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Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Posted by tuesdayschild La Jolla CA; US 10, (My Page) on
Sat, May 6, 06 at 0:21

Hi all, What a nightmare here!!!!
My neighbors and I are going wild. We have been invaded by Walking Sticks -- If you've never heard of 'em, there's a good reason, they come from India and southeast Asia. They are of the order Phasmida (formerly grouped w/ Orthoptera [grasshoppers, crickets, etc.]), full-grown adults are about 6 1/2 inches long and 1/2 as big around as a pencil with long gawky legs, when still, they are almost indistinguishable from a twig, witness their name. Here's a good picture of the things: http://www.animatedchildrenstories.com/Images/WalkingStickInsects.jpg here's another one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Medauroidea.extradentata.jpg

That skinny long little body doesn't have much room for a sophisticated or efficient digestive system. Instead they rely on quantity -- huge munchings in, big flow out: continuously. Pretty easy to see where they've been: leaf decimation, accompanied by viscous trail of goop. One full-grown spcecimen can denude 1/2 a rosebush in a night. Agggh!

After much research, I'm finding that we in La Jolla may, in fact, owe our infestation of these things to one 14 year-old who about 4 years ago bought them as _pets_ over the internet and then decided he didn't want them anymore and turned 'em loose. Each female holding some 100,000 eggs. Uh-huh. They liked it here, clearly.

OK, my neighbors and I have thousands of these things ranging from about 1 1/2" to 6 1/2" long chewing their way through our gardens. Balboa Park and the Zoo are apparently also suffering from an onslaught. According to their reports, the darned things appreciate over 80% of the zoos horticultural offerings as prime chow (verry bad for them, since they are committed to a no-pesticide approach, for obvious reasons). They have no natural predators here. Crows love 'em, but "sticks" (as their afficionados affectionately call them) are nocturnal and crows are diurnal, so that's not much help.

I have contacted the UC IPM extension about the problem, but the only advice that I have received so far has been to try Orthene over the whole area. We are very reluctant to blast the neighborhood with such a broad-spectrum killer. Yes, it would probably do in a lot of Walking Sticks. But it would also harm a lot of birds, and do in our entire, carefully cultivated array of beneficials (we have a lot of psyllid problems here between Eugenias and eucalyptus, not to mention the honey bee issues). We've worked hard to cultivate a strong beneficial insect population in this area and are verrrrry reluctant to louse it up, so have been avoiding the "Just blast it all and hope for the best." approach.

As a result, we can all be found doing a late-night Edward Scissorhands impression-- I'm out there with a big flashlight and a pair of scissors, snipping the suckers in half. So are many of my neighbors. We are, sad to say, losing the battle. Since every female is launching 100,000 eggs at a drop and the predators are few and far between (never thought I'd pray for a rat infestation in my life), our plants are being decimated. Roses, bay laurels, gardenias, orchids, you name it, they're loving it.

Snail bait (Deadline, Sluggo) has had no effect. Beer traps have had no effect. We even built sticky traps of boxes with their favorite leaves in them (none entered, no chewing). I've done a ton of internet searches on the things -- nothing tells me how to kill them. There are hundreds of sites dedicated to raising them, cuddling them, appreciating them. Nothing on how to kill them. I even posted a couple of questions on those forums. They were deleted. They don't want to talk about them as pests, only as pets. The only thing I could find on killing them was that if you raise them in a house, airfresheners/plugins/etc. can kill them as their respiratory system is "unprotected". I tried putting some Glade fresheners next to my rose bushes, but evidently the open air dissipates it enough that they don't avoid it. Accckkkkk!

Does anyone have any suggestions????? My followup query to the UC IPM extension regarding soil drench effectiveness (imidacloparid) has not rec'vd a response in oer 2 weeks, so I'm guessing they don't know. Has anyone had any success with anything in dealing with these things? One of my neighbor's gardener brought her a hawthorn branch that he'd cut off the tree that they could see over 50 of the things "frozen" on the branch trying to look like twigs.

They're winning so far and I don't know what to do -- any guesses? Any ideas who to ask? Helpppp!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I minored in entomology at UC Davis and I know they kept phasmids at the Bohart Museum (along with strict warnings that these insects should never be released into the wild). I suggest that you try contacting Lynn Kimsey as she is a kind person who might be able to offer you more help.

Here is a link that might be useful: email


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by toyon USDA 9b/Sunset 14 C (My Page) on
    Sat, May 6, 06 at 14:30

Mantids will east almost any insect. You cold try buying some and releasing them throughout the garden. The only other thing I can think of that will reduce the damage to your plants is a systemic insecticide.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I would use DIMILIN insect growth regulator. This is very safe to humans, dogs and bees if used properly. You may have to have a professional do this. You will not be able to go to Lowes of HD to get it. This insecticide will cause the young to molt at the wrong time. Will only work on young immatures, adults insects will not be touched. Good Luck.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Thank you for your excellent suggestions!!
Toyon -- the mantid suggestion is a great surprise to me -- I remembered the mantids from my school classrooms and thought of them as diurnal -- hey they were awake and messing about with us-- but in looking into them I find that they are nocturnal just like the phasmids -- maybe a good match! Gotta make sure I can get some that are ok for CA release -- would hate like all get out to cause another problem with an improper introduction!!

