Have you ever purchased and applied an insecticide only to be frustrated with the results? It happens, and the majority of the time we find that the insecticide was applied incorrectly. Today’s blog gives you 7 best practices to follow when applying insecticides.

1. Apply in the morning when temperatures are cooler. Many insecticides can cause damage to your plants if you spray them during the heat of the day. Applying insecticides in morning hours are best, evening hours are next best.

2. Read label and follow application instructions. This simple tip gets overlooked the most. Many gardeners ignore the label and then get frustrated when the product doesn’t seem to work. You might miss the instructions for follow applications, or that you need to apply again if it rains. Sometimes the label states that you can only apply a certain amount of times per year, or specifically lists plants not to use it on. Read and get knowledge.

3. Spray the entire plant, especially under the leaves. Getting a true, full coverage is key to getting the best result from your insecticide of choice. Repeat the mantra, “No pest left behind!” Try aiming your sprayer in an upward direction to get the underside of the leaves where many pests and their offspring tend to hide.

4. Label and use specific spray bottles for specific products. For example, don’t use a sprayer that previously had weed killer in it to currently spray for insects. There could be left over residue from previous products that could cause damage to your plants.

5. Always remember that insecticides are not selective. The same spray you may choose to rid yourself of cabbage loopers will also knock out a Monarch caterpillar. So while the spray can’t be selective, you can! Choose the least toxic option that will give you the pest control you need and protect plants you don’t want affected.

6. Beware of insecticide drift. This goes hand in hand with the tip above. Insecticides can drift in the wind and get deposited on plants that you have set aside for your pollinators/beneficial insects. Opt to spray plants on calm mornings.

7. Respect shelf life. Store insecticides in a cool area out of direct sunlight and use by expiration date for maximum effectiveness.

Come see us at Rainbow Gardens for any of your insecticide needs. We’ll help you get the right product for the problem you’re having.

~The Happy Gardener