Pest control is an issue whenever you're growing plants. Whether in a garden, a greenhouse, or a hydroponics setup, you are going to need to consider pest control seriously.

Hydroponic gardening is unique because it allows you to produce fruits and vegetables entirely indoors without needing soil and water from your nearby environment. That means the pest control needs are completely different from other growing setups.

In this article, we're going to look at how to decide on hydroponic pest control.


Getting Pest Control Products for Your Hydroponic Garden

The first thing you need to do is decide on the pest control product that will work best for your hydroponic garden. There are three main types of pesticides: 


Insecticide – controls insects like ants, beetles, aphids, and caterpillars. You can use the same insecticide on both plants and soil-based gardens as long as you follow the instructions to make sure it's safe for your plants.

Fungicide – controls mould, mildew, fungus, spores, and mites that affect any part of a plant including its roots, stems, leaves, and buds.

Herbicide – controls weeds by killing them at the root so they won't grow back for months.


Take a look at the pests you are experiencing in your garden to determine what type of pest control you need and where it should be used.


The most common insect pests 

Aphids – These are tiny (1-5mm) sap-sucking insects that will feed on your plants using piercing mouthparts. If you see ants in the same area as aphids, it means that the ants are actually protecting them because they extract sugary secretions from the aphid and give it protection in return.

Whiteflies – These are small, white insects that usually gather on the undersides of plant leaves. They can fly short distances but don't tend to travel far. Whiteflies will leave behind a sticky substance called honeydew which turns black and could develop sooty mould.

Thrips – Thrips are tiny (1-3mm), slender insects with fringed wings. They attack flower buds, leaves, and stems where they leave behind small holes on these or yellow spots. Thrips can also carry viral plant diseases.

Spider Mites – Spider mites are usually tiny, less than 1mm long with eight legs and no antennae. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts that allow them to pierce the lower leaf surface and suck out plant juices. The results are fine webbing along leaf veins which gives the leaves a speckled or stippled appearance.

Fungus Gnats – These are small, dark grey insects that fly around plants. There are two types: the soil gnat and the fungus gnat. Soil gnats thrive in moist potting soil and tend to live only a few days at most because they need moist conditions. 


Pesticide Residues 

One of the big dangers with pest control products is pesticide residues left behind on your fruits or vegetables. Pesticide residues can be harmful if consumed by either humans or animals and can remain in the fruits and vegetables for a long time after it has been harvested. Pest control products are very dangerous when they have left residues behind on your produce.

The first step is to avoid using any pesticides if possible. Natural pest control is the best option when dealing with pests in your garden because pesticides can pose a danger to you, your plants, and even animals around your home that eat from it.

If you have to use pesticide products, carefully follow all of the instructions for when to use the product and how much of it should be used. You also need to follow the instructions for harvesting your fruits or vegetables so that you can get rid of any residues left behind by the pesticide.


Anticoagulant Pesticides 

Anticoagulants are excellent at keeping pests away from your indoor farm area and leaving no residue behind. This makes them the ideal choice for anyone who wants to protect their garden and grow healthy produce at the same time. 

Pests have a bigger chance of developing resistance to pesticides over time, so having an anticoagulant will work out very well in keeping pests away from your hydroponic garden without harm coming to you or your produce.

The only downside to anticoagulants is that the pests are likely to return in a few weeks if it's not used every day. You may need to use an anticoagulant pesticide several times per week for best results with your pest control efforts. 

If you're going to choose an anticoagulant for your pesticide, choose one that will work best in the area you are growing in. For example, malathion is better at controlling whiteflies and aphids while methoxyfenozide targets cucumber beetles.


Bendiocarb and Carbaryl

Bendiocarb and Carbaryl are excellent choices for killing off any insects that come near your hydroponic patch. They may take up to a week before they begin to work, but they will leave no pesticide residue behind on your produce.

These pesticides aren't quite as effective as anticoagulants. Pests also develop resistance after being exposed enough times to one particular pesticide, which means that pesticide residues can be detected on your produce if pests have been exposed to them before.

Pesticides like Bendiocarb and Carbaryl, however, are not likely to leave a residue on your fruits or vegetables when they are harvested.


Herbicides and Insecticides 

Herbicides are excellent for hydroponic growing systems while insecticide controls any insects that might come near your garden. They cover the entire area of your hydroponic patch to make sure that pests don't get into it so you can grow healthy plants. 

Herbicides and insecticides can leave pesticide residues on your fruits or vegetables which are harmful if consumed.


Recommended Product - Insecto Smoke Bomb 

Insecto bomb pest control

At Ashton Horticulture, we sell a range of hydroponic pest control products. One of the best is INSECTO's Maxi Smoke Bomb.

It’s an easy and safe way to control pests. It gets into all of the small areas, ensuring that your plants are completely free from pests.

When lit with a non-sparking wick, it will emit fumes with Permethrin so you can get rid of flying or crawling insects in your home without having to worry about harming anything else within your hydroponic garden!

For further information on our pest control products, contact us today! 

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