Melle, thanks so much for another contact name -- I was running out of gas on experts to contact. I just hate shooting in the dark!!

Cypest -- ok, looking into DIMILIN. I've never heard of it before! It sounds like it might be a wonderful tool. I'll look into local pros to see who is knowledgeable about its use (after I've done my homework first).

Deep gratitude on my part!!!!! I have new avenues and I was really hitting the end of my rope -- the flashlight and the scissors can only take you so far --especially when you have to get up in the morning and go to work!!!!

Thanks! Any one else with any wisdom in working with these guys -- I'm all ears!!!!!

TC


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I had 3 different kind of mantids at my house last year... they do eat anything... bees, bugs everything. I've seen them catch bees in flight. I'd go the mantid route...


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

heathen1, Did you purchase all the different varieties of mantids or were they naturally occuring? If one purchases these critters, is it important to get a "variety pack" or is one order of one type sufficient predator to take care of business?


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Wed, May 17, 06 at 15:50

For suggestions from agricultural specialists, contact your county's Agricultural Commission as well as your county's Extension Service office.

Then, please come back and tell us what you learned.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Jean, thanks for the suggestion regarding county resources, but I'm discovering that San Diego county seems to rely entirely on the University of California's extension office and Master Gardener's program. There are no county services to speak of that are not legislative/quarantine/enforcement related. I guess that's the result of all of the fiscal woes/mismanagement we've got down here, so it looks like the UC IPM extension group is the only local resource. All of the county connections refer you to the Extension office which either redistributes Federal docs or refers you to the UC IPM extension group. I'm still trying to find someone to contact in Balboa Park, since I've read that they're doing battle with these things as well.

I'll certainly report back what I find -- our first step is going to be to try out the mantids and I'll give you commentary on how that goes, starting with release -- There are two methods of dispersal: 1) hang the egg sack of some 200 eggs from a tree/bush and let them escape on their own (pros: that's the way nature intended cons: they eat eachother if that's what they find first and they don't travel far from the release point). 2) hatch 'em by putting the egg sack in a paper bag in a warm window and then shake the hatched out little guys around the yard (pros: better distriibution across larger spaces, not so much chowing on eachother cons: a) if you don't notice the hatch right away, they may start eating eachother in earnest and b) if the cat knocks over the bag because of the interesting scritching noises inside you have a ferocious mess of mantids galloping around inside the house --eeesh.

I'll keep you posted!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Try contacting Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas to get a phone or e-mail address for Dr. David Kellum. He's on the board of trustees and is, I believe, a state entomologist and a very knowledgeable guy.

Good luck! Sounds like this could turn into quite a serious problem for San Diego County!

Here is a link that might be useful: Quail Botanical Gardens


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Thu, May 18, 06 at 1:27

You wrote:
"no county services to speak of that are not legislative/quarantine/enforcement related. "

So does that mean you have contacted your county's Agricultural Commission? Also the UC IPM extension group?

When it comes to the University of California's extension office, understand that Master Gardeners are very likely to have information for you.

From what you have told us, the walking sticks are an important problem in your area. So, this is an issue the Master Gardeners are very likely to know about. But if they aren't aware, they should be able to locate the information you need, this because Master Gardeners are trained to do the research required to find the answers the public requests. Sometimes that means they will refer you to another agency.

So, if neither the county Ag Commission or Extension Service have any information, contact the state agricultural agency.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Thu, May 18, 06 at 22:41

I used google.com to find the web site of the San Diego County Master Gardeners from the University of Calif Extension Service.

I used their form to email this question:
" I'm an MG in Oregon trying to get info for a friend in La Jolla about how to best manage an invasion of 6" walking stick insects. She claims that no one locally is of any help.

Do you have any info? If not, where can we find such info?"

This is their suggestion:
"I would recommend the use of Bayer Tree and Shrub Insect Control. It is a systemic (DO NOT USE ON EDIBLES OR FRUIT TREES) employed as a drench once a year and should be effective in the control of walking sticks. Drawback? For large number of trees it can be expensive.
Alternative.....a spray containing Orthene (also a systemic)."

I don't know if you like those suggestions or not. But it does show that someone knows something.

As has been mentioned, it's probably a good idea to contact both Balboa Park and Quail Gardens. Both places must consider the safety of their many visitors and, thus, may have further alternative suggestions.

