Saturday, October 20, 2018
Home and Garden

Timely Tendings: Use the least toxic option when controlling vegetable pests

Control pests on vegetable plants using least toxic methods

Scout your vegetable garden regularly for insect pests. Be sure to look for beneficial insects like lady bugs, green lacewings, and minute pirate bugs. These will help control common pests like aphids, whiteflies and mites.

Many pests can be controlled by removing the insect or an infested branch. If you find that you need to treat with a pesticide, always try the least toxic method first. Pesticides like Neem oil, fish oil and insecticidal soaps will control many insects and not contaminate your harvest.

Use chemical pesticides (even organic ones) with caution; read and follow the label carefully; and pay close attention to the number of days you must wait after spraying before you can harvest. Also, be certain that the product label lists the crop you are going treat.

For more information, see our fact sheet on Natural Products for Insect Pest Management at

Compiled by Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. For additional landscape and garden information, visit For regular tips and information about what’s growing in Pinellas, go to