Can you please give your thoughts towards some basic pest protection for home gardeners here in the Southwest? Between the fat finger-resembling green worms on tomatoes to the smaller caterpillars leaving black frass on the basil leaves, to thoughts on barrier treatments (deltamethrin granules for soil around the beds & permethrin spray for the beds' wooden structural surfaces?), I am a little uncertain how to approach this. Also not sure, since the food is not commercial crop and will instead be consumed by homeowner and residents of the house, if that too opens up other viable treatment methods.
Since you more or less specify pests on food-bearing plants it does dump this into a sensitive area. Even though this is a home garden and not a commercial crop you still would be considering applying insecticides to plants where something from that plant will later be consumed, so the first consideration is that a product labeled for these plants must be chosen. Then, the label needs to be read and adhered to VERY carefully with respect to the timing of the application. In particular there will be restrictions on how close to "harvest" the application can be made. You also should bring the customers into the decision making process to see if they have any strong thoughts on synthetic versus natural products.
Mr. Pest Control
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