ipm methods safe for butterflies?

sinxtc(z6 michigan)June 13, 2005

My plants, flowers and vegetables were fine so far until the other day. Something ate most of the flowers and leaves in one flower bed and in my vegetable garden (tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, strawberries, cucumbers. catnip, bee balm, raspberries and peppers) there are holes in the leaves. The other day I noticed a large amount of ants crawing in the flower bed with the most damage so I assumed it was from the ants. I bought the new Raid outdoor ant baits and placed them out there today. I don't want to buy any insecticide since all the plants and herbs I planted this year all attract butterflies. Well. today I was planting some new plants in a new area and discovered tons of earwigs. I searched on google and this web site and discovered that my problem can be from them. My question is this, will earwig baits and the natural soap spray harm the butterflies that come to my garden? What are the natural insect for earwigs and how do I attract them? Also, can it be another insect that is eating my garden? Some of my flowers are just a stem now, no leaves or flowers. I am planning on buying some milkweed for Monarchs and I don't not want to harm the cats. Please help and thank you in advance.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The ants may very well be trying to keep the earwig population down, rather than harm your plants.

If you allow the garden to dry somewhat, the earwig population will decrease. Diatomaceous earth is also a good control. I'd keep looking for other critters that might be doing the damage, too.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 6:32AM
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