The Gardener’s Guide to Common-Sense Pest Control explains the concepts and techniques of an environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that uses information on pest life cycles and their interaction with the environment together with a variety of control methods to reduce or eliminate pest damage economically with the least damage to the health of humans, domestic animals, wildlife, and the general environment.  The first part of the book covers the basic concepts of IPM (Integrated Pest Management), pest treatment strategies and tactics,  natural pest controls old and new, beneficial insects and other arthropods, and organic and inorganic pesticides.  In these sections readers will find such items as suggestions for designing the landscape  to discourage pests,  ways to reduce the food, water, and shelter of pests, and how to select a pesticide.  The second part of the book presents programs to tackle specific problems in the garden and focuses on weeds and the pests of lawns, trees, and vegetable and flower gardens.  The programs have diverse elements and  after giving a quickie  ‘band-aid” solution to the problem the authors urge readers to consider the wider perspective given in the book on any insect problem so that long term, non-toxic preventive-management strategies can be in place to avoid future problems. Written for the layperson, the book avoids unnecessary technical language and explains concepts in simple terms.  Many photographs brighten the text and help the reader gain familiarity with a large number of common pests.  Graphs, charts, drawing, and insets with garden tips add to and extend the topics covered.  The number of different pests specifically mentioned in the book was defined by the prevalence of the pest, availability of non-toxic control measures, and the value of the pest problem in teaching important concepts. This selection process may require the gardener to generalize from specific examples to other closely related pests whose management is similar.  And that is the real value of the book;  it gives gardeners the concepts to work out preventative measures and solutions for any pest problems they have in their garden.

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By Karen