Oh Happy Hosta Spring!

mosswitchApril 16, 2014

Maybe some of you remember me grousing and whining about the darn pill bugs (sowbugs) eating my hosta pips as they came up and thousands of the things generally eating the rest to the ground....when I looked it up it was referred to as a "problem in the South". So..with our new zone 7 designation, hey y'all, that put us in the south without ever having moved a stick of furniture, lol!

Well guess what--after our zone 5 winter, there is nary a pill bug to be seen in the garden except in the compost pile where they belong, not a hosta pip being munched and all are coming up normally!

So apparently, the whole infestation was climate related--probably partly due to the intense heat and mild winters of the last few years, and the cold winter dealt with them and brought the balance back to normal. Yay!

Sandy

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jadie88(7 MD)

Great to see the silver linings, huh? If only slugs were sensitive to bad winters.

Welcome to "the South"... I'm looking forward to your beautiful photos! :)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:23PM
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santamiller(8b TX)

If you start to miss the little devils I can send you a few thousand. It shouldn't take me longer than about 15 minutes to collect those for you. Free shipping!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:45AM
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mosswitch

Thanks, Santamiller, I don't think I'll ever be missing them. But I appreciate the offer, lol. Well, if pillbugs are what the South has to offer, I think I like being a little bit in the "North". Hope I have beautiful pictures this year to show off!

Sandy

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:06PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

That is good news! Each year of gardening is a little different, and I sometimes think Ma Nature gives us these little plagues just to keep us on our toes. One year we had whiteflies so bad you had to hold a cloth over your mouth when in the garden. Another year spider mites killed a couple specimin Japanese Black Pines. Sometimes it's aphids. Never had a plethera of pill bugs...yet.

-Babka

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 4:07PM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

It's funny that you mention pill bugs. I have never seen them at all,unless you lift up my watering cans sitting under my carport. They like moisture,and that's where they hang out,not in my garden,oh and BTW,I am in the south! Phil

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:30PM
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santamiller(8b TX)

You're right, they usually do a pretty good job of keeping themselves hidden, even down here. But as you say, pick up a flat object like a pot or a rock and it's the national organization of pill bugs conference! Or if you have a newly emerging, tasty young plant showing up they'll be circling the wagons. Mulched beds are the perfect habitat for them.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:34AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Hey, y'all, glad to hear you already developing that southern twang, Moss.

I will say to those among us with pill bug problems, they are listed by SLUGGO PLUS as one of the targeted bugs. I'm glad, because they are still around in my garden.

The Sluggo PLUS contains Spinosad, and iron sulfate I do believe, which makes it safe around pets and wildlife. I just ordered more of it from an organic supplier since it was not on the shelf locally in big jugs. I hate the slime of slugs and snails, even if their trails look silvery with dew. And I sure don't like my dogs rolling in slugs and coming inside expecting to sit on the sofa.

Moss, glad to see you posting. How could I have missed this thread for two days?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:53PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

I found this article by Bill Meyer to be most informative - especially the cautionary paragraph.

Good to see you back Sandy! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: AHS Reading Room article

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:36PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Jo, that is shocking information and quite puts the lie to the pet safe and wildlife safe claims.

Not that I am naive about manufacturers being nonchalant about the effect their products have on the world, but......this is a manipulation of a glitch in the system. Here we are once again, standing by as observers to a building disaster much more basic than the theft of hosta.

I printed out the Bill Meyer article.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:12PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

It was fresh in my mind when I read your earlier post. I felt compelled to bring attention to it. Glad you printed it - I've bookmarked it as a reminder.

This article should be read by anyone with pets in the garden.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:40PM
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bernd ny zone5

I really like science and how Bill Meyer researched this. It is my favorite article in how to debunk claims. I use Metaldehyde (BugGeta Plus) for years, have never seen a sick or dead bird, squirrel, dog or cat in my yard and neighborhood. Neighborhood kids are wellfed eating only all the goodies their parents feed them. They seem to be trained not to eat anything off the ground outside. My grandson knew the last 10 years only to eat the goodies we have for him inside. Bernd

disclaimer, a squirrel killed itself in a trap accidentally. I saw dead mice which killed themselves by eating my poison pellets which I pushed deep into their holes.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 9:04AM
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