Central Florida continues to be plagued by pests. I’m still getting lots of calls on scale insects, white fly, spider mites, aphids, and lawn insects. Where I live, I’ve had to deal with rodents in our bean patch, deer eating the foliage off my tree seedlings, plus deer flies, and small scorpions in my house. Weeds (particularly crab grass) continue to crop up in our landscape areas especially since we’ve begun to receive more rain. Even though all of those areas were previously treated with appropriate pesticides, repeat applications may be needed.
One thing that I hear a lot is homeowners complaining about pests eating the leaves of their plants. They ask what should they spray? My reply has been to first try to identify what pest is doing the damage, and then consider all options for treatment, and finally choosing the best and safest means of control. When discussing this issue with home owners, many have replied that they want a quick kill so they apply a general purpose insecticide, which hasn’t always helped. In some cases, this caused further damage to their plants by applying too much material resulting in overkill. Everyone must realize that because we live in Florida, pest treatment is a serious and ongoing problem that we must deal with. Don’t wait till your plants are half dead before you treat them, instead, every few days either in the early morning or just after supper, randomly spot check your plants. If you see something, identify the problem and contact your local Agricultural Extension office for help. Good luck.