Assessment of Plant Damage
Step 3

At this step, assessment of plant damage is in order.

See Also:
Insect Pest Finder
Leaf Damage
Root Damge
Step 1 Prevention
Step 2 Identification
Step 3 Assessment
Step 4 Tactic
Step 5 Control
Step 6 Re-assessment
Step 7 Follow-up

It is easy to overreact to garden or orchard insect pest attack. Especially if you have spent months or even years, giving these crops a lot of care. Before quickly initiating eradicating measures, careful assessment of the damage is important.

Observation is the Key

It is important to observe the damage to see exactly what and where the damage is. If it's the leaves, look at both the outer, underside and edges of the leaf to see if where the damage is occurring. Often an insect will leave behind digested waste or residue, which gives you a clue to what type of insect it is.

Insect Damage Areas

  • Leaves - Check the leaf damage... everything about the leaf. Check all sides and edges. Is it a cutting (outer edges) or Chewing (inside) insect?

    Thoroughly inspect both the upper and lower leaf surface. Most insect pests begin damaging the lower-under side of the leaf, and rarely move to the upper leaf surface.  When insect pest populations become overwhelming then damage will be in other parts of the plant.
  • Stems – What are the visible marks on the stems? How is the stem damaged? What do they look like?
  • Main Stalks or Trunk – Is this pest attacking the lower stalk or crown?

On the other hand, Mites and Borers may escape serious notice, and may require thorough examination of subterranean parts of the plants. In this case, you will need to pull the plant out and check the roots.

Next Step - Step 4 - Select insect control tactic once assessment of the plant damage is complete

Return back to Seven Steps to Successful Organic Pest Management


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