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Scouting Basics


Scouting for fungus gnat larva in plugs

SCOUTING is just what it sounds like.  Walking your nursery, greenhouse or garden and inspecting for potential problems or current problems.  Doing this will prevent for small problems escalating to big ones that can be difficult to treat.

When SCOUTING you want to check all parts of the plant.  I start at the leaves.  Then check stems, trunk, soil surface and yes the roots too,  if you can take the plant out of the pot. If a plant does not have a healthy root system you can not have a healthy plant.

Unhealthy root system

Carry a notebook to keep notes


After assessing the plants health is it important to keep records in one location, like a notebook

By keeping records they can be of long-term benefit as many pests tend to appear at about the same time each year.

In the short run the records will let you know if the pests survive a control method be it chemical/ biological/ or mechanical.  If the control method didnít work you will be better equipped to analyze the situation to find out if the problem was poor timing, poor application, or pesticide resistance in the pest population. 


Tools for SCOUTING

Hand lens



Sticky cards

White paper

Clip board

Collecting tubes



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