Wednesday, September 22, 2010

IPM in practice

Amanda and I got a practical lesson in Integrated Pest Management today while assisting Caleb as he gets ready to plant a row of Ilex crenata as a hedge behind the annual border in the Lily Pool Terrace. These Japanese Hollies came from the nursery with some hitchhikers, a wax scale (Ceroplastes sp.). Caleb's solution was to handpick the plants before introducing them into his area and so we spent some time inspecting each small shrub for these scale insects that seemed to resemble barnacles. It reminded me a little of squashing Colorado Potato Beetle eggs and Mexican Bean Beetle larvae in my own small vegetable garden. It was a neat lesson in IPM. Because the plants were small and the insects quite large and easy to spot and remove, it seemed like the most practical way to approach the problem and hopefully prevent the insect's spread. If the insect was smaller and more entrenched, perhaps the plants would have gone back to the nursery or another method used to try and control the population.

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