Are you worried about losing your eagerly anticipated homegrown crops to insect pests? Follow these essential tips to keep your fruit and veg safe, as Lucy Chamberlain explains
Beat Fruit And Veg Pests
If you leave big numbers of pests unchecked on the veggie plot you’ll soon regret it, says Lucy. Many have a rapid breeding rate and sneaky success tactics.
It may not be enough to get rid of them by encouraging beneficial creatures like ladybirds and lacewings.
But don’t worry! Understanding the tactics of each pest species and taking quick, appropriate action will pay off in the end and help you protect your crops.
4 Ways To Beat Fruit And Veg Pests
1 Add barriers such as insect mesh to thwart carrot rootfly, cabbage rootfly collars, and winter moth grease bands.
2 Break the life cycle of pests by hoeing under fruit trees in winter to destroy the grubs and pupae of apple sawfly and pear midge.
3 Choose varieties that are resistant to pests, such as ‘Flyaway’ (above) and ‘Resistafly’ carrots, which experience fewer rootfly issues.
4 Companion planting: confuse pests by growing target crops between flowers. Plant scent-emitting ornamentals such as tagetes among crops like tomatoes.
Top Tips To Beat Fruit And Veg Pests
Lucy’s guide to keeping your crops safe from pesky insect pests
• Use fatty acid-based sprays (Doff Universal Bug Killer) to target soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars and aphids that don’t fly away.
• Enlist the help of biological controls – natural predators and parasites that target pests while leaving harmless creatures alone.
• Try systemic insecticides that travel inside plant sap (like Bug Clear Ultra). These target pests such as whitefly that fly into the air when sprayed.
• Set pheromone traps to attract and kill male adult insects before they mate with females. Raspberry beetles, codling moths, plum moths and leek moths are suitable targets.
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Featured Image Credit: Alamy