Good luck and let us know what you find out and from whom. Oh yes; also let us know which remedy works!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Jean, thanks so much for the intervention!! I had sent a followup query to the extension folks asking about the Bayer drench to see if they had any info on it and never rec'vd a reply. Glad to hear that they think it may be effective, but I have not yet so far seen much of a "kill rate". I drenched my entire property line at the end of Feb. (and expensive doesn't begin to cover what it cost at $90 per gallon!) on my perimeter hedge (eugenia, 18' tall, all around the property, deeply psyllid infected) and thus all the "underhedge plantings" (gardenias, camelias, etc.). I'm still waiting to see an effect, frankly (the psyllids look perfectly happy 3 mos. later....) If they are seeing some efficacy though, then I'd certainly be happy to increase the drenching to include the rose bed and the hawthorn hedges (both big-time targets of these things), even though it means sacrificing all the herb harvests in the rose bed --my roses are underplanted/border planted with rosemary, parsleys, tarragon, and thyme, all of which I actually eat.....but if it will put a stop to this invasion, I'm willing to sacrifice my chow sources! I'm not, however, willing to sacrifice the number of beneficials that the Orthene spray would take out. Just too much collateral damage.

I am definitely doing a "neighborhood order" on mantids - having cleared that they are ok to bring in and as a "four month experiment" they are fairly low cost (esp. compared to other bug orders like lacewings, etc.) and environmentally low impact it seems.

Big thankyous for the MG to MG hotline! If they think the Bayer stuff works, I'll add it to the mix. Every night I'm out there with the scissors and the flashlight, I have these visions of biblical plagues of locusts and have to try to control my breathing! The number and increase level of these walking sticks is just astonishing and they eat so incredibly much in one night! I have a sympathy for the Okies of old these days that even Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" photograph didn't quite bring home. Thanks again!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Just an amatuer's stab in the dark here:
If they have sensitive resiratory systems you might try dusting with diatomatious earth, or boric acid.
Both are naturally occuring crystaline powders that work well on other insects.
Don't breath too much yourself...


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by toyon USDA 9b/Sunset 14 C (My Page) on
    Thu, May 25, 06 at 23:06

There are several species of mantids that are native to California. Something to consider when ordering them.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Yikes! I have them too. Tuesdayschild, I am in Point Loma. Today we were working in the yard and I noticed by young dahlias had been literally stripped of leaves. Just stems with buds. I thought it looked like too much damage for snails, (my usual suspects) and for a moment I flashed back to this thread. Later, as I was weeding, I reached out to pick a broken twig off of a hypericum hidcote that I was musing was looking poorly. You should have heard my blood curdling scream when I realized that twig has legs and was squishy. I started screaming "walking stick, walking stick!" and my husband came over to pooh pooh me, claiming it was just a twig until he picked it up and realized it was alive. These things are creepy folks and I swear they are almost impossible to see. I am worried about losing my roses to them now. Tuesdayschild, can you let me know where you ordered the mantids? I don't want to use chemicals as I try to garden organically, but if the mantids don't work, I will go the chemical route. These things are awful.
Tzus


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

toyon: thanks for your pointer. That had not occured to me to try to locate CA native mantids -- I did check out that they are not prohibited here, but didn't realize that there were natives to choose from..... so many bugs.....so many things to learn!! Thanks again for the tip, I'm now off on a CA mantid source search. I found a couple of really good sources nationwide that have "off season breeding" availability, but would rather find something "local" if I can. I'm hypersensitive now to nasty introductions between my stick population and my Eugenia psyllid ongoing mess.

twotzus, I will certainly post my findings. This is a royal drag and while I'm sorry to hear that they've made it as far south as Point Loma, it does make me feel a little bit better that I'm not the only one dealing with these things. I'm definitely running with the mantids for the first shot and will be spending this week seeing if I can get some locals, otherwise I'll go with the great plains breeder folks.

In the meantime, I can say that the 9pm-out-with-the-flashlight and the scissors routine has put a significant dent in the population. Just for the interim info -- when you first start, the spot and snip routine is pretty easy because there are a million out there and they are "for the picking". As you whittle down the population they get harder to find (and perhaps more wary of light sources????), but the easiest spotting method I've found is to look for their antennae sticking out from under the leaves-- shine the flashlight on the leaves of the affected plants and look for a couple of little hairs protruding -- its amazing how you can get "acclimated" to looking for that little pattern and it starts to jump out at you. I'm also lucky that the sticks I'm battling are all brownish and all of my roses and gardenias (the other most heavily chawed plants are all underplanted with herbs and violets (all bright green) which makes the spotting a bit easier.-- All of this night-time hunting is, I might add, greatly enhanced by bringing a nice glass of Cabernet out with you (I use a plastic glass since I can get pretty excited when I spot one) and taking time to look at the stars while you're at it! What can I say -- I'm looking for some silver linings in the mayhem!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 3, 06 at 9:52

LOL Love that positive attitude, TC! One might go crazy, otherwise. And it must provide a certain satisfaction to be able to snip those things yourself (I get the same feeling when snipping slugs). :D

Good luck in your mantid hunt!

