Controlling thrips while pregnant?

winstella(10b los angeles)February 1, 2014

I bought spinosad because my citrus and basil plants are being attacked by thrips but I am afraid to use it because I'm pregnant. I know it's low toxicity but I'd rather not risk it at all.

What else can I do? Will Castile soap work? In what portions and how often?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

then have someone else spray them for you ... out in the yard ...

how sure are you on the ID?

frankly.. i have no adversity to chemicals ... but in this case.. let me ask you whats so important about a basil plant.. that you cant just throw it away ... and buy a clean one ...

same with an indoor citrus.. if that is what you are talking about...

but if you mean an outside tree.. hire a professional.. or just ignore it .. you can deal with the bugs next year ...

think about it.. what is your priority here.. a few home grown oranges and some fresh basil??? .. i dont think so ...

never heard of your soap.. see link ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 5:21PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Winstella, I'm not real confidant about the castille soap, or even a commercial insecticidal soap for controlling thrips. I would have no idea about the mixing ratio of a household product such as your soap. I find it MUCH safer and smarter to use a soap that is actually intended for the purpose and has a label with directions.

Even castille soap can burn plants if too strong. Commercial insecticidal soap would be safe to use. They have fewer chemicals in them than most of the soaps and shampoos in your shower or at your sink.

Are you certain of the ID?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:34PM
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The Spinosad, a bacterium, would be safer for you to use then would be Insecticidal Soap. But generally spraying something to control thrips does not work very well. Spend some time with this article from UC Davis before deciding on a plan of action.

Here is a link that might be useful: control of thrips

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 6:25AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Are your plants in ground or potted?

I don't blame you for being concerned about chemicals. Why would you put chemicals on plants you intend to eat (or eat the fruit of?) At least produce at the store was (supposedly) treated with appropriate substances at a controlled rate with the appropriate equipment at the appropriate time. Just because you're allowed to buy it, doesn't mean it's safe, just that it's not known to be UNsafe. Not a standard with which I'm comfortable. I don't put anything from a package on plants in my yard, especially edibles. That would defeat the purpose of growing at home to have some free of chemicals, and to not have any of that kind of thing on our property at all.

Native wildlife such as hummingbirds, other birds, butterflies, toads, anoles, honey bees, and so many others that are attracted to landscape plants can be harmed by so many of these supposedly 'low toxicity' chemicals. A sad irony is that chemicals that kill a particular pest are also likely harmful to predators of that pest, possibly exacerbating the problem since one individual predator can eliminate exponentially many more individual pests. For beneficials to show up, there must first be some pests.

Basil seeds are usually $1 or less if you'd like to start a new crop. Trimming the tips off could do wonders for a thrip problem. Not that familiar with them in particular, but pests tend to congregate on tender new growth. You could take cuttings, vigorously rinse them, plant in a different part of the yard. Basil takes root easily, within days. A lot of fun to play with!

Tender new growth is what tastes best anyway. The more you trim them, the more of that they will grow. Once plants lignify, I think the flavor suffers, but many more plants and yummy meals are needed for personal investigation... over the next (hopefully) 30-40 years! There is so much said about basil out there, much of it conflicting. Understandable since I don't have a consensus among myself yet after all these years, though never experienced the luxury of living in a frost-free place.

Good article, Kim. Hosing plants down is what I do when I think plants need help with a pest problem but for plants in the ground, I don't usually do anything unless nature isn't responding quickly enough, the plant is in danger (not just under attack.) A few occasional pests won't cause permanent damage to a mature landscape plant.

Good luck with your baby, and plants!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 11:27AM
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