Pests in the Landscape

Pests in the Landscape

By: Jim Taylor

One of my jobs here at Garner Exteriors is to visit sites and perform Integrated Pest Management services.

The goal of these services is to identify any disease or pests that may be affecting the health of a plant in the landscape and execute a plan to control them.

The University of California defines it as:

Integrated pest management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and nontarget organisms, and the environment.

Taken from their website:

Pictured Below: Adult Leaf Minor on Boxwood


In practice it is much simpler – Is the pest killing or deforming the plant so it no longer adds value to the landscape?

If yes – what is the least noxious way we can control these pests or diseases? I always look for other critters as I poke around the planting – are lady bugs or Praying mantis present? These are the good guys -they consume the pests. I truly don’t want to wipe out a population -if I did these beneficial insects would go looking for a meal elsewhere.

Does the plant just need to be moved elsewhere – too much sun or too little. Is the watering sufficient? Or too much?  Lots of factors cross my mind as I look at a stressed out plant.

I have been doing this or something like it for 30 years now – every week I find something new or learn a new approach -lesson being to keep an open mind.

We are blessed to live in a time of quick information, as well as, live in Maryland. The University of Maryland produces an IPM report every Friday during the growing season. They gather information from all over the area and give us heads up as to what to look for!  Their link is:

They carry years of back issues and have a competent search engine to easily find what you are looking for.

If you would like any help identifying a pest or a disease or you are looking for treatment options, please feel free to reach out and myself and the team at Garner Exteriors would be happy to help! 410-867-0000