Brenda


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I live in La jolla also, same problem. I see your last post was about two months ago and wondered if you had any success with the mantids. I've tried predator bugs before with little success and am ready to go the Orthene route. Any tips out there on specific names contining this stuff? I'll enjoy snipping the little guys tonight.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by
    leny-pb sunset(24)
    (gw:leny-pb) on
    Wed, Aug 9, 06 at 21:38

I am here at a local store to let you know there is some stuff out there to kill the sticks. It is call spinosad. This is to be e-z on the good guys!!!! Also try to spray at night!!!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Hi!
I live in Los Osos, CA (on the coast halfway between L.A. and San Francisco) and walking sticks have invaded our block! After searching the web for how to get rid of Walking sticks (everyone wants to save them!) I found you! Hallelujah! For 2 years I loved them, because everyone told me they ate the bad bugs, meanwhile they were flourishing...Now they are eating EVERYTHING! My favorite way of getting rid of them, is filling a bucket with water (you can do this during the day time), putting on my gardeing gloves and spraying the heck out of my plants with a hose. They hate water and will all come scurrying to the tops of the plants. I just pluck them off and dump them in the bucket of water. They don't really try to get out. Just sit there and drown quite quickily. I have filled buckets with them, but the babies keep devouring everything. I am going to try some methods on here. I was stuck on no chemicals, but now I have gone insane and I will try anything! Keep sharing your victories!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Hey some reports back on the walking stick wars here......

Well, the mantid operation has been iffy at best. My supplier has been a total flake, so only managed to get one out of the three staged deliveries that I'd arranged ----From my researches, the mantids need to be released at staged intervals --frankly because they don't belong here and don't breed well, so you don't get renewable populations. Too bad the phasmids don't behave the same way, no? Anyway my supplier flunked on sending the second two batches so I haven't managed to really conduct a proper study, I can tell you all that when the first baatch hatched out and began to romp around (I used the hatch in a bag method so I could distribute them at _my_ discretion) they did huge damage to the stick population. Unfortunately the mantids did not prove hardy / faithful (don't know if they died out or left) so the sticks began a big resurgence.

At about that time, I discovered Spinosad (as mentioned by leny-pb above), I actually used it to deal with the rose slug/caterpillar population, but found 15 dead sticks in the rose bed the next day. Yahoo! All the assassin bugs were still pouncing and happy and lots and lots of nasties were dead as doornails.

I am still trying to resurrect my mantid supplier, because I'd rather not use any chemistry (since I eat a lot of the underplantings in this bed...) but at least we're making progress.

While the kill off was impressive, I am still out there with the scissors every couple of nights. Last night, I hadn't been out in 6 days and I snipped 19 of the things from 1" long (most of 'em) to 2 over 5" long.

Ye gods and little fishes these things are a pain!!!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Quick followup to bugstomper -- sorry I missed your post earlier --

Orthene is not a good option for combating these guys as it takes out too much of the total population of inhabitant beneficials in the area, also because these damn things have long legs and can move pretty quick, anything that isn't hit in the initial kill strike just moseys away for a bit and then comes back after the toxic nasty has washed away.

The reason spinosad works well (so far) is that nothing recognizes it as toxic until it is too late (it has been ingested and destroys the nervous system). Until the point of ingestion, the bugs think it is just another smell and will walk into the treated zone and munch. With orthene, if they are outside the kill zone they'll just wait until it has disapated (about 4-5 days with normal watering) and romp back in.

While spinosad has a dramatic effect on the things that it hits (lordy me, you should have seen my violet leaves shaking and jumping the first time I sprayed it after dark--- I had normally slow and creepy caterpillars doing St Vitus' Dance when that stuff hit them), its most effective on the things that come in to munch after its been sprayed.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by toyon USDA 9b/Sunset 14 C (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 3, 06 at 14:18

Orthene is a systemic insecticide. It doesn't wash off. When the insects eat the foliage they will ingest the insecticide, and it should kill them.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Does anything really work on edibles and killing these disgusting little buggers??? I am in Orange County and these things have eaten their way through my tomato plants...


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I released mantid eggs (bought at a local nursery) in my garden probably 4 or 5 years ago and every year I see several in my garden. They are territorial and will canabalize trespassers - as I recall. That's why you won't find "lot's" of them in one area.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Hello, I am new to this sight and just found you by doing a google search on ridding my garden of stick bugs!! I have tried systemic products however, they seem to be multiplying by the thousands! My privet hedges, roses, ivy topiaries...are covered with them. I too have been watering them out of hiding and then snipping, squashing... whatever it takes! However, today I noticed little babies and even larger ones than I had ever seen. I have read thru the posts and wondering if you were sucessful with the spinosad. Or if anything has worked for you. There also seem to be many many spiders throughout these same plants. Not sure if they are causing any trouble as well. Interestingly, I too am from La Jolla and hear from many surrounding nurserys that we have a very big problem with these bugs locally.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Hi All,

I am currently in the early stages of preparing a paper on the spread of non-native phasmids (stick & leaf insects). I live in the UK where there have been several introduced species, but our cold winters generally keep the numbers in check.

I am interested however in collecting data about the spread of this species. If you have found any then could you please send me an e-mail, and include as much of the following information as you can:

1)First date you found them in your garden
2)Approximate numbers (if you can work it out)
3)Your location (preferably to your street name)
4)What plants you have found them on
5)Whether there is a variation in frequency with month
6)If possible a photograph to check identification

Please pass this message on to anybody else you know has this problem.

