The Q&A Archives: Insects

Question: I have been using Ortho Sevin for my vegetables. I applied it 5 days ago and went out this morning to find that something has been having a feast on my bush beans and eggplants . Do you have a better suggestion to save my vegetables ?

Answer: Sevin is effective against a large number of insects, from caterpillars to beetles to fleas. It's also highly toxic to bees, and for that reason isn't the best treatment if you want to maintain a healthy garden. The first course of action is to try to identify the critters that are causing problems with your veggies. Knowing what you're dealing with will help you choose the least toxic course of action. Most plants can put up with a certain amount of damage to the leaves, and it won't affect the plant's performance or ability to bear fruit. Sevin is not effective agains snails or slugs - if you see a slime trail on or near the plants, perhaps they are the culprits. I'd inspect the plants both early morning and in the evening when some insects are most active - look for earwigs, snails, caterpillars or beetles on the surface or undersides of the leaves. Once you catch the insect in the act, you can identify him and choose a control measure that's specific to the pest.

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