Dealing with greenhouse pests
Summer is a time when your greenhouse is most likely to be affected by pests due to the warmer temperatures and high humidity levels. Common greenhouse pests include aphids, spider mites, whitefly, thrips, caterpillars, slugs and snails. If not kept under control, pests such as these will cause significant damage to your greenhouse plants. Therefore, it is vital that you take steps to keep pesky insects at bay.
Here are some tips to help reduce problems with greenhouse pests.
• Keep your greenhouse clean. Pests can easily hide in areas that are cluttered, so try to keep your greenhouse tidy. Throw out any old pots or dead plants and keep the area around your greenhouse neat and tidy. Remove weeds and mow your lawn. Pests multiply in grassy areas and in weeds, so keeping your garden well maintained will help to keep your greenhouse safe.
• Avoid bringing infested plants into your greenhouse. Bugs can easily multiply, so if any new plants are already infested, then do not bring them into your greenhouse, as this will cause damage to other plants.
• Keep your greenhouse free of water. Your plants will need plenty of water during summer, but if your greenhouse becomes too wet then this will attract gnats and flies. Remove any stagnant water from your greenhouse and make sure all areas are free of puddles.
• Ventilate your greenhouse. Make sure that your greenhouse is fitted with vents or extractor fans so that it is kept well ventilated. Pests and plant diseases will thrive in high temperatures and humidity levels, so it is vital that there is a good air flow in your greenhouse.
• Inspect plants regularly. Inspect your plants regularly, especially during summer, so that you can spot any signs of pest damage. Remove any larvae or eggs from plants by using blasts of water.
• Remove infested plants. If a plant is heavily infested, then remove it from your greenhouse, as this will reduce the risk of your other plants becoming infected.
• Use sticky traps. Place sticky traps in different areas around your greenhouse. This will help to trap insects and will enable you to identify them more easily.
• Do a little research. If you are unsure as to which insects are harmful to your plants then consider doing some research. This will not only enable you to indentify which insects are likely to harm your plants but will also prevent you from accidentally removing insects that are beneficial to your plants, such as ladybirds.
• Encourage predators to your garden. Larger insects, such as wasps and small animals such as hedgehogs and birds feed off certain types of pests, so try to encourage them to your garden. Create a sheltered area with shrubs and brambles for hedgehogs and add bird baths and bird feeders to your garden to attract birds.
• Use pesticides. Pesticides can be used to remove some insects, but you will need to take care when applying them in your greenhouse, as some contain chemicals that can be harmful to your plants. Use organic pesticides and seek advice if you are unsure about how to apply them to your garden and greenhouse.
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