My e-mail address for this project is records@phasma.org.uk.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Ed Baker


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re: walking sticks - help!!!! they're eating us to ruin!!! - use

I live in Ocean Beach (OB), in San Diego and my yard is absolutely infested with these things. I first noticed them in the Spring and we looked them up on Inet and all I could find was info on how they make great pets! In the meantime, all summer I have been fighting these things because I have a lush yard and they are eating everything in sight. I've replaced two bushes and now the new bushes are destroyed. I went to Anderson's nursery and they said that they have had a lot of complaints about these stick bugs. They recommended I use Lilly Miller Grasshopper bait. I used way more than recommended and it didn't touch them. I sprayed vinegar and water and it helped a little, but not enough. I read this posted correspondence and used the idea about the water cause they hate water. I set my sprinkers to spray every 2 hours during the night. That didn't bother them too much, they just climbed to the top of the plant, where I shone my flashlight and plucked them off and put them in the water bucket where they drowned very quickly. They don't even try to climb out of the water bucket. In 1 hour I had over 50 dead stick bugs in the water bucket, some up to 5 inches long! Yuk! This morning, I took the bucket of dead stick bugs over to the OB Garden people across the street from my house and they panicked when they saw them and knew immediately how dangerous they would be if they infested the Garden. OB Garden is a local garden where neighbors can rent a plot of land and grow a small garden. Ruth is an expert on gardening and gave me some Spinozad to try, which I sprayed on the plants. There were three stick bugs on this one plant that was in the darkened part of the yard and I sprayed the entire plant. I watched them over the last hour and finally, one of them fell off the plant to the ground and it is dieing!!!!!!! I'm keeping an eye on the other two. Ruth said that the Spinozad does not harm the good bugs, because the good bugs don't eat leaves, it only kills the bugs that eat leaves. So, I'm going back to Anderson's today to get more Spinozad! Ruth also said that these can be easily transmitted from yard to yard via your clothing. So, after you work in your yard, wash your clothes and shower right away. Now, here is another thing I discovered. Ruth showed me what a Black Widow spider looks like and what their webs look like. They have a fat round body (are not always black) and their webs are a random pattern. I noticed that my yard is also INFESTED with Black Widows too!!!! Although the Black Widows are normally good for your yard because they kill the bad insects, this many is not good, especially in our situation. I have a quadriplegic son who is deathly afraid of one getting on him. I have a trellis over my entryway and noticed a ton of them on that, including some hanging down. They evidentally love the stick bugs because they are nocturnal and are an easy prey for them. So, look out for the Black Widows too!!!! Thank God I found an answer to this problem and can finally regain control of my yard again. Good luck everyone. Please pass the word that these bugs should not be considered great pets. They are a huge nusance and are extremely destructive!!!!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 11, 07 at 15:17

lorinob,

Rather than black widows all over your yard, more likely you have the false black widow, a look-alike.

You said they have " a fat round body (are not always black)"

Sorry, but they are always black. Again, you are seeing relatives of the widow, but not widows.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by mikey SoCA-Z10-22/23 (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 11, 07 at 18:46

Fortunately no walking sticks here yet.....KNOCKING ON WOOD....

I've never found black widows in bushes and such. That's not to say you won't find them there. I find they like dark secluded areas. I find them beneath rocks, beneath stacked firewood and bricks, and inside the 1/2" weeping holes in the bottom of block walls. Their web is unusually strong which is why it was harvested during WWII as the cross-hairs on some gun sites. So should you feel an unusually strong web....Beware! I've worked around them for many years and to date no bites that I know of. When working in areas where I know they are, such as my wood pile, I ALWAYS wear gardening gloves that can be cinched tight around my wrist. I know of people who have been bit when the black widow spider fell inside either their loosely fit sock or into the open wrist area of the gloved hand..... In such instances the spider felt threatened and of course bit.....


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Hi, We also live in Pt Loma, and the walking sticks have taken over our front yard as well. They seem to hide down in the ferns, come out at night and eat our Cape Honeysuckle hedge.
We are plucking and drowning them. Here is a typical night's work.

Maybe I will try some of the chemicals though we hate to do it.

Here is a link that might be useful: One night's catch; in the bucket


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Aren't any governmental agencies doing anything about this? You would think they would be at least mildly interested.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

In spring time, Home Depot sells sac of mantid eggs. Quite cheap. Each sac will hatch thousands of mantids.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

re the black widow comments. i live in SD county, the black widow look-alikes are probably brown widows. they are all over my yard. easy to spot the webs, just as the previous poster described, and the spider bodies are brown, or tan, with the distinctive hourglass below. so far they really try to avoid contact with people, so i leave them alone unless they are right where my hands need to go. you can google brown widow to get info on them.

i live south of point loma, and have not yet seen the walking sticks, but i suspect its only a matter of time. i would think that if the sticks are nocturnal, the mantis will not be effective, since they are diurnal. also walking sticks survival mode is to remain still, mantis reacts to movement of prey. i have mantis in my yard and they are all attracted to movement. the spinosad treatment is probably the best bet for the sticks. Mo


