6. Pests

Bugs really bug some people, so they use nasty chemicals to kill them. Florida-friendly yards use IPM — integrated pest management. That means nasty chemicals are a last resort. What’s IPM?

Healthy, native plants are already resistant to pests and don’t need chemicals.

If problems do arise, use spot-treatment, rather than covering your whole yard with a pesticide.

Remember, too much water or fertilizer can encourage pests.

Mowing your lawn too short will weaken the grass and also encourage pests.

You don’t want to get rid of all the bugs in your yard — plenty of birds love to eat bugs.

In a diverse, Florida-friendly yard, there will be plenty of “good” insects to eat the “bad” ones that might harm your plants.

What sort of pests could you find in your yard? For more information on bad critters with fun names like “thrips” and “mealybugs,” go to http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/TOPIC_Garden_Pests