Gardening Know How: Sustainable Pest Control
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Gardening Know How: Sustainable Pest Control

A 6 step method that will help you deal with insect pests in your yard or garden
4.8 (2 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
520 students enrolled
Created by Linda Kelso
Last updated 7/2016
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Current price: $10 Original price: $85 Discount: 88% off
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 8 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Solve insect pest issues in your yard or garden using earth friendly control methods
  • Create a customized action plan that will help you effectively deal with insect pests
  • Identify insects that are present in your yard or garden
  • Understand that some insects are "good guys" and encourage these insects into your yard or garden
View Curriculum
  • A willingness to go outside and look at bugs is the only requirement for this course!

Throughout this course, you'll develop a customized Action Plan for dealing with insect pest that are living in your garden.  This Action Plan will help you determine what insects call your yard or garden home, if they're actually causing harm, and how and when to take action.

Plus, you'll learn that there are lots of alternatives to pesticides that can lead to long-term benefits for you, your garden, and the animals that share our outdoor space.  We'll also cover:

  • instances when you might want to consider chemical control
  • least-toxic control options
  • how to tell the "good bugs" from the "bad bugs"
  • using beneficial insects (aka the good bugs) to help control the pests
Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for gardeners and homeowners who are concerned about controlling insect pests in a more earth friendly manner.
  • This course isn't for anyone looking for in-depth knowledge on pesticides, which are covered in this course as only part of an overall control system.
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Curriculum For This Course
32 Lectures
5 Lectures 11:23

Wondering what this course is all about? Then make sure you watch the introduction! You'll learn:

  • What this course covers (and, just as importantly, DOESN'T cover).
  • Why it's important to create a pest control system that's customized to your specific situation.
  • What the IPM system is, and how it's an invaluable tool in the war against pests. 
Preview 03:54

Did you know that there's a thriving, active community in your yard? There is, and it's full of plants and animals trying to survive and thrive. 

  • A new way of looking at your yard or garden that will help you win the fight against pests.
  • How a healthy yard or garden means fewer pests, and less work for you!
Preview 02:07

Are pesticides good or bad? In this lesson, we'll step back from the "good or bad" arguments and look at:

  • If pesticides actually work. 
  • How pesticides fit into a balanced, earth friendly pest control system
Preview 03:34

Throughout this course, I’ll be referencing an Action Plan.  This is a personalized pest control plan, one that you should be able to create after completing the course.

Preview 00:58

SUPER IMPORTANT LEGAL STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW!  Read this before you continue the course.

Preview 00:49
All About Bugs
5 Lectures 22:14

Welcome to Section 2! In the introduction, we'll talk about:

  • Bugs! And why the foundation of any insect control plan starts with knowing more about them
  • All the interesting things you'll learn in this section.

It's important to understand that while some insects are pests, others are very, very beneficial to us! 

  • The difference between pests, beneficial, and neutral insects
  • The many, many ways that insects help us and their environment
Good Bug, Bad Bug

A bug ISN'T just a bug, and before you can effectively control the pests, it's smart to understand some basics.

  • 3 types of insects you're likely to see in your garden or yard
  • What different groups of insects like to eat, and how this can help you ID them
Bug 101

If you want your pest control efforts to work, you need to understand the fascinating changes insects undergo as they mature. 

  • Metamorphosis (and its role in pest control)
  • The link between pest control and life stage
The Important Link Between Life Cycle and Pest Control

Oh, invasives. This group of insects demands specialized control methods, and can cause gardeners and homeowners massive headaches.

  • The definition of an invasive insect
  • The damage and problems they cause
  • How you can help fight this worldwide problem
Invasive Insects (Are Not Our Friends)
Step 1: Identify the Pest (or Beneficial!)
4 Lectures 11:21

Accurate identification is crucial, and the first step in IPM. So, in the introduction you'll:

  • Get an overview of the section 
  • Learn why each of the following lessons is important

Some helpful tools that can help you identify insects.

Field Tools

Identifying insects can seem overwhelming, which is why this lesson we'll cover:

  • Simple insect characteristics you can use to ID almost any bug
  • Practical tips for digging deeper into the ID process
  • How you can find help for hard to identify bugs
7 Characteristics That Will Help You Identify Almost Any Insect

If you're struggling with an ID, these resources can help! 

Identification Resources
Step 2: Monitor Your Yard or Garden for Problems
7 Lectures 18:10

It's time to go outside and see which insects call your yard or garden home! In the introduction to this section, we'll cover:

  • The important role monitoring plays in effective pest control
  • What you can expect to learn in this section

Knowing which kinds of insects are common in your area will give you a big advantage when you start to monitor your yard or garden. So, we'll be talking about:

  • Why a pest in my yard may not be a pest in your yard
  • Great resources that will help you identify the insects where you live
Which Pests are Common in Your Area?

Just because an insect might be common in the city, town, or general area where you live. . .doesn't mean that it's actually in your yard or garden.  

