Pests happen. But it’s going to be okay! We’re going to help you manage and control any pest experiences you may have with aphids or mites.
Minor Pest Problem [No observed pests/light infestation]: Use a Knockdown Spray
Treat your plants with a knockdown spray. This can also be done preventatively alongside other preventative methods when no pests are present, as an initial treatment to a light infestation, or the occasional pest here and there.
How does light infestation differ from heavy infestation?
They differ in the total number of observed pests.
- If you see an occasional solitary pest, it’s a light infestation.
- If there are groups of pests all together and present in almost every leaf, the infestation is heavy and you should treat it as a heavy infestation.
How do knockdown sprays work?
Knockdown sprays are usually emulsified essential oils that kill soft-bodied insects and their eggs on contact. Nothing is 100% effective so these sprays are typically not used as the end-all solution for pest control. However, they are an effective tool to rapidly reduce populations of existing infestations in preparation for Stage 3 treatment and can be useful to prevent smaller infestations from growing out of control.
What knockdown spray shall you use?
You can either make your own homemade soap spray or use a ready-mix pesticide.
Homemade Soap Spray
1. Mix the following in a 32 oz. empty spray bottle like this one.
2. Tighten the spray head around the cap closure opening.
3. Shake the bottle before spraying.
You can buy an organic and safe insecticide online that requires no mixing and is ready to use. Sierra Natural Science makes pesticides perfect for home use.
How do I properly spray my Plants?
- Turn off the Gardyn’s lights before spraying and leave them off for 30 minutes after the treatment is complete. After mixing a new spray, test a small leaf before applying it to the whole plant to be sure the spray isn’t too strong. Wait 30 minutes, then check the test area for signs of burning or yellowing.
- Spray both the top and bottom of the leaves (apply liberally to simulate a rainstorm). Alternatively, pour the knockdown spray into a large cup or small bucket, and completely submerge your plant's stalks and leaves to ensure 100% coverage.
- Re-apply every third day.
- Wash plants after harvest to remove any soap residue.
- Check for pests regularly as they can be attracted to the powerful flavors and aromas of certain plants. If you see pests return, spray immediately. Don’t wait for them to multiply and don’t hesitate to discard the most affected plants to protect your entire Gardyn system.
How often shall you spray your plants?
The most important thing to remember is that knockdown sprays need to be applied every third day [spray one day, wait two full days before spraying again]. This schedule maximizes treatment effectiveness by disrupting the pest’s natural lifecycle.
- If using the knockdown spray as a preventative, apply indefinitely to prevent pests from taking hold in the first place.
- If you’re treating an existing infestation, apply the knock-down spray for two weeks and assess if the infestation has been controlled.
Significant problem [Heavy infestation]: Use Biocontrols or Start your Gardyn over.
You can use biocontrols to effectively kill all of the pests. Biocontrols are natural fungi and microbes that attack and kill pests. They are incredibly effective, but also expensive. Despite being all-natural and OMRI-listed organic, biocontrols can sometimes have Restricted Entry Intervals [REI], restricting entry into the room in which the biocontrol was applied. This means after spraying your plants, you’re supposed to wait a designated period before going back into the room. For most biocontrols, this is around 4 hours.
Because of the length of time needed to return safely into the space hosting your Gardyn and the high cost, we recommend biocontrols as a last resort and the final tool in the IPM strategy.
What are the most common biocontrols for aphids, thrips, and mites?
Botaniguard uses the beneficial fungus Beauveria bassiana to control soft-bodied insects. The fungal spores enter through the insect’s protective cuticle and kill it from within. This product has an REI. Follow all label safety and application instructions.
Some pests are good for your Gardyn [Natural Predators]
Beneficial insects like Green Lacewing, Predator Mites, Ladybugs, and Praying Mantids are commonly deployed as natural solutions to infestations. It might sound strange to solve your pest problem with more pests, but this is exactly what happens in nature! Refer to the Arbico Organics resource page to learn which predators are best suited to control your specific pest problem.
One last tip from our Plant Expert
Develop a control system that works best for you. A combination of treatments will be most effective.
For best results, be proactive! Applying preventative measures can help prevent infestations from taking hold in the first place and will encourage would-be pests to search for less stressful options.
If you are trying to manage an existing infestation, Stage 1 and 2 your plants can effectively reduce pest populations, but will not completely eliminate pests altogether. It’s a good idea to knock populations back before moving to Stage 3, which will control any remaining pests leftover from Stages 1 and 2.
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