An Introduction to Pests in the Urban Landscape
An Introduction to Pests in the Urban Landscape

So on the landscape for energy conservation, one of the main things that we want to do is make your tree as vigorous and as
healthy as possible so that you get the maximum life out of your investment and
one of the important parts of that is pest management and making sure that you don’t have pests in the landscape that are going to reduce the life, the health,
or may even kill your plant. So there are an estimated ten million
species of insects – not possible for us to know all of them that are there, the names of all of them or even be able
to identify them and in fact only about 1% of all of those insects are even
pests on your landscape plants. So the first thing is to plant things
that are going to be resistant to pests. So choosing cultivars that are less
prone to getting insects that have the characteristics that you want and that
are going to do well in the environment that you’re going to put them in. The next
thing is to regularly go through and just take a look at your plants and see
what’s going on. Is the soil moisture good? Is the plant looking healthy? Are
the nutrients in the soil good? Do you see damages or do see evidence
of insects on there? There’s so many different insects and
there’s so many different kinds of damage that you would want to look for.
Some of the insects in the landscape can kill your plant or your tree or your
shrub with only just a few insects such as some of the bark boring beetles. Other
pests like scale insects – I’ve got a camellia scale here. You can see this
camellia leaf has some chlorosis or yellowing on the top of the leaf and when we look on the underside of that leaf, we can actually see evidence
of that scale insect on there. So not only does that mar the beauty of
the plant itself, but it can actually reduce the vigor of that plant and make it
more susceptible to other issues as well. Now pesticides are not the first thing
that you would want to actually do when you when you see issues on your plants. Sometimes just providing better moisture
or optimizing your soil conditions can make that tree strong enough or that
shrub strong enough so that it doesn’t, it can overcome those pest infestations.
Sometimes knowing whether something is a pest or beneficial or just an
indifferent insect there in your landscape can be very important as well.
There’s lots of insects such as scale insects – you can see here I’ve got a plant that
has a lot of lacanian scale on it or Fletcher scale is what on this particular variety. There are
galls that can get on plants as well. So how do we know if this is going to
kill our plant our cause damage? Sometimes we can know. Sometimes you can see, we know camellia is likely to get this camellia scale on it. That can be fairly
easy to identify. Some of these other things can be a little bit more
complicated. So you go out in your landscape. You can
take samples if you notice something that is wrong or doesn’t look quite
right with your plant and you may need to send it to someone like myself, an
entomologist, that can use microscopes and other different types of diagnostic
tools to figure out exactly what the issue is. Sometimes what we think are insects
could actually be a disease or some other nutrient issue and in which case a
pesticide would not be the right option and may actually do harm by reducing
the beneficial insects in the landscape.

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