removal, bands around trees and attracting beneficial insects. Spray a stream of water, horticultural oil or soap to clean off and destroy insects and eggs.
* Monitor problems. Look for specific pests. Don't just kill "creepy crawly" things. Most insects aren't pests, and potentially harmful organisms can exist at tolerable levels.
* Try the materials that have the least impact on the environment first.