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Integrated pest management, or "IPM," is a process you can use to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM can be used to manage all kinds of pests anywhere—in urban, agricultural, and wild land or natural areas.

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Keep Chemicals off your plate!

The EPA considers 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides carcinogenic. A 1987 National Academy of Sciences report an estimated that pesticides may be the cause of an estimated 4 million cancer cases among Americans. In addition to cancer pesticides are implicated in birth defects, nerve damage and genetic mutations.

Protect Water Quality

  1. Water makes up two-thirds of our body mass and covers three-fourths of the planet. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates pesticides-some cancer causing – contaminate the groundwater in 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population.
  2. Harvest rainwater.
  3. Get a rain barrel.
  4. Your garden  will surely thank you for it!

Green Lacewings

Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Neuroptera Family: Chrysopidae

Lacewings undergo complete metamorphosis with eggs hatching about 4 days after being laid, and larvae develop through three instars before pupating. Larvae, which are pale with dark markings, look like tiny alligators. Larvae are flattened, tapered at the tail, measure 3-20 mm (1/8 to 4/5 of an inch) long, have distinct legs, and possess prominent mandibles with which they attack their prey. Larvae prey upon a wide variety of small insects including mealybugs, psyllids, thrips, mites, whiteflies, aphids, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, and insect eggs. Pupation occurs in loosely woven, spherical, silken cocoons attached to plants or under loose bark. 

Ladybugs

Delphastus pussilus/ Delphastus catalinae
Kingdom:AnimaliaPhylum:ArthropodaClass:InsectaOrder:ColeopteraFamily:Coccinellidae

  1. Both larvae and adults are active whitefly predators that can consume numerous eggs or nymphs each day. An adult Delphastus takes no longer than half a minute to handle a whitefly egg, and devours up to 160 eggs or 12 large nymphs daily. A larva consumes 1000 whitefly eggs (less if it also eats whitefly nymphs) during its entire development. Adults and larvae feed by piercing the insect with their mouthparts and alternately sucking and regurgitating the internal contents to digest and consume it. Adult females feed more on eggs than on later stages. They are strong fliers that will migrate to areas that contain high densities of whiteflies. D. pusillus is most effective at high whitefly densities. Since adult female beetles must feed on over 200 eggs per day in order to reproduce, it may be limited if whitefly populations are low.
  2. Adults are small (1⁄16 in), shiny, black beetles.
  3. The Coccinellidae are also considered useful insects, because many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places.

Neem

Kingdom: Plantae Division: Magnoliophyta Order: Sapindales Family: Meliaceae Genus: Azadirachta Species: A. indica

  • Neem is a key ingredient in non-pesticidal management (NPM), providing a natural alternative to synthetic pesticides. Neem seeds are ground into a powder that is soaked overnight in water and sprayed onto the crop. To be effective, it is necessary to apply repeatedly, at least every ten days. Neem does not directly kill insects on the crop. It acts as an anti-feedant, repellent, and egg-laying deterrent, protecting the crop from damage. The insects starve and die within a few days. Neem also suppresses the hatching of pest insects from their eggs. Neem cake is often sold as a fertilizer.

Redworms- Eisenia Fetida

  • The soil builders of the planet. Able to consume half their body weight in organic matter every 24 hours, they leave behind a water soluble casting that is 5 to 11 times richer in nutrients than the food they ate! The Earthworms powerful gizzard grinds the kitchen scraps and yard waste while the intestinal tract secretes chemicals which release major and minor plant nutrients rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Calcium and Magnesium and trace elements.

Diatomaceous Earth

  1. Used for ants, cockroaches, and beetles from lawn, garden.
  2. Great flee and tick control.
  3. Sprinkle everywhere around the house, dog and under the canopy of your garden.
  4. I have heard of two explanations of how DE works
  5. One is that on a microscopic level, the diatomaceous earth particles are very sharp looking. These particles stick to an insect and get stuck between its exoskeleton joints. As the insect moves, it gets physically cut up.
  6. The other explanation is that diatomaceous earth sticks to the insect and somehow causes them to dry out. I think this approach involves scratching the insects waxy layer which then allows precious moisture within the insect to get out. So their teeny tiny bug-innards turn into teeny tiny bug-innards-jerky.

Florida Seaweed

  1. Fantastic fertilizer for your fruit trees and vegetable gardens!
  2. It’s Free!
  3. Betters the environment. Keeping our beaches clean and recycling what nature has to offer.
  4. Organic! And it is Free! Oh yeah I mentioned that!

Preventive Measures

  1. Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming. However, in conventional farming, the soil is merely used as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, American farms are suffering the worst soil erosion in history.
  2. Feed & Nourish the soil first. Grow second.

Promote Biodiversity

  1. Mono-cropping is the practice of planting large plots of land with the same crop year after year. While this approach tripled farm production between 1950-1970,
  2. The lack of natural diversity of plant life leaves the soil lacking natural minerals and nutrients.
  3. To replace the nutrients, chemical fertilizers are used, often in increasing amounts.
  4. Single crops are also much more susceptible to pests, making farmers more reliant on pesticides.

Protect Farm Workers & Help Small Farmers

  1. Support your LOCAL farmers market.
  2. Ask questions. Know your farmer, know exactly where your food is coming from.
  3. Participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
  4. Besides growing your own food, gardens are a great way to beautify a community or back yard, and to bring pride in ownership.