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Soft Pest Control Newsletter



Getting rid of all the bugs, beetles and other critters on the farm or in gardens or landscape is impossible. It’s also a bad idea. Why? Because most of these living organisms are beneficial. If anything we want to encourage more life and more biodiversity.

Insects usually do a great job of controlling themselves if we don’t foul up the balance by spraying toxic pesticides, using harsh salt fertilizers or watering too much or too little. Even the insects we would classify as harmful, such as aphids, are helpful in their own way. They attack plants that are in stress from problems of the soil or from unusual climate or from poor plant selection or from other big influences. In doing so, they help to eliminate unfit plants or to address the basic problem that caused the stress that invited the pests.

One of the specific so-called pest insects you’ll see pop up in the early spring are giant bark aphids. They are interesting, do very little if any damage and are not worth the trouble to treat. They’ll be gone when the weather warms up.

Diseases are even easier to control. They are simply microorganisms that are out of balance. Reestablishing the balance is the key to control. Toxic chemical pesticides not only don’t do that, they make the situation worse by killing the beneficial microorganisms more efficiently than killing the pathogens. It’s actually possible that there are no pathogens. The terms germs, bacteria and fungus conjure up negative thoughts. They are only negative when out of balance. When in balance with all the other microbes and doing their jobs, they are beneficial.

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To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in each Sunday 8am - 11am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

Please share this newsletter with everyone in your address book and all your friends on Facebook and Twitter to help me spread the word on the proper way to select, plant and maintain plants.

Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett
The Dirt Doctor


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