Vegetable seedlings are exposed to pests, such as grasshoppers, caterpillars and snails that cut the tender stems or feed on leaves. Many pests are active at night, when we are asleep.
When white-flies suck the sap of a plant infested with a virus, they can transfer these germs from a sick plant to healthy plants.
Stop pests from entering your seedbed
It is impossible to control whiteflies with insecticides, because the whiteflies rapidly become accustomed to the poison, and after a while there are more whiteflies than ever before.
Insect nets prevent grasshoppers, snails and whiteflies from entering your seedbed. With a net, moths can no longer lay eggs directly on your seedlings. They may lay their eggs on the outside of the net, but most of the caterpillars that hatch from the eggs will not be able to get through the small mesh of the net.
How to install insect nets in seedbeds
While there are special insect nets, you can also buy material from the local market and make your own insect net. To know what size of insect net you need, add 1 meter to the length and to the width of the seedbed so you can close all the edges of the net.
To support the net, use branches, sticks or the solid mid-nerve of palm leaves. Cut the sticks long enough so that the net will be about half a meter above the soil. Remove any sharp angles or sharp tips which may tear holes in the net.
Bend each stick into an arch and place one at both ends of the seedbed and one or more in the middle if the seedbed is large. This will prevent the net from hanging down and touching the seedlings.
To avoid damage, leave the nets closed, day and night. Regularly check and repair any holes. Look under the net from time to time to make sure that all is well with your seedlings.