Protecting Your Patch of USVIs Pest-Fragile Ecosystem

Protecting Your Patch of USVIs Pest-Fragile Ecosystem

The U.S. Virgin Islands has an ever-fragile ecosystem. Recent plans to import Brazilian Tahiti Limes to the islands has led to a new risk assessment from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, who are seeking to establish the suitability of the produce for consumption and the impact it will have on the ecosystem. This is because of the countless pest types that have settled on the islands, and particularly so over the past few years. The good news? During the clear seasons, every homeowner can get involved in helping their island stem the tide.

Improving pest management

As the University of the Virgin Islands rightly highlights, there are almost countless numbers of pests that need to be addressed, from the sweet potato whitefly to the pink mealybug. It would be a folly to try and keep an individual eye on their populations, and so the best thing to do is to assess what would indicate infestation. With that information in hand, you can decide on when the level of damage or potential damage is becoming too severe, and take action. This is how integrated pest management operates – by establishing a set of values and an action threshold at which levels are deemed unacceptably high.

Taking a proactive edge

One way to prepare green areas and the home for these threats is through selective pruning. As the UVI outlines, there are excellent tradewinds year-round in the USVI, which makes it easy to dry leaves. This, in turn, makes them less prone to becoming havens for bugs and also makes leaf-by-leaf assessment easier. To make the most, pruning is needed, to expose more of the plant to the winds.

The big question – mosquitos

Plant pests are one issue – mosquitos are another, and most Virgin Islanders will be all too familiar with the negative impact they bring throughout spring and summer. There is good news on that front. According to The BVI Beacon, both BVI and USVI will be receiving help to control mosquito populations from researchers. In the interim, however, it’s important to remove any water stills and destroy the insects as they come around.

Tackling pests is about being cognizant to the seasons in which they flourish and taking early remedial action to tackle them. To achieve this, a keen eye as to how the home and garden looks during healthy times is important. Together, the management of homes in a proper fashion with help the Virgin Islands to tackle pests in the long term.

Photo by Wendy Wei