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PESTS

Plant pests include insects, mites, molluscs, millipedes and mammals. This section will concentrate on the "creepy crawlies" you may find from time to time around your daylilies and will provide you with a quick and easy means of pest identification. Many more pests are included here than you are likely to find causing problems in a single garden. Your daylilies may well have no significant pest problems; the intention here is merely to assist you to identify and develop a little understanding of any that you may possibly encounter.

All the pests mentioned have been seen at some time in daylily gardens, but not all are likely to cause significant problems. Finding one or two should not necessarily be cause for immediate control measures to be implemented; assess the damage level first to see if it can be tolerated. Control may not be necessary, as the problem could be limited in its extent; or natural pest enemies may take care of it for you. Make sure any suspect is actually the one causing the visible damage: look at the type of injury. Pests damage plants in different ways - some by chewing, some by piercing the tissue and sucking out the plant juices for example - so knowing the typical feeding damage can help with identification of the culprit. When in doubt as to the cause of your problem, consult your local Extension or Ministry of Agriculture specialists, who will be able to assist you with diagnosis.

Maintaining your plants in good condition with adequate water and sufficient nutrients will go a long way towards helping them overcome or avoid pest problems. But bear in mind that higher nitrogen levels are considered to make plants more attractive to certain pests.

If damage occurs, consider other options before using chemical pesticides; there may be less or non-toxic approaches to the problem. Even plain water sprayed from a hose can help minimize infestations by certain pests. Where possible, less toxic controls which can be tried are listed under the individual pests. If these fail to give adequate control and damage is significant enough that a chemical pesticide is considered necessary, local advice should be sought regarding its selection, since product availability varies regionally, as does the timing of application, etc. Remember that using a chemical pesticide inappropriately can actually increase pest problems by eliminating beneficial insects, and incorrect use may damage plants.


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