Greenhouse Gardening Pest Control
Greenhouses provide the warmth and humidity so that plants can have optimum growth. However, gardening problems like having garden pests in the greenhouse are very likely as well because they enjoy the conditions within the greenhouse. They often sneak into the greenhouse via holes and small gaps.
So firstly, lets get familiar with some of the pests you may encounter.
- Mealybugs - If you have mealybugs, then you will see distorted leaves and weakened plants. They are covered in a wax like coating and although slower than other insects, they can breed quite fast.
- Spider mites- they can be hard to spot but they can be identified by small yellow speckles located on leafy surfaces. They scatter their eggs randomly and are deadly to your plants.
- Aphids- These insects are pear shaped and they can be located on most of the undersides or tender growing tips of plants.
- Ants - Known to be one of the most commonly encountered greenhouse pests. While they don’t damage your plants directly, they do encourage the plants to generate more honeydew and they can cut the plants or portions of them.
- Whiteflies - Small, white moths that rest on leafy surfaces. They suck the juices out of plants, making them less nutritious.
- Thrips - Very small in size, they can be described as small worms with legs, they tend to leave yellow spots on leaf surfaces.
- Caterpillars – One of the more serious of pests, they can chew on leaves and make the most damage in your greenhouse.
Now, without further ado, let`s look at some greenhouse gardening pest control measures that you can apply as soon as possible so that the comfort bed of your plants will not be destroyed by these notorious creatures.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Just like any other gardening tools, your greenhouse requires cleaning and maintenance as well. Be sure to give dirty spots some scrubbing so that fungus and bacteria will not have a chance of breeding.
In addition to this, it would be very beneficial to schedule an annual greenhouse cleaning routine (best done in the summer). For this, you need to transfer all the plants and equipments out. Clean the walls, corners, racks, secluded spots and floor using detergent and warm water so that insects, germs and bacteria will be killed.
Sorry for over-exaggerating the process but you need to make sure that your plants are free from pests infestation before you move them into your greenhouse because once in there, pests will breed at optimum speed.
If there are any stems or leaves that are damaged, remove them from the plants. You can also place your plants in water in order to drown these creatures.
Chill Pests To Death
When you face pest infestation problems that are very serious, you may want to put your greenhouse into chilling effect during the winter so that pests, including their eggs, will be frozen to death.
Sterilize Your Gardening Materials
Again, this is not a hypocrite move if you really want to prevent any pests that our eyes cannot spot directly. Sterilize your gardening tools using a basic water-detergent solution.
Also, instead of using normal garden soil that might contain eggs or small pests, you should use potting soils that are purchased from nurseries as they are sterilized and full of nutrients.
While working on your garden everyday, you must also look out for the signs of pests. If you spot the normal characteristics of a plant being infested, you should immediately remove the plant from the greenhouse and treat it separately.
You may also want to segment out your greenhouse so that there is a space for you to treat infested plants. Most of the time, pests will release some kind of chemical substances to attract more of their species. Thus, moving your plants out of the greenhouse may not be the choice.
Mesh Screens To Stop Flying Pests
Another greenhouse gardening pest control measure would be to install mesh screens on all air ventilation facilities, if any. However, you must not seal out every air vent of your greenhouse.
Setting up mesh screens on all air vents can prevent flying pests such as roaches, hornets, moths and whiteflies from entering your greenhouse via the air vents.
Natural Biological Control
You can always combat pests by introducing their worst natural predator into your greenhouse habitat. You can always purchase ladybugs and praying mantis egg cases from your local garden center or online stores to be placed within your greenhouse.
Here comes the question. What if there is no more pests and your natural helper starts to outgrow the number of pests? Well, they will die off due to the lack of food. They don’t feast on your plants due to hunger so don’t worry about that.
Browse through our website for our range of bird netting and insect screening products to keep your greenhouse safe from pests. www.wintergardenz.com.au