It is unrealistic to strive for a bug and disease-free landscape. Pesticides provide effective treatment of serious pest problems, but they should not be used routinely or indiscriminately. Unwise use of pesticides can result in pest resistance and can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.
1. There are many beneficial organisms that prey on plant pests. When pesticides are broadcast sprayed over the entire yard, it kills everything! Limit this practice so that beneficial insects such as lady bugs, assassin bugs, green lacewings, big eyed bugs, earwigs, frogs, lizards and birds can thrive in your landscape.
2. Use environmentally friendly controls first. Prune and remove heavily infected plant parts or hand remove plant pests. Change cultural practices to provide less stress on the plants. Stressed plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases.
3. If you must spray, use insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, isopropyl alcohol and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Note: Bt is harmful to butterflies.
4. Reminder! Only 1% of insects are considered pests on plants!
Excerpt proviced by University of Florida IFAS Extention