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I’m thrilled to welcome Nadia of Urban Farm Sista to the show today to discuss garden pests and her mission with the Agricademy. Nadia is the plant lady behind several amazing businesses and planty projects including the Urban Farm Sista Educational Social Media Platforms, Quiwi Produce and Agricademy. She graduated from Ohio State in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture where she majored in Animal Sciences/minored in Entomology. Entomology is bugs, plant friends and today we do a DEEP DIVE into the common garden pests and insects that we struggle with and learn how to identify and treat them. I appreciate this conversation with Nadia because she helps us zoom out and understand our gardens as a full ecosystem. In gardening, it's always important to “zoom out” and see the larger picture, this conversation very much illustrates that!

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What we learn:

  • How Nadia became the founder of Quiwi Produce, the Agricademy and Urban Farm Sista
  • Why Nadia chose to get a degree in Entomology (studying insects!)
  • How to differentiate a “good” vs a “bad” insect
  • Zooming out and understanding the garden as an ecosystem and why insects are important
  • Why Hemp is important (beyond CBD and Cannabis)
  • Most common garden pests: how to identify and treat them
    • Aphids and Ants (Minute 36:00)
    • Caterpillars (Minute 48:25)
    • Leaf Beetles (discussed throughout the episode)
    • Leaf Miners (Minute 1:00)
    • Wasps (1:03)
  • Recipe for pest control spray
  • Why and how does Neem oil work
  • What is BT Bacteria
  • What is Diatomaceous Earth
  • Why and how to use Insect Nets
  • Does releasing predatory bugs outdoors work?
  • Nadias non profit: Agricademy
    • Its mission
    • the Food is Essential project


Takeaways from this episode:

  • All bugs are insects, but all insects are not bugs
  • Lady BUGS are actually called Lady BEETLES
  • Entomology: the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects
  • Arthropods: an invertebrate animal of the large phylum Arthropoda, such as an insect, spider, or crustacean.
  • Always check the underside of leaves, as insects tend to hide there
  • Ants will always be where aphids are
  • Hemp cultivation is important not only for CBD and Cannabis, but because you can make clothing, toilet paper or even concrete out of this versatile plant.
  • When you look at a garden pest, you have to understand the food chain associated with that bug, and what plants that specific bug is attracted to
  • Make sure to quarantine plants from the store before you plant them, because they might have pests that you bring in from the nursery. Nadia suggests a 2 week quarantine if possible
  • You have to know what pest you are dealing with before you try and treat with a spray. Neem doesn't treat all pests, nor does BT Bacteria. It's important to identify which pest you are dealing with
  • Leaf miners actually don't kill a plant, the leaf can still photosynthesize



Resources Mentioned in this Episode:


Recipe for Nadias Neem Spray: Found in her amazing Insect Investigator PDF

Bacillus thuringiensis – Information on BT Bacteria

Diatamaceous Earth / Flea Beetles –

 Insect Net- She discusses insect nets in her video on Catepillars
Peterson Field Guide to Insects*: Nadia's recommended insect anthology

*Bloom and Grow Amazon Affiliate Code*



Thank you to this weeks episode sponsors:

Makespace makes storage simple, seamless and affordable without you EVER having to leave your apartment. They pick up, store and return your stuff and provide the packing materials! To learn more, visit and use code SPACEPLZ for $100 off!

Espoma Organics: for responsibly made, fabulous indoor and outdoor organic soils, fertilizers, pest control sprays and more visit to find your local dealer or check out my amazon storefront of my favorite Espoma products here.



Follow Nadia

IG: Urbanfarmsista

Youtube: Urbanfarmsista

Amazon Storefront –  

Donate to Farming is Essential Project



Facebook Campaign :

Cash App: $agricademyinc

Mail Donations to:
Agricademy Inc.
8711 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45215

(checks payable to Agricademy Inc.)

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