Sunday, July 6, 2008

Landscape, Nursery, Turf, and Greenhouse - Get a Hand Lens

All horticultural professionals should carry a hand lens. The following is a short article on the subject.

Of the many helpful tools that an IPM scout uses, arguably the most important may be a magnifying hand lens. Improving the abilities of the eyes to see the tiny world of insect and disease organisms will improve IPM decision-making in the field. A hand lens is a tool that magnifies the small area of interest and can conveniently be placed in a pocket or worn around the neck, where it is always handy. Landscape pest managers not routinely using the aid of a hand lens are working at a great disadvantage. Once it is discovered how valuable the proper use of a hand lens is when monitoring, it soon becomes an indispensable tool. Since the early detection of a plant pest is important in any IPM program, the use of a hand lens enables the pest to be detected before obvious damage appears on the plant. Also the pest population can more readily be evaluated when magnification is used.

By Steven K. Rettke, Ornamental IPM Program Associate, Rutgers University.

No comments: