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With increasing temperatures and the development of flowers and buds, numerous insects also return to the garden, which we had managed to forget during the cold season. In fact, most insects develop at their best during the hot season, attacking our plants, both in the garden and in the orchard and in the orchard.
Before talking about the insects that most often afflict our plants, we want to remember how some simple tricks can help us a lot in defending the garden from pests. First of all we recall that, especially in the vegetable garden, there are varieties and hybrids of many plants, selected as they are very resistant to pest attack; in addition to this, in general, placing healthy and vigorous plants at home is already a first step to having an insect-proof garden: well-developed plants, placed in the most suitable place (with the most favorable exposure and suitable soil), watered and fertilized in the best way, they can withstand slight infestations by insects, without suffering irreparable damage; moreover, often suitable cultivation treatments lead plants to be even more resistant to the attacks of parasites, which rarely colonize them.
We also remember simple tricks:
- We avoid always planting the same plants in the garden, we try instead to practice the rotation, cultivating different plants every year in every single plot.
- We avoid replacing a sick plant with a new plant of the same species, placing it in the same soil.
- Periodically we clean the soil near our plants and, where necessary, remember to repair the foot of the plants with mulching material.
- We manually remove the leaves or sprouts that we notice have been attacked by parasites.
The most widespread insects in the summer
The mild climate and the sun, often associated with spring rains or summer storms, generally lead to the proliferation of specific insects.
Especially in summer we develop snails, which willingly feed on young leaves and buds, preferring fleshy leaves, especially those of young seedlings from the garden.
Rosure and small holes, generally circular, on shrubs, flowers or trees, are instead to be attributed to the oziorrionco and to other insects, such as beetles or larvae of trunks, beetles and elaterids; during the spring and early summer seasons it is more likely that the larvae have underground development, feeding on the roots of the plants as well, the presence of them is noted above all as regards the potted plants, which have a sudden deterioration. In summer, on the other hand, the adults of beetles of various species, and the larvae of trunks and elateridae, feed on the leaves, in particular, in general, their presence is noted on rose shrubs and geraniums.
In the vegetable garden, on the other hand, it is easier to see rosure on the potato or aubergine plants by the dorifore, characteristic insects with green or yellow bodies, streaked with black.
On the young shoots we have in summer, often with a fairly humid climate, a proliferation of aphids of various species, particularly present in the garden and in the rose garden.
Yellow leaves, which present small yellowish dots, are often a symptom of attack by mites, whose development is favored by the dry climate; the summer climate and poor ventilation instead favor the development of scale insects.
The warm season, generally starting from May-June, favors the development of metcalfa, which is manifested by the presence of a material similar to cotton, spread on the stems and below the leaves; plants affected by metcalfa, on which we can notice small silvery-gray insects, perish rapidly.
We take care of the plants
In spring and summer, in addition to pests in the garden, many useful insects also proliferate; some, like ladybugs, chrysoperla and some arachnids, feed on harmful insects, so their presence in our garden is to be safeguarded, as well as that of pollinating insects.
For this reason during the warm months it is good to use insecticides only in the case of actual presence of insects on the plants, and look for very selective and specific active ingredients. We use broad-spectrum insecticides with great parsimony, only as a "last resort" and far from the blooms, or from the plants that useful insects prefer.
Often the manual removal of harmful insects, spraying leaves with water or steaming with soft soap solves most problems, or at least helps us contain the population of harmful insects.
If we do not find soft soap on the market (it is a little caustic soap, based on potassium) we can dilute 4-5 liters of water with a tablespoon of Marseille soap; with the solution so prepared we spray the plants affected by insects, taking care to wet the insect colonies well, since this type of homemade insecticide kills only by contact.
In specialized shops we can also find biological insecticides, based on natural extracts, often they have a repellent smell or taste for most of the sucking insects or with chewing apparatus. In recent years, many remedies with low environmental impact are available, such as bacillus thuringiensis or pheromone traps.
If we wish we can also help useful insects by inserting new populations; in general the most easily found insects on the market are the ladybirds, devourers of cochineals and aphids.
Summer insects: chemical insecticides
If our garden infestation is massive and we can't make our plants survive, we will have to turn to chemicals; however, we try to use the broad spectrum insecticides as little as possible, as most of the pyrethroids do; or we look for insecticides whose action is poorly persistent, so that their presence in the environment is limited. We use these products away from flowering periods, trying to treat only insect-infested plants. If we use any type of insecticide, chemical or organic, in the garden or in the orchard, or on any other edible plant, remember to check on the label the period of deficiency, or the time interval within which the product is active, which coincides with the period in which the plants are not edible, even if well washed or immersed in disinfectant solutions.
We also remind you to use insecticide products only on days with little wind, and in the cooler hours of the morning or evening, to prevent the liquid that remains on the leaves from having a lens effect, which added to the sun's rays can lead to harmful burns. .