Is there a best time to spray bug killer in the gardens?

Scotty0613August 17, 2013

I live in S. Florida and is there a particular time of the year to spray bug killer in the gardens?

How many times of the year should I spray and can you recommend an all purpose bug killer?

Thanks, Scott

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kayjones(Mo6b)

Warm, soapy water will kill most insects. In your area, I wouldn't spray anything on plants during the hot summer - just use water from your garden hose to blast them off.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:10PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

If you have honey bees try to avoid early morning...but that generally your most effective time...living in rainy fl, you need to spray around the rain!

Acephate based pesticide work good here, I know is used alot across the south east...
They are guaranteed to kill the beficial bugs just as dead just as fast or faster than the target bug!

What are you having trouble with?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 6:11AM
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Scotty0613

@grabmebymyhandle - Not having trouble with any type of a certain bug. Just seeing when the best time is and what part of the year is the worst.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 8:23AM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

For veggies I do not treat for bugs prophylacticly. I avoid pesticides on the veggies. Treat the problem if one shows up. I like soap spray. If you have a problem and are not sure contact your county agent.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:04AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Most bugs are either "good," or of no consequence to ornamental plants. Killing all of them carte blanche is pointless and destructive.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:25AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Hi Scotty! So we meet again. :)

I absolutely agree with Purple - to widespread "kill them all", especially with the significant collapse in bee colonies, is to have no consideration or regard for our future and future generations. For bees, far more important than avoiding early morning is to avoid spraying anything in bloom! For example, Citrus Greening and the asian psyllid are wrecking the citrus industry across the south, and mainly Florida. A systemic insecticide can be used to mitigate the psyllid (but not the virus) - BUT - the most important instruction on the bottle: apply AFTER blooming is complete. The systemic should NOT be applied while bees are still active on the plant!

The "best" time to spray is when you see a specific insect on a specific plant and to use the specific insecticide made for that problem. Don't forget that a wide-range insecticide made to damage the nervous system of a whole bunch of insects may also have an impact on your nervous system. There will be plenty of naysayers that say "no" but be very careful when handling, spraying or breathing any chemical.

Lastly, I have a pretty extensive garden and bugs got the best of several of my plants this year. It was everything I could do to keep my hands in my pockets and not spray. But I didn't, because my yard is also chock full of honeybees. In the big picture, it just wasn't worth it.

Good luck, Scotty!

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Well said, Carol. I didn't have time to say more yesterday. We don't own any garden chemicals but the yard is full of beautiful healthy plants. A few that didn't do well have been replaced. It's much easier and safer to work with nature than try to control it. Don't discount the work force out there - lizards, birds, toads, frogs, skinks, and all of the beneficials capable of flight, devoting their lives to keeping your plants free of pests.

I might also encourage you to plant with nature in mind, meaning avoiding monocultures like hedges, veggies all in one place, multiple 'foundation shrubs' of a single species, NOT doing things that invite problems or constitute a great loss in one area if something is attacked. Generally, ornamental plants sited properly so they are healthy, in both regard to sun exposure and soil fertlity/moisture/texture, are unlikely to be killed by pest invasion, though maybe occasionally visited.

And just some common sense. For example, your $1.19 packet of seeds sprouted a melon vine. Spending more money on a chemical to rid them of some pest that might show up is starting to defeat the purpose of these 'free' melons. And now they're no different than the store-bought ones. ...and you're sweaty, mosquito-bitten, a little more toxic stuff in your yard, and your plant may or may not survive. Those who must have a harvest to survive are going to need a different plan, but for casually landscaping your yard or trying your hand at weekend veggies, this is my opinion on things.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 10:53AM
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