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Indio CA, east of Palm Springs. I saw one or 2 about 5 years ago, and a couple 4 years ago and have not seen one since. I'm guessing the lack of rain and hot dry temps. have protected us.
Organic Gardening magazine used to recomend an possible remedy. Catch several of the bugs you have a problem with, put them in the blender with a little bit of water and blend them down to pretty much liquid. then spray the solution on the plant you want to protect.
I have only tried this with one kind of bug. A true bug that gets on the pomegranates around here. I did not see dead ones but didn't see live ones either, making me think it works more as a repellent than as a poison. I only did that one year as changes in my cultivation (mulch and drip irrigation) seemed to get rid of the problem and they have not been a problem sense.
Gives a whole new meaning to the daily grind. LOL


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Well! This may sound strange, but I am an ag major at Cal Poly Pomona and I am currently taking an Introduction to Arthrapods class. My classmates and I need Phasmatodae (walking sticks) for our bug collections. I was wondering if anyone in the San Diego area would allow me to come to their gardens and collect some for our projects. We will be killing and mounting them so they will not be spread to any other neighborhoods. Any help with this would greatly be appreciated and would earn us some extra points on our project. Thanks Lurana (renstrong@cox.net)


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I was interested too in at least seeing some of these guys in La Jolla. My plan was to take a walk down the streets mentioned in the above posts to see if I could spot any.

Good luck with your collecting. That was one of my favorite projects when I was at Cal Poly.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Locations in La Jolla?

Opps! Sorry I had read additional articles on the web and in one of them from 4 years ago Hidden Valley Road in La Jolla was listed as a problem site for these insects.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Oh my gosh, these things are starting to decimate some of my plants! At first I was blaming snails until I spotted some of these creatures and then did some research. I have been doing the water bucket method at night for controlbut I can see that this will not truly take care of the problem. I also cant spend so much time every night plucking them off the plants.

Ive called several nurseries and Spinosad seems to be the most common suggestion, although Orthene has also been recommended. I live in north San Diego county, and most people at nurseries here are surprised to hear that there are walking sticks in this area. I guess theyve made their way up (or down) the coast now.

From reading these postings, it sounds like Spinosad is pretty effective.? I usually dont use sprays or the like, but I really dont want all my plants to be eaten away. If you have used Spinosad, do you still feel that it is effectivedoes it continue to take care of the problem? What a pest these things are! Thanks for any info. that you can provide!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Just curious if anyone tried the idea of running some through the blender and spraying the solution on the effected plants?


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I am completely empathethic to this insect problem and am sorry it is such a nightmare. We don't have these insects in Cardiff (that I know of) and am very interested in seeing one and putting it in a DRIED bug collection for my neice & nephew's 1st grade class.

Without giving any specific residential information, could someone tell me a neighboorhood I could go to find one? I promise this is for a DRIED collection only - this problem will NOT be transferred to another neighborhood. My name is Steph - ssquier@hotmail.com. Thank you!!


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Walking Sticks - Out of Control, Spinosad Toxicity, Pets???

I am SO glad i found this site!

These little stick freaks are running rampage in our back yard. We have two cats that live in a "shed" (half of it is basically a screened in porch) and at least 2 of these freaky creatures are in there every day somehow! I'm not much for killing bugs just because they freak me out so I've just been capturing them and then throwing them back into the yard but it's getting to a point where i'm more focused on being caught off guard by one of these bugs than visiting with the cats! One was freaking HUGE! Like at least 5", AT LEAST. I had to make my husband go out there b/c it was such a nightmare to imagine this creature in there or even EXISTING! It's body was HUGE. So, i guess i need to do more than throw them out with a scolding if they're breeding so crazily.

I will have nightmares for having to relive this ordeal. Which is why I'm looking up how to get rid of them at 11:45pm instead of sleeping. When i found these sites on raising them as pets i paled and shook to my core. Are you SERIOUS???

I have read every post listed here and am so thankful that all of you have been so vocal. I will look into finding Spinosad in my area tomorrow. However, I am nervous for the effect it may have on my cats. I will cut down all shrubbery near their "cat house" and spray around the perimeter, i guess. But what if a stick bug gets into the Spinosad and then crawls into the cat house and the cats play with it?

According to Wikipedia, Spinosad shows low toxicity when ingested by mammals (male rat LD50 = 3738 mg/kg) and no additional adverse effects from chronic exposure. Studies on spinosad show slight toxicity to birds, moderate toxicity to fish, and slight to moderate toxicity to aquatic invertebrates. However, it is highly toxic to bees (honey bee LC50 = 11.5 ppm) and is highly toxic to oysters and other marine mollusks.

So I am assuming it won't harm my cats. I've never had to act on anything like this before, so I am just hesitant. Any advice? I know nothing of plants, or gardens, or backyards, or insects, and especially not killing them. I know that my problem is minimal in size compared to the ones already posted, but from what i've seen, this could become a serious problem. They all started somewhere small.

I wonder if maybe some eggs were laid in the plant that the pet store sold to us as "live catnip". To me it was just a mint plant like my grandmother used to have in her yard. I read somewhere above that they are attracted to mint, right? Those other plants I'd never heard of but there are weeds around the perimeter as well. I will also chunk the mint plants, or whatever they call them.

