Pollinator Friendly Pesticides
At Painters we take the protection and support of pollinators very seriously.
At Painters we take the protection and support of pollinators very seriously. However, we also know pests are a real issue and want to bring you safe solutions for dealing with things like pesky white flies, aphids, caterpillars, and more.
We always recommend starting with an insecticidal soap. There are a lot of heavy duty insecticides like Sevin on the market, and far too often people use them without realizing the harm they do to pollinators and other wildlife. Before you use any product it is important to do your homework; research the active ingredients - check for warnings of harm to pollinators (often bees will specifically be mentioned), as well as harm to aquatic life (many of us live near waterways/ponds and runoff can be a serious issue), and of course make sure they are listed as safe on edibles if being used on your veggies or herbs. You can read about our Integrative Pest Management practices as well as the top active ingredients we recommend avoiding in home gardens here.
You can find recipes for insecticidal soap online, but we recommend Bonide's All Seasons Horticultural and Dormant Spray Oil. In our experience this spray is effective for treating a range of pests problems, including white flies, as well as diseases and fungal issues. It even works on caterpillars, can be used on everything from shrubs and trees to houseplants and veggies, and is a great all around spray!
Typically with things like white flies or aphids (or really any pest) the first step is to remove as many as possible with a steady stream of water followed by some kind of treatment. Neem oil spray is an option but honestly we have never found it to be very effective. Both neem oil spray and horticultural soap kill pests by smothering them. That is why it is important to make sure you are fully coating all sides of the leaf, stem, and getting into the little nooks and crannies - you want to make sure every last bug is covered. This also means you may need to reapply over the course of a couple weeks get pests currently in different lifecycles.