Will soap, neem, fungicide kill my lacewing larvae?

woohoomanAugust 15, 2013

I just released some lacewing eggs and am going to release some more in a week or so. But I still have other pests and mildews to fight... namely the tomato suck bug and powdery mildew.

Can I still spray soap and/or potassium bicarbonate without harming the lacewing larvae? Or should I just vacuum the suck bugs and use the potassium bicarbonate for the PM.

Really kind of discouraging. My tomato plants are really looking bad and it's only August. And a couple of my pepper plants are losing some leaves. I'd hate to think I just spent $60 and the lacewings aren't even going to get a chance to dig in and make their mark.

Btw, the yellowing of the leaves and leaf loss--- what would be your best guesses? Mites, PM, the suck bugs. let me know if you need pics.



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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Btw, the yellowing of the leaves and leaf loss--- what would be your best guesses?

==>> w/o pix ..

well in MI.. its august.. plants look spent ...

you do understand.. that no matter what the plant looks like ... if it still produces.. WHO CARES ...

i am getting some vibe.. that you are looking for a level of plantal perfection [new word there] .. that most farmers really wouldnt care about ...

and .. 60 bucks on bugs .. good bugs.. you are blowing your cost/benefit ratio right out the window ... do you realize how many bushels of maters you could have bought at the organic farm ?????

sooo ... setting aside how bad you tomatoes look.. what does the crop look like .?????


    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 5:32PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Kevin, you cannot apply any pest control products to your plants after releasing the lacewing. Not even the fungicide. The larvae are simply too fragile.

I think you really knew the answer to your question, but were hoping against hope for a different answer.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Ken: I can keep tomatoes and peppers going well into December.

Well, let's see... 4 tomato plants that give me all the tomatoes I can use for 6/7 months out of the year. Pepper plants that produce peppers that you can't find at a store or farmer's market and if you do, they want at least a buck a pod I'm sure.. Cukes, squash, zucchini, green beans, cantaloupes, onions, leeks, garlic, snow peas, broccoli, cauli, cabbage, bok choy, brussels.

For $60 bucks, some homemade soap now and then, potassium bicarbonate for $6/lb. And then BT. And the seeds to grow beneficial plants. I say in my climate where I can have beneficial flowers year round to keep said "good bugs" around, it's not a bad investment whatsoever.

How come you never answer my original questions? instead you attack my gardening practices -- much of it I've learned from very knowledgeable gardeners, like yourself, here on GW.


"well in MI.. its august.. plants look spent "

This is SoCal -- our summer is just starting


"well in MI.. its august.. plants look spent "

Early production was great, but within the last month, I can tell from foliage to blossoms, to fruit set, to the fact that I've had to trim the bottom 3-4 feet of my plants because of this yellowing, dying diseased foliage-- all indications that they're in trouble. Especially if I want my "ratios" to pan out for the season -- which ends in Dec/Jan.


"i am getting some vibe.. that you are looking for a level of plantal perfection [new word there] .. that most farmers really wouldnt care about ... "

Wrong vibe. But I don't see why one can't keep an indeterminate tomato plant healthy throughout the season. Of course, production will slow when temps get too high for extended periods. But I mulch heavily. It's actually quite mild compared to most places in the U.S. in the dead of summer. I don't overfertilize or overwater. I feed my soil all the right stuff. I'm actively trying to create a balanced garden pest-wise.

Why not expect a plant to make it through the season?


    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Rhizo1: you're right. I was.

How long should i wait? Should I contact the supplier and delay my next shipment so I can sneak in a couple treatments of fungicide in between releases?



EDIT: Even the potassium bicarbonate, Rhizo1? I shouldn't use that either?

This post was edited by woohooman on Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 22:23

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Years ago, before I got the soil here straightened out, plants would begin to look worn out in August, but once that soil was made into a good, healthy soil the plants growing in that soil would produce quite well until either a frost took the frost tender ones out or I tilled them in.
Potassium Bicarbonate could do harm to those lacewing eggs, so why chance it?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:39AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Kevin, I wouldn't use the bicarb. I would also hold off on your next delivery for a few weeks. Isn't part of the idea behind releasing these beneficials is that a sustainable population be established? You know, the larvae pupate and develop into adults that lay eggs and on and on?
Or is this done just to benefit from the work of the nymphs?

Have you identified what may be affecting the tomatoes? I'm sure that you are aware that they can be susceptible to diseases that are beyond our ability to control with fungicides. And have you been practicing rotation with the tomatoes? Of all the different things I've grown over many years, tomatoes can be the most tempermental.....especially some of the divine heirloom varieties.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Rhizo1: Yes. But they recommend 2-4 releases, 2 weeks apart. Could just be a marketing ploy though. You tell me, since I value your opinion greatly. I guess with the larval stage lasting a couple weeks, It MAY make sense.

Regarding the tomatoes. Yes, I'm aware of the many diseases that can affect them. One reason why I went back just to growing early girls and an occasional sweet 100.

Several years back, I took a bean plant that was planted where the tomatoes are now to the local extension and they said I had fusarium. But after an attempt at solarizing and not planting any nightshades there in the last 4 years, I figured it would be gone or at least low. I believe early girls are VFF resistant.

I'm narrowing it down to 3 things at the moment, but I'm no expert. Those tomato suck bugs, spider mites, powdery mildew. And possibly the wilt.

I may just switch to determinate varieties next year that are disease resistant and still decently flavored. A couple plants early on and then a few more a couple months later. Space is always an issue though.

Anyhow. I'll try to get some pics. Maybe you can help more.



    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Here's some pics of my mater plants -- some pics not that great, but basically the affliction creeps it's way up the plants rather quickly. As you can see, I've had to clip the bottom 4 feet of foliage. variety is Early Girl I should probably get some pics of some of my "less-affected" pepper plants. But, what do you guys think?

As always. Thanks so much.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:05PM
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Anybody?? Nothing?



    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 12:40PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Kevin, I am sorry to see your tomatoes' yellow leaves and the problems of powdery mild dew.

How about spray milk with water? I got this advice from Eric I think. Milk is also a kind of fungicide some people also use as foliage spray.

I have also lacewing larvaes and lady bugs, I did not release them naturally they are nesting to my plants:-) still I have few lacewing eggs on the leaves too.

One of my plant have rusty leaves, I was looking for a solution but I couldn't get it. Last week I sprayed milk with water, it does not kill the lacewing larvaes and ladybugs. My plants looks better too.

I do not know much about diseases still I am a lazy student and learning to share something in the forum.

Good luck to find a solution.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 4:04PM
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Caelian: I'm aware of milk as a fungicide. I tried it earlier this year on my cantaloupes and squashes but didn't see a great improvement. Perhaps I'll try it on my peppers and tomatoes and see better results.



C'mon experts! Surely I haven't stumped you on my tomato affliction. Answer please!


    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:06PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Please give some answers, I am going to grow tomatoes next year, I need to learn for the next season.

Kevin, my rusty leaves chili plant is getting benefit from the milk spray I think. Before the leaves were also very crispy now they are soft and tender.

Good luck to get some answers.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 6:45AM
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kimpa(z6b PA)

I am going to guess "early blight" which starts from the bottom up. It can persist on seeds and start the cycle again.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 8:42AM
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