So I guess i should remove all of their play things (bed cushions, etc.) and give the place a good sweep to get rid of any eggs then, yes? Maybe even wash their stuff? Or is that unnecessary? I am SO freaked out by these creatures. I can handle pretty much anything else (except centipedes, they're my only other bug weakness) Enough about this. please post any comments or advice.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by lali z9, 18, So Cal (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 10, 08 at 17:13

Sorry, no help with the walking sticks issue, but I did find this about dispersing mantids

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantodea

Introduced Species
About 20 species are native to the United States, including the common Carolina mantis, and only one in Canada. Two species (the Chinese mantis and the European Mantis) were deliberately introduced to serve as pest control for agriculture, and have spread widely in both countries. While it is legal to keep native mantises as pets or to sell egg cases for gardening, non-native species are illegal to possess and release in the United States, under the Non Native Invasive Species Act of 1992.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I'm chiming back in after some time off this thread. I wanted to report back on my observations/successes/failures since I first wailed for help.

The walking sticks in _my yard_ have gone from a full-out killer-devastation invasion, to a major pest level. They are much reduced (that is to say that when I go out to snip them at 9 pm at night, I now typically snip about 15 to 20, most of which are either juveniles [1/2"-2"] or adolescents [3"-4"]). I have only snipped 4 full-bore adults (5-8") in the last 8 months in _my yard_ but I have to say that in my next-door neighbor's yard to the north, which I invaded last night for the first time in about 4 mos. I nailed 9 huge adults and about 40 juveniles. A long night....

I am deducing that the things have migrated a bit and find his, relatively un-policed yard to the north a better place to hang than mine.

I really can't tell you which part of the regime is working. I use Spinosad on a regular spraying basis now, every 3 weeks in winter, every week in summer. It's hard, because I only spray in the late afternoon/early evening (to avoid hitting anything I don't want to kill) and it plays merry hell in this coastal environment with my powdery mildew and rust control on the roses. I go out with the scissors every other week in winter, every three nights (if I'm being really good) in summer.

No other spray has worked at all. I have even tried some experiments with other sprays (I am only willing to use the "safer" type: Safer, greenlight, etc.), capturing the things, putting them with their capturing branch into a terrarium, spraying them, and waiting for them to die:

Safer insectacidal soap: No effect. At all. I believe the specimens may have died of malnutrition or thirst. They died about 6-8 days after spraying.

Safer pyrethrin: Slowed 'em down, but the captive specimens were still moving (although unhappily) 4 days after spraying. Thirst? Hunger? Spray? who knows.

Collected 70 adolescents (3"), put 'em in a blender with some water and a couple of blops of coco soap, sprayed the rose bed (the most favorite target) with the mix. No effect on walking sticks. Just as many romping around for two weeks after spraying. Probably too stupid to realize that they were running around on the corpses of their brethren. Total eruption of rust and powdery mildew on roses, as well as blackspot, which I'd never seen before in La Jolla. A very bad idea for roses.

Spinosad (greenlight rose defense): Bugs dead in 4 hours in the terrarium.

Mantids: Two years worth of releases of mantids each year 8 cases (supposedly a minimum of 200 per case): 4 in my yard, 4 with a cooperating neighbor to the south. A) the total count of mature mantids (over 4" in length) ever seen in our two yards was 4. Other than those big honkers, I never saw a mantid in my yard after the 3rd month following release. Did they die? Did they leave? Were they working under cover? Who knows. Were they a part of my success? Not a darn clue. Will I do it again next year.... yes. and I'll try to figure out a way to see if it is actually working.

Have I found an answer: NO
Am I having success: marginally, but not where it needs to be.
Have I found any good resources: NO. Why in the name of all that is green and growing is no one researching or publishing on this -- Loook at my yard!!! Looook at my neighbors. Yeeek.

My roses are still a mess, as are my gardenias and my brunfelsia. Chewing is still happening on a serious level. Not quite as epic as it was before but still really bad.

Anyone else have any success stories, tips, anything else? These things are still on the rampage and I am damn tired of playing Edward Scissorhands every night (not to mention what stories the neighbors must be telling!)


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by mikey SoCA-Z10-22/23 (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 5, 08 at 16:49

Thanks for the update. The Cypress branch of the Orange County Library has a large jar in the children section that is full of walking sticks, juvenile to adult. I just hope they don't allow kids to take them home.....


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Oh, Tuesdayschild, my heart is breaking for you.
Have you considered getting another hobby, hmmm... Nascar racing or something?
Seriously, I'm writing my congressman tonight. And the Cypress branch of the OC Library, Mikey!
And praying they don't make it here before I croak.
Renee


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I am in Pt Loma, wooded area, and am having a stick bug attack. Years ago, I would see one here or there, usually dead, and move on with my life. I Googled them (as another poster did above) and saw that they make great pets.

