Hefner, M. 2019, Tips for Managing Insect Pests in the Landscape, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno. IP.

Tips for Managing Insect Pests in the Landscape

Did you know that 99% of all insects are not harmful to you or your landscape? Use the photo gallery on this website to learn which insects are pests, and which are helpful. Head off insect pests by following these tips:

  • Don't treat a problem until you've identified the cause. Many plant problems result from non-living problems, such as too much or too little water, too much or too little sun, poor soil, or incorrect planting.
  • Stressed plants are susceptible to pests. Make sure your plants are placed in an appropriate spot, the soil is healthy and you're watering and fertilizing appropriately.
  • If you find insects on your plants, get them identified. Contact your local Extension office for help.
  • Remember, not all bugs are bad! Some insects help manage the pests. Beneficial insects are natural enemies that kill or reduce the number of bad insects in your yard.
  • Accept a few insects in your yard. They'll provide food for birds and beneficial insects.
  • If you do have a pest problem, try simple methods, such as hand-picking, washing them off with a strong jet of water from the hose, or using sticky traps.
  • Be cautious about using insecticides. They may kill beneficial insects, and when used repeatedly, can actually increase pest problems.
  • Learn the most vulnerable stage in the insect's life cycle, and apply an effective control at that time.
Photo of a yellow sticky trap with insects trapped on it.

This sticky trap is helping to control an infestation
of fungus gnats in houseplants.

photo of a Green lacewig

Green lacewings are beneficial insects.
The larvae eat aphids and other pests.

Photo of a leaf with two circles cut out of it by cutter bees.

The circles in the edge of this leaf were made by leaf
cutter bees. Leaf cutter bees are beneficial and their damage
does not interfere with the leaf's ability to make food.

Learn more about the author(s)


Also of Interest:

Protecting Pollinators/ Protegiendo a los Polinizadores
This bilingual (Spanish and English) publication describes how to protect pollinators during a pesticide application. It also describes native bees and provides additional resources for information. This is one of a series of 10 Pesticide Use and Safety/ Uso y Seguridad de Pestic...
Hefner, M., Kratsch, H., Fisher, J. and Schaerer, M.F. 2020, University of Nevada, Reno Extension Fact Sheet FS-20-10
mowing lawn
Certified Nursery Workers (2019)
A list of certified Nursery Workers from the 2019 Green Industry Training program.
Fisher, J. 2019, Extension website
Insect Management
Applying IPM strategies: Insect control can be split into these five separate categories.
Hefner, M. 2019, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno. IP
Tips for Lower-risk Pest Control
Products are available that have less risk to the user and others. Select these whenever appropriate.
Hefner, M. 2019, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, IP
Tips for Managing Weeds
Use these tips to manage weeds and grow healthy, thriving plants in your yard
Hefner, M. 2019, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno. IP

Associated Programs

ladybug larva eating aphids on a pepper plant

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management program is a long-term management strategy that uses a combination of tactics to reduce pests to tolerable levels with potentially lower costs for the pest manager and minimal effect on the environment.


Extension Director's Office | On the campus of University of Nevada, Reno