I start with cleanliness, no leaf or fragments on the floor (or laying on the media), any soil spills get cleaned up, I try to keep anything not needed for the plants out of their grow area…a clear, clean background makes it easy to see anything out of place…any small, mobile spots with 4 - 6 - 8 - 1000 legs will be seen and squashed.
I take off my shoes from the outside, they can carry a lot of bad stuff in, soil borne pests and pathogens.
I do plant maintenance before going outside for yard work…or shower and change if the outside work came first…last thing I want to do is introduce a caterpillar to my garden one day and see Jabba the Hutt looking out first thing the next day!
Sticky yellow paper traps are my next defense…bugs like the yellow color and they are sticky, I’m always getting them stuck on me…plus they can help identify what’s bugging your plants and help plan the proper defense by catching an offender rather than spray and think the pest is taken care of.
I have a green LED headlight for checking the garden after lights out…the green LED won’t affect it’s dark period and that’s when lots of pests are active.
Healthy plants, roots in aerated soil not kept too moist…fans, fresh air and good air movement help…bugs can smell a plant open to attack, roots with rotting tips, pathogens are everywhere constantly carried in on our street clothes…just looking for a host…Pests, a host and opportunity…chip away at the triangle!
I’m from a generation that saw DDT with a skull and crossbones on shelves to be used…where Monsanto and Roundup are now being taken to court over heath issues after decades and decades of use…and prefer stopping pests at the door rather than regular spraying.