UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Pests & Diseases

The Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County have compiled Garden Help pages for most of the popular vegetables, fruits, and nuts that home gardeners enjoy growing here in Santa Clara County.  These pages include growing tips, as well as links to information on pests and diseases common in our area. You are encouraged to please check these popular pages first, when solving a problem!

You may also contact our Help Desk by phone, web form, or in person.

Integrated Pest Management

The University of California encourages home gardeners to manage pests by using Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a science-based strategy to manage the damage pests (insects, diseases, vertebrates, and weeds) cause in the garden. 

Advantages of IPM

  • Minimizes the use of dangerous chemicals
  • Helps you grow healthy plants that can resist pests
  • Encourages beneficial insects for control of insect pests

Main Elements of IPM

  1. Accept that a certain amount of disease or pest damage can be tolerated in our home gardens. Home-grown fruit and veggies don't need to look grocery-store perfect in order to be healthy and delicious!

  2. Provide growing conditions that produce strong and healthy plants that resist pests:
    • Good garden planning, soil preparation, plant selection, and spacing
    • Correct watering and fertilizing
    • Regular weeding and mulching
    • Encourage pests' natural enemies (beneficial insects, birds, lizards)

  3. Minimize health and environmental risks by using physical controls, first:
    • Knocking or water-spraying pests off plants
    • Squishing or trapping them
    • Physical barriers around stems, twigs, or trunks

  4. If using chemical pest control, use the right spray at the right time, in the right amount. 

 IPM Publications

The statewide UC IPM Program has produced publications about specific pests or pest management topics that are commonly encountered by California's home and landscape audiences.  Follow the links, below, to access information on these popular topics.

Flowers
Flowers

Vegetables
Vegetables

Fruit Trees
Fruit Trees

Trees/Shrubs
Trees/Shrubs

Lawn and Turf
Lawn and Turf

Weeds
Weeds

Invertebrates
Invertebrates

Vertebrates
Vertebrates

 

IPM Video Library

The UC IPM Program has also produced a comprehensive list of informational videos on many common pests and beneficials of interest in California.

Additional Resources

Vector Control

Mosquito Asian Tiger UCANR
Santa Clara County Vector Control District - Vector Control’s mission is to detect and minimize vector-borne diseases, to abate mosquitoes, and to assist the public in resolving problems with rodents, wildlife, and insects of medical significance. A vector can be a mosquito, a rat, a flea, a tick, any animal or insect that can transmit disease or cause harm to humans. SCC Vector Control District programs and services are provided free of charge to all residents of the Santa Clara County.

      • Mosquito Inspection and Control
      • Free delivery of mosquito fish
      • Inspection & Advice for Rats and Mice
      • Insect Identification
      • Wildlife Advice and Inspection (Coyote, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum, Rat, etc.)
      • Community Education - There are smartphone apps available for requesting services

Contact Us

You may also contact our Help Desk by phone, web form, or in person.

 

Webmaster Email: webmaster-mgsantaclara@ucanr.edu