A healthy garden hosts abundant life, including insects and wildlife.
Most of these share the garden without causing problems. Many are welcome visitors, performing vital functions such as pollinating plants; feeding on undesirable garden pests; and helping to break down plant matter, building soils, and recycling nutrients. But some are garden pests that feed on and injure plants. Your first step: Approach garden pests with Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a philosophy whose primary aim is prevention. IPM begins with using biological (growing a diversity of plants), cultural (choosing plants that are adapted to your climate and garden conditions), and physical controls (pruning diseased branches and leaves) to help avoid serious insect, disease, and other garden pest problems.
Chemical controls using pesticides should be employed as a last resort. Some other physical controls that kill, deter, or capture garden pests include spraying plants with a strong jet of water to dislodge or kill small insects and rotating the location of your plants in your garden from season to season to reduce plant diseases. Remember: healthy plants are less prone to garden pests. Check plants frequently to spot problems before they get out of hand, and water and fertilize appropriately to promote healthy plants.