How A New Alert System Could Help Treasure Valley Gardeners

Jul 26, 2016

The University of Idaho’s Canyon County extension office wants to give green thumbs a helping hand.

Horticulturist Rich Guggenheim says signing up for the Pest Alert Network is a great way to know what insects are causing problems in southwest Idaho, and how to deal with them.


“The goal is help people know when to spray, if they’re going to choose that option, what to spray with, and – more importantly – the correct way to manage it.”

The free program sends text alerts with information about the latest pest problems, as well as plant diseases and treatments. Guggenheim says the system takes a holistic approach, teaching gardeners about preventative measures like proper watering and fertilizer application. For example, he says many people fertilize their lawns in the spring, when companies say it’s necessary. But according to Guggenheim, fertilizing in the fall is the better choice – for both your pocketbook and the environment.

The Pest Alert Network has been used by farmers since 2001, but this is the first year small-scale gardeners have had access to the program. Guggenheim says 400 people have signed up to get the messages.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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