I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!
Your question is really many in one so I'll try to give a general reply and if you have additional specific questions please post them individually. The best and safest products to use for pests are:
Insecticidal soap - for small soft bodied pests like aphids and mites
Horticultural oil - for small soft bodied pests like aphids and mites; and also scale
B.t. - for caterpillars
Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!
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