Use Barriers and Traps
Pests and bugs can do everything from flying and hitchhiking to crawling and riding, so they never lose an opportunity to enter your greenhouse when you open the door, bring in new tools, or buy new plants. However, the easiest way to keep them out is using screens, barriers, and traps at every opening that lets them in.
Close all windows and vents with screens and place air locks between your greenhouse and the outdoors. You can also use floating row covers to protect crops from pests. Sticky traps work great for whiteflies, moths, and fruit flies.
Check Your Tools and Clean Them Regularly
Unsanitary tools can easily infest your greenhouse with unwanted bugs and pests. Be sure to clean and wash your tools with hot water and bleach them before you put them to use.
Even if tools appear clean to your naked eyes, they may be carrying dirt which can be very harmful for your plants. Disinfect your spades, trowels and every single tool in soapy water to prevent pests from infesting your greenhouse. (Read More: Two Methods to a Great Clean: Greenroom Sterilization & Sanitation)
Eliminate Every Source of Standing Water
Standing water is conducive to the growth and spread of bugs and pests so make sure there is no source of stagnant water in and around the green house. Whether it is a jug or a puddle, eliminate every single source of water.
Isolate Your New Plants
Your greenhouse may be completely pest-free but a new plant may turn out to be buggy. Pretty soon this one plant will plague your entire greenhouse with bugs. To prevent this from happening, you need to keep your new plants in an isolation chamber till you can be sure that they are free from bugs. If you don’t have an isolation chamber, you can use an aquarium with a tight-fitting lid.
Clear the Clutter
Keep the area inside your greenhouse and around it free from dirt and debris. Your general greenhouse upkeep should include washing down of surfaces, hosing off the floors, cleaning the pots, disinfecting the tools, and emptying of the entire greenhouse at least once every year. (Read More: Daily Duties: Keeping Them All in Check in the Greenhouse)
Conduct a Pest Inspection
It is vital to monitor all the plants for pest activity. Just the way, plants love a warm, humid environment so do pests and bugs. Early detection of pest activity will enable you to control the problem before it gets out of hand. You can employ effective pest monitoring devices to detect their presence in hot spots.
Take Countermeasures to Reduce Insecticide Resistance
Most of the hazardous greenhouse bugs and pests are small in size with short lifecycles but high birth rates. Due to this, they develop high resistance to insecticides when the same chemicals are sprayed and applied frequently. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent or at least delay this insecticide resistance.
These techniques include reducing the frequency of treatment, reducing the use of insecticides that have a long-term impact, avoiding insecticides that have an adverse impact on the adults as well as the larvae, and finally, employing biological repellents and non-chemical pest control methods for efficient pest management. (Read More: The Benefits of Biocontrol for Growers)
Use a Pest Control Agency
Despite your best efforts, there is every possibility that pest and bugs may bring mayhem to your greenhouse by eating away at your plants, damaging lawns and spreading diseases. If you want to ensure that your greenhouse remains free from hazardous pests, hire a commercial pest control agency that uses an integrated pest management approach to pest-proof your greenhouse.
Armed with the knowledge to deal with greenhouse pests, these agencies do everything from pest inspection and sanitation to rodent control and moisture control. They are fully equipped with all the tools and techniques needed to swiftly identify and effectively eliminate bugs and pests from your greenhouse.
For more information on growing healthy plants in a greenhouse, see Maximum Yield's featured selection of Greenhouse articles.