Pest control

lowraineMay 8, 2009

Can we discuss pest control? I know Mel says we should be able to see any pest and remove him on the spot but somehow I just don't think that is going to be done in my sfg. I have severn spray in the shed and have used it this week. Discussion please?

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Melissa Houser

Lowraine, Most of us are purists about pests, preferring to use only organic methods to control bugs. However, I confess to using sevin dust on my squash plants last year to try and save them from the marauding squash bug...and I still lost all of my squash.

I'm going straight organic so far, but I do plan to put some diatamaceous (sp) earth on my brussell sprouts and cauliflower tomorrow. Something is eating the leaves and I haven't found the culprit.

I do advise that, whatever you decide to use, you do so with caution. Some of the stronger stuff (including DE) can kill beneficial insects as well as the bad ones.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:49PM
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lowraine

How safe is severn in dust or liquid form?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 9:07PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

READ The label - Sevin will kill the good guys along with the bad. That creates an imbalance which creates more troubles.

Rule #1 is to READ the label.
Rule #2 always know which pest is the problem - that means seeing it NOT guessing. The eaten leaves could be slug damage, Sevin won't bother the slugs, thus beginning your imbalance. Sevin will also kill your pollinators too.

HTH

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 10:18PM
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lowraine

It would be nice if you could see the bugs but when you can't find them, then you have a problem. As someone who is new to gardening I will remind you that I and many others may not know a good bug from a bad one so reading the label isn't always a benefit. For that reason we come to this site to ask advice from those who have been gardening longer than us with the hope that they will advise us in our learning of the proper way to rid our gardens of the pest that seem bent on eating our vegetables.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 11:20PM
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Melissa Houser

lowraine, Perhaps you could describe the damage you are finding, or provide a picture of it. That might help us help you figure out what your pest may be.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 1:39AM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Have you considered taking a damaged leaf to a garden center? Keeping in mind they are in business to sell you stuff but if you can get an idea what caused the problem, you are half way there.

Then you have to decide if you can live with the damage. Everyone wants the perfect garden with perfect fruit.

When you see insects in your garden and don't know if he's a good guy or bad guy - assume he is a good guy. The good guys look creepy too. They ALL will live somewhere in your garden. You put the garden where they live.

The key is if YOU can live with them? In harmony? Creepy, I know.

If YOU are gonna eat from your garden - why would you want to spray anything on it, that YOU will put in your mouth?

After all, that is the benefit of home gardening.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 8:30AM
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lowraine

Ok, I have seen a small spider looking thing and a very small grayish brown bug maybe 1/4" long that curled up when you picked him up. Maybe they are both good guys or maybe one is a good guy and the other one isn't. What would be the safe way to protect my garden? Yes I hope to eat from the garden however old habits die hard, if it didn't harm me when I was a child, well you know. I'd like nothing better than to go organic as most of you do here however that mole has to go, dead or alive.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 9:12AM
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estreya

"Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees ..."

Gotta love that Joni.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 10:32AM
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anniesgranny(6b)

"a very small grayish brown bug maybe 1/4" long that curled up when you picked him up"

That's a sow bug (roly-poly, pill bug). I have them, too. They have never bothered me, nor have I seen them do any damage that I couldn't live with. Kids love to play with them and make them roll into a ball. You'll find them in moist areas, under boards, in the mulch. Here is the information on controlling them, although I'd never use the chemical control on my edible crops.

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2072.html

These creatures live outdoors, feeding on decaying organic matter and occasionally young plants and their roots. They may become pests in and around homes where flower bed mulches, grass clippings, leaf litter, rotting boards, trash, rocks and pet droppings are present. Adequate moisture is essential for their survival, and they group in masses to reduce water loss. On a hot day, they remain under objects on the damp ground and are active only at night due to lower temperatures and more humid conditions. They become inactive during the winter months except in heated buildings such as greenhouses.

Control Measures

Since sowbugs and pillbugs require moisture to survive, it is important to keep the house and outside as dry as possible.

Prevention

Remove hiding places such as piles of leaves, grass clippings, mulch in flower beds, fallen fruit, pet droppings, boxes, boards, stones and other debris from the foundation walls, doors, basement windows and other points of entry. Properly ventilate basements and subfloor crawl spaces to eliminate excess moisture. Repair and seal cracks and openings in the foundation wall, around doors, and around basement windows with caulking compound and weather stripping. Drain standing water and moist areas near potential points of entry.

