The Challenges of Pest Control: Farming in a frost-free, urban environment (San Diego County)

As many San Diego homeowners know, pests like the whiteflies on this hybiscus are one of the downsides of our beautiful, mild climate

When most people think of San Diego, California, they think of the beach or Legoland or other tourist attractions.  It turns out that in addition to being a major urban and tourist center, San Diego is a major agricultural player.

In this 30 minute podcast ( ) I speak with Eric Larsen, the Executive Director of the San Diego Farm Bureau.  We talk about all sorts of interesting features of our farm economy (I also live in this county).  There are several points that come up concerning pest management and crop protection:

  • The fact that San Diego has very mild winters actually makes farming (and gardening) more difficult because the pest populations are not set back the way they are in harsher climates


  • A great many of the pests that SD farmers battle are introduced species, and unfortunately in many cases that introduction happened because urbanites and suburbanites bring in prohibited plant materials that carry the exotic pests.  They don’t do this on purpose, but there are reasons that this is an illegal practice


  • All farmers have to deal with pests – this includes conventional and organic farmers here in San Diego as in any region.  Some of our greenhouse producers are effectively able to prevent pests from ever getting to their crops, but only with careful management and exclusion strategies

This is the first podcast in a series that I will be working on for the CropLife Foundation