Pests Driving You Buggy? By Tim Hodson

Greenhouse pests.

Everybody has them. Nobody wants them. What’s a grower to do?

The damage that insects can wreak in your greenhouse can be devastating. In today’s economy, no one can afford to lose crops — especially to insects. That is why developing an integrated pest management (IPM) plan should be one of your top priorities.

What Are Some of the Options?

This month we have put a special emphasis on insects to provide you with some insight on how to deal with greenhouse pests. As Richard Lindquist says in his article on page 16, “Most pests that attack and damage plants in greenhouses are likely to be hard to control. If controlling them were easy, they would not be pests.”

There are a plethora of pest control options out there for growers. The articles in this issue are intended to provide you with additional information on just some of those options.

In Lindquist’s aforementioned article, “Top-Ranking Solutions,” he has created two very helpful lists for growers. The first list will help you identify some of the troublesome symptoms that greenhouse pests can create. But more important is his second list: It offers some troubleshooting solutions that growers can use to combat and control insects.

Effective and sustainable pesticide application methods are another key ingredient to a successful IPM program. In “Cold Fogging for the Future” on page 22, Thomas Meyer takes a look at how this technology works and some of the benefits that it can provide to growers when it comes to pest and disease management.

In “To Screen, or Not to Screen?” on page 26, Associate Editor Darhiana Mateo talks to several industry experts to get their take on using insect netting/screening to control pests. Netting/screening has been around for a while, but some growers are now looking to this option as an essential part of their IPM program.

If the pests in your greenhouse are driving you buggy, check out these articles. And if you have other ideas for pest management articles that you would like to see in future issues of GPN, drop me a line at

2009 Sustainability Progress Awards

Don’t forget, we are still looking for growers for the 2009 Sustainability Progress Awards. If you know a grower who has implemented sustainable production and business techniques and is contributing to a better tomorrow, please let them know about these awards. Just go to the Special Links section on and click “Sustainability Awards.” There you will find all of the criteria for entering this year’s competition. The 2009 Sustainability Progress Awards are sponsored by GPN and OFA — an Association of Horticulture Professionals.

Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at

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