Indoors, the use of fans and dehumidifiers will help dry out the basement and other damp rooms. These creatures can be collected with a broom and dustpan, vacuum cleaner or other mechanical means and discarded. Insecticide sprays usually are not needed indoors since sowbugs and pillbugs dry out quickly and die. However, household contact or residual sprays are sometimes used.
Chemical Control

Outdoors, apply a residual treatment (protective barrier) to the soil in a three to six foot band around the foundation walls, especially damp areas, surrounding the house and even underneath crawl spaces, at doorways, window wells and other potential entry sites. It is helpful to rake mulch, leaves, etc. away from the house foundation before treatment. Sprays or dusts of bendiocarb (Ficam), chlorpyrifos (Duration, Dursban, Empire, Engage), diazinon, propoxur (Baygon), carbaryl (Sevin), pyrethrins (Exciter, Kicker, Microcare, Pyrethrum, Safer) or resmethrin (Vectrin) are effective. Other labelled pesticides include acephate (Orthene), amorphous silica gel (Drione, Tri-Die), boric acid (Perma-Dust) and esfenvalerate (Conquer). Treatment of peat moss, leaves and bark used as plant mulches is important. Subsequent sprinkling with water will carry the pesticide down into the soil where these crustaceans hide. Materials such as fluvalinate (Mavrik, Yardex) are used outdoors.

Only the licensed pest control operator or applicator can apply bendiocarb + pyrethrins (Ficam Plus), cyfluthrin (Optem, Tempo), cypermethrin (Cyper-Active, Cynoff, Demon, Vikor), deltamethrin (Suspend), lambdacyhalothrin (Commodore), permethrin (Dragnet, Flee, Torpedo), propetamphos (Safrotin), and tralomethrin (Saga). Before application, always read and follow the pesticide label directions and safety precautions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 12:00PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

There are a number of good books at the library/bookstore that help you identify insects in the garden.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 12:08PM
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sqftsteve

Lowraine,

This bug identification site might help.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 12:37PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Lowraine - All spiders that you find in the garden are good guys. One of the worst things that a gardener can do, is to apply carbaryl (sevin) to everything in the garden. I have more bugs than most in my garden, but I choose to protect my bee friends. There are actually just a few bad bugs that you have to watch out for, and I would think that your bugs would be similar to mine. Here's some photos I took last year of the two most destructive in my garden:

1. Squashbug - hands down, the #1 enemy in my garden. They primarily attack summer squash (zucchini, yellow, etc.), pumpkins, and winter squash. They are a sucking insect, and suck juices from the plant. Searching for, then destroying the eggs is the best method for controlling them. Once they mature into an adult, even sevin will not kill them.....

eggs

nymph

juvenile

adult

2. Cucumber Beetle - Either striped or spotted (I only have spotted). This bug spreads disease like the plague. They are attracted to melons and especially cucumbers. As with the squashbug, finding the eggs is essential to control.

Eggs and baby cucumber beetles

Adult cucumber beetle

EG

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 3:16PM
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lowraine

Well, everyone will be proud of me. My plan is to use nothing harmful on my sfg. Thanks for the pics, that will give me something to look for. At the moment nothing seems to be moving around eating and the mole has gone to the other side of the yard. BTW, my garlic is coming up, yes Annie I just needed to give it time. Thanks everyone for the help.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 8:21PM
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anniesgranny(6b)

Lowraine, I'm proud of ya!

Granny

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 8:24PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

EG some very good pics. These bugs usu. get out of control bc people don't know to look 'under' the leaves.

If you want to keep from using sprays on the squash bugs - these are different from the Squash Vine Borer (SVB) which lays eggs singly on the main stem.

Try using tape (any kind like masking or duct tape) to press on the eggs then peel off in a waxing type action. It is time consuming but effective. Can also get the nymphs, kinda like fly paper.

When you have practice and the sun at your back you can spot the shadow of the eggs without turning the leaf over.

HTH

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 10:49PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Gumby - thanks. I took WAY too many pictures last year, but at least they can help sometimes. My favorite thing to do with the squashbugs, is to spray the plants with water, then wait for the adults to come to the top. I think it's funny, how they think it's raining...

Lowraine - like gumby said....90% of the bugs and eggs will be found on the underside of the plant leaves. The easiest way to find them in my opinion, is to go out at night with a flashlight, and shine the light from underneath the foilage. A silhouette of any kind will show up really well, and keep you from having to bend over so much.

EG

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 9:39AM
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sqftsteve

Does anyone here use compost tea? Does using it as a foliar spray really act as a form of pest control?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 7:23PM
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lowraine

I have heard of compost tea, what is it and how do we make it? EG, I would like to see someone on their knees after dark with a flashlight looking at their garden. Now that is a true gardener.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 12:21AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Lowraine - Actually, once the vining plants start up the trellis - no need to get on your knees. Instead, I just hold the flashlight under each leaf (pointed upward), and you would be amazed at the shadows displayed. I highly recommend this practice for pest control.

EG

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 9:05AM
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