Pest Control Options for Greenhouses, Hoop Houses and High Tunnels

Whether you grow fruit and vegetables in a traditional garden space or in a protected space such as a greenhouse, low tunnel, hoop house, and/or high tunnel, you will eventually have insect or mite problems. Structures not only protect the plants from the elements but also provide optimal growing conditions for pests. Scouting, correct identification, and understanding the feeding damage and reproductive methods of these pests are critical to any good defensive strategy. It is important to understand control options available and have a plan in place to quickly implement tactics that work best for your production strategy. If you choose to use biorational or conventional pesticides as control methods it is important to know that the Wyoming Department of Agriculture classifies hoop houses and high tunnels as greenhouses. This is important to note as all Worker Protection Standard regulations for greenhouse workers must be followed. The Worker protection standard can be found at:

There are many control options available to you and the best management plan utilizes Integrated Pest Management Strategies (IPM). IPM can be defined as: A sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks. In other words it is the understanding of all possible controls and utilizing the best combination of tactics to manage the problem – consider IPM as a “toolbox” full of control options.

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The listserv is a great place to learn what growers are doing with high tunnels, what crops and varieties do best, and what practices have been successful on local farms.

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