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B. What to Do Before Spraying Insecticides

Narrator: This is Science Today. Those who aggressively spray insecticides to combat what they perceive as plant or landscape-damaging insects may be doing these plants - not to mention the environment - a great disservice. Mary Louise Flint, an integrated pest management expert at the University of California, Davis says often times holes in plants leaves or brown spots in lawns are caused by underwatering plants or using other incorrect practices.

Flint: They'll go to the retail nursery and buy an insecticide and apply it without even looking to see if whether there is an insect there causing that damage.

Narrator: So Flint recommends taking a closer look at what's going on in your garden or landscape before heading out to the store for insecticides. And even then, Flint says you may need to do some homework.

Flint: First of all, you need to determine whether there is an insect on your plant that is causing damage. People will spray for beneficial insects, too, not recognizing that they are good.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.