  • Why certain insects (especially beneficials) may NOT be in your yard
  • Simple ways to find out if a bug calls your garden home
  • Why checking once for an insect isn't enough
  • When and where you may be most likely to find insect activity in your yard
Who's Living in Your Yard or Garden?

Knowing WHERE insects live in your yard or garden is really important, and can tell you a lot about if they're going to be a problem or not! 

  • The link between an insect's life cycle and where they're likely to live in your yard
  • How to monitor different areas of your yard, without getting overwhelmed
How Many Bugs Can You Find?

Bugs aren't statues! Their populations are constantly increasing and decreasing depending on many, many factors. 

  • The link between pest populations, and the population of their predators (and how this benefits you!)
  • Simple steps for monitoring insect populations
  • Why seeing a pest in your yard or garden doesn't necessarily mean you have to take action against it.
Are Bugs Moving In Moving Out of your Yard? Or Are they Simply Disappearing?

Recommended methods for safely and effectively monitoring your yard for insects. 

  • Sampling methods based on how the insect moves (flying, crawling, etc), and where it lives
  • Recommendations for staying safe while you monitor your yard.
Techniques for Collecting Samples and Counting Insects in Your Yard

There are many, many ways to keep records of the insects you find in your yard or garden! Here are some suggestions so that you can pick one (or two or three) that work best for you.

Record Keeping Suggestions
Step 3: Decide When to Take Action
1 Lecture 06:13

At some point, if a pest is causing damage, you need to take action and start using control methods. 

  • What an action threshold is, and the role it plays in pest control
  • Why you need to set an action threshold BEFORE you start noticing damage
  • Five important issues you should consider when dealing with pests
5 Things You Need to Consider Before Taking Action
Step 4: Implement Pest Control Methods
6 Lectures 27:46

When it comes to pest control, you have options! There are a variety of methods that will help you in the fight against the "bad" bugs.

  • The middle ground between doing nothing and using pesticides
  • The most effective way to use IPM control methods
  • Effectively using different levels in pest control, and an overview of the lessons in this section that cover them.

Our attitudes toward insects play a role in the pest control methods we use, and even the effectiveness of our efforts.

  • Addressing and acknowledging how we view insects
  • Understanding that a "perfect" yard may not be a healthy yard
Level One: Give Yourself an Attitude Adjustment

Creating a garden or yard that's designed to encourage a healthy ecosystem is an extremely effective control method! But, it's also one of the least utilized.

  • Why a healthy yard is a pest resistant yard
  • Small changes that can make your yard or garden a more balanced ecosystem
Level Two: Let Your Plants Do Some Work

Even though there's an ick factor to it, removing insects (or infested plant parts) by hand can be a very effective control method!

  • Case Study: Dealing with Japanese Beetles via manual control
  • Different methods of manual control
Level Three: Get Your Hands Dirty

The best kind of insect pest control? When you let OTHER insects do the work for you! Beneficial predators and parasites are an important control method that you encourage.

  • Why we don't often notice this kind of control
  • The link between prey and predatory population, and why understanding it may keep you from panicking if you notice a increase in the number of pests
  • Ways you can encourage more beneficial insects into your yard or garden
Level Four: Have the Good Bugs Take Care of the Bad Bugs

The final level in IPM involves using pesticides to control insects. This is a complicated issue, so this lesson will cover:

  • What the different terms on pesticide labels mean, and why it's important to understand and follow them
  • Best practices when using pesticides
  • Four pesticides that are effective and have relatively low toxicity.
  • Why "organic" doesn't necessarily mean "non-toxic" or "safe for humans."
Level Five: Consider Chemical Control
Step 5: Evaluating Your Efforts
2 Lectures 05:46

Evaluating your control methods and figuring out if they worked is one of the most important steps in any pest control action plan. 

  • Selecting criteria that will show if your control methods are working
  • Figuring out how long a certain control method should take before you know if it's a success or a failure
  • The importance of documenting your efforts (and ways to do it)
Are Your Control Methods Working? Here's How You Can Find Out!

What happens if your control methods didn't work? You have to repeat them, or find a new solution!

  • Case Study: Caterpillars are eating my lettuce!
  • Determining when it's time to try a new control method
  • Course conclusion
Control Methods NOT Working? Try This!
Bonus Section
2 Lectures 02:45
Case Study: Aphids Attacking Tomatoes

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About the Instructor
Linda Kelso
4.7 Average rating
17 Reviews
3,166 Students
3 Courses
Garden Designer & Owner of LK Landscape Design

I designed my first garden when I was 8 years old, using crayons, graph paper, and several of my dad's seed catalogs. Once I grew up, I decided to get serious about my hobby and earned a degree in landscape design!

Now I own my own company, LK Landscape Design, where I focus on beauty, functionality, and sustainability in both my design and maintenance services. My goal is to create spaces that fit a client's lifestyle, but that also provide food and shelter for neighborhood wildlife.