Summertime is a popular vacation time for many folks, but it certainly is not for insects.
During this time, summer garden pests are most active, and pest management goes into full swing.
To control the general insect population, you can use
- Insecticidal soap
- Neem oil spray for scale, aphids, thrips, mealybugs, and more
- Beneficial insects (Good Bugs)
However, sorry to say, the spray gun should get lots of use during July if bugs and insect damage are to be kept to a minimum.
Let’s consider some of the insects and related pests which become active during the summer months and against which control measures should be applied in July.
Now, some of these pests/insects do not occur in all parts of the country. You’ll need to rely on past experience and observation to help select the proper controls or sprays to use.
You will, of course, encounter the usual insect pest visitors to the vegetable garden and landscape plants ready to extract their damage:
- Aphids – control plant lice with home remedies, Neem, soapy water, or insecticidal soap
- Leaf devouring slugs and snails – use Diatomaceous Earth for control
- Tomato Worms – Control with Bt Bacillus thuringiensis
- Caterpillars – Control with Bt Bacillus thuringiensis
July… Time For Japanese Beetle Control
- Horse chestnut
They also like roses, zinnias, and the silks on sweet corn. Roses may also see their share of powdery mildew.
Note: It has been reported that Knock Out Rose bushes do not experience attacks from Japanese Beetles as much as other roses.
When the beetle population is unusually heavy, weekly applications may be necessary.
From the article: “How To Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles.”
Using biological controls and applying Bacillus popillae and enlisting the assistance of beneficial nematodes should reduce your grub population significantly. A few hardy adult beetles will surely emerge from the soil in the springtime intent upon consuming your flowers, vegetables and trees. To discourage them, apply a natural neem oil product generously.
You can buy natural neem oil intended for garden use quite affordably online or at your local garden center. Make an effective spray easily. Remember that with all-natural spray such as this, you must spray on a regular basis – especially after a rain.
Begin with a stronger concentration of spray (2 %) to kill off as many existing beetles as you can. Follow that up with a weaker mixture for prevention. ALWAYS TEST a small area for any potential reactions to plants before applying on larger spaces.
For a strong 2% solution try this recipe:
- Four Teaspoons of Pure, Cold Pressed Neem Oil
- One Third of a Teaspoon of Insecticidal Soap
- One Quart of Warm Water
Mix the insecticidal soap with the warm water. Add the neem oil slowly and stir well. Fill your sprayer with the mixture and use right away. Shake the solution from time to time throughout the application to make certain the neem oil stays mixed with water.
You can make bigger batches than this; however, remember it’s best for the mixture to remain at a warm room temperature for even disbursal of the oil. Use the entire mixture within 8 hours of preparation.
This pest management solution can also be used to control aphids on roses, caterpillars on roses, squash bugs (Neem oil), spotted cucumber beetle, caterpillars, Colorado potato beetle, June bugs and others. It’s a good all-around mixture.
Midsummer Spider Mite Troubles
Spider mites become particularly troublesome during midsummer dry spells and on plants growing under unfavorable conditions.
The different kinds of mites include red spiders, southern red mite,s and species named after their principal host, like the
- Spruce mite
- Oak mite
- Boxwood mite
- Honey locust mite
The best time to control mites is early June before they become very numerous.
Unfortunately, they are so tiny that they are easily overlooked, and many gardeners don’t know they are abundant until leaves begin to turn yellow.
An easy way to detect mites is to vigorously shake some leaves or a small branch over a sheet of white paper. The pests will be dislodged and can easily be seen against the white background.
Drawing a circle with a lead pencil around each of the tiny “specks” will make their movement even more discernible.
Look for a miticide for home use, or consider essential oils for mite control. Make sure you follow the labeled directions.
Troublesome Plant Scale
By late June and early July, most of the so-called armored scales, such as the oyster-shell scale and euonymous scale on lilac, euonymous, and other deciduous trees and shrubs, are no longer in the crawling stage.
They have now settled in their permanent locations along twigs and stems. The ordinary contact insecticides are not very effective against this stationary stage, but a spray like Malathion is usually effective. We also like neem oil to control scale.
The crawler stage of some soft scales like lecaniums and the cottony scales on yew. arborvitae and rhododendron are also controlled with Malathon.
If possible, be as environmentally friendly, and controlling pests as you can. Try going down this pest control path:
- Insecticidal Soap
- Neem Pesticide Spray Oil (Our Favorite)
- Last try using Insecticides like Sevin or Malathion – use the right one for the job
Let’s consider insecticides for a moment.
Everyone knows and admits that most insecticides contain toxic materials. Also, these “insecticides” can cause death to humans when they are used under conditions of gross carelessness.