Vegetable Insect Identification and Management - Florida Greenhouse Vegetable Production Handbook

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The management and control of insects and mites in a greenhouse can be challenging, even under optimum conditions. Integrated pest management (IPM) is a useful approach for producing greenhouse vegetables. It involves integration of cultural, physical, biological, and chemical methods to maximize productivity in a way that is ecologically sound and safe. Often, but not always, it means limiting the use of broad-spectrum insecticides and miticides. IPM implies management of all crop pests, including insects, mites, diseases, nematodes, and weeds; however, only insects and mites will be considered here. Where possible, the effects of measures to control diseases and weeds should enhance or, at least, not interfere with the management of insects and mites.

Many of the general IPM principles and tactics that apply to the control of plant diseases apply to the management of insects and mites. These include regular scouting or monitoring for problems, identifying pests and their life stages, keeping good records of pest management practices, using exclusion techniques, practicing good sanitation, testing soil or plants for nutrients, using biological controls when possible, and using selective pesticides, properly timed and applied.

S. E. Webb
R. C. Hochmuth
University of Florida, IFAS Extension