PESTS ARE A PAIN
There is a lot of information out there telling you how to get rid of pests in a hydroponic garden. For example, which pests are good, which are most common, and what to do about them and when. Considering I consume what I grow, as I’m sure you do to, trying to cure one problem might inadvertently create another, possibly one that could affect our long-term health. So, when it comes to using an insecticide, I prefer one that has a short life span. One that can be washed off, have little residual affect and can be flushed from the plant prior to harvest.
What does systemic mean? A pesticide that is
GROUPS OF PESTICIDES
There are three main groups of pesticides used in hydroponics:
- Contact, mainly non-systemic
- Surface, mainly non-systemic
- Trans-located, mainly systemic
These types are designed to be sprayed or applied directly to a pest. They are designed to kill on contact. (Think of a can of Raid for killing ants). Excess spray however can be absorbed by the plant through the leaves and stem.
These types of products are for treating the plant via a spray. The chemical coats the plant foliage and will kill an insect when it walks over the treated area. It will also kill the insect if it decides to nibble on the leaves. Again, these pesticides aren’t designed to be taken into the plant systemically but some do. This is especially true with indoor gardening as there tends not be be any rain, which normally would wash the plant surface of the chemical.
These pesticides are mainly of the systemic variety. As mentioned, they can be placed via a spray and then absorbed into the plant as a whole thus turning the entire plant poisonous to the pests. They usually have a longer residual affect which is why they can affect not only the plant but fruit, seeds and pollen.
The bottom line? For the most part every grower will have an unwanted pest. If you decide to use a pesticide go with the least harmful, the Contact type first. If you would like more information on using more organic pesticides, read my Blog entitled “Organic Hydroponics & Pesticide Use” October 2016.
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