However, now that I have an active organic garden, I've noticed a flurry of babies all over my starts. They destroyed my brussel spouts, broccoli starts, stripped my roses, and hide in the lavendar. What started as a mild amusement is now full-fledged frustration. I now have to use Safer Pyrethrin on my garden (poo!) and am not sure that is working. I am reluctant to try Spinozad because they may harm honey bees. I haven't seen many bees lately, and I'm thankful for the ones we have.

I guess it will be 'handpicking' for now - they DO love hanging out in lavender during the day. I spray the plants and get them soaked, and all the sticks crawl upwards . That's when I grab them.

If someone wants DEAD ones to show kids, you are more than welcome to mine.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Dimilid sounds like a good answer. It has been used successfully on controlling grasshoppers. It is growth inhibitor and inhibits the insects chitin during molting. However, I have yet to find a retailer who sells this stuff. Right now it is available as in ingredient in koi pond pest control. And fly abatement. There is a big debate over the use of Dimilid in New Jersey as they control the gypsy moth. Growth inhibitors can affect other chitinous animals. And whether such genetic modifiers do harm the environment and other animals. But when I spray for scale, I go right for Enstar II, another growth inhibitor. It works wonders. BT only works on caterpillars. Pyrethrins don't work. Nor does Malathion. Seven or Orthene does work. But because of such a bad infestation, you really need to have the ag department come out and do something. The last thing we need in our area is something like Illinois and the Emerald Ash Borer. I really don't think that mantids will do anything to get rid of these walking sticks. These animals grow large. There is no natural predator. Where is APHIS when you need them. I import orchids and its a hassle to get phytosanitary documents. Some kid buys a invasive insect over the internet. Just hope you folks keep these critters from traveling north to LA.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 9, 08 at 19:55

Dimilin is readily available as a medication for Koi parasites (anchor worm/fish lice). Many koi dealers sell it.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Just found this thread because I was looking up walking sticks, which are currently hanging out in my garden. I'm only 4 years 'late' with this advice, but the web--and this question--are eternal, so here goes:

My favorite 'insecticide' is a mixture of primarily Canola oil, a small amount of Volck oil to decrease stickiness of Canola and act as an emulsifier in a water suspension, and a couple of drops of grease-dispersing dish detergent such as original Dawn or Joy. My mix is approximate. If you are loading this into a hose-end sprayer, use approximately these amounts:

1 pint Canola oil
4-5 tablespoons Volck dormant season oil
3 drops Dawn or Joy

Do not use more detergent than this, as it will clump with the oil and clog your sprayer.

Set your sprayer to a dilution rate of about 2-5 tablespoons--it's best if you get a sprayer like a Gilmore brass one, so that you can instantly adjust the rate while you are spraying. Delicate plants like Fuchsias with gall mites would get less, Eugenia with psyllids and sooty mold would get more.

For small-scale applications, you can also put this mixture into a quart bottle of water with the following recipe:

2-3 tablespoons Canola
1 tablespoon Volck
1 drip Joy or Dawn

YOU MUST DILUTE THIS OIL WITH WATER. If you spray the straight oil directly on your plants the leaves will deep-fry in the sun.

This mixture WILL kill the walking sticks, if it coats some portion of their surface area.

In fact, it kills any insect that it contacts.

The worst drawback is that it will kill the beneficials insects and arachnids you've been cultivating--anything that breathes through its skin. No, it won't kill any higher organism such as birds, raccoons, or dogs, even if they lick it. Just don't spray the birds' nests, as it is unknown whether it will harm the eggs if it coats them. You can kill birds' eggs with plain water so, use common sense with the oil.

So my suggestions are these:

Before spraying with the oil mixture, make sure there are no birds' nests. Gently spray the Stick-infested plants with plain water. This will chase away adult green lace wings or parasitic wasps or any beneficial that can fly. Before they can come back, spray the oil solution on the plants. You're going to lose beneficial larvae and eggs, but at least you will be killing most of the psyllids, their young, and their eggs, and sooty mold and powdery mildew as well. (Yes, it will kill rusts on roses and help prevent them from coming back anywhere from one to 5 months depending on the season.)

This treatment is the most effect I have ever used, as a professional and in my own garden. While the oil doesn't exactly have a lasting protective effect, nevertheless it is so much more effective (and safer!) than toxic insecticides that I don't understand why anyone continues to use those. I would never never never use a systemic insecticide, ever; in fact, when my clients use them I refuse to work in the garden for 6 months. I am always suspicious of any insecticide's claim of long-term effectiveness--scary.

I used to use paraffinic oil, until it was taken off the market. I'm sad about that loss and what it says about how much we care for the environment. But actually, I'm kind of glad that I was forced to come up with an alternative because the treatment I'm suggesting above is even more effective and longer-lasting than the paraffinic oil. It's a little less convenient because you have to put it together yourself, but it's also a lot cheaper--on the order of 10 times. And it doesn't dry out your hands as much as paraffinic oil does.

(YES, the oil kills caterpillars too. When nurseries or web sites tell you that only Bacillus thuringiensis works on caterpillars, they don't know what they are talking about. Actually, I think they either just want to sell you this expensive and highly-irritating product, or they don't understand the logic of the word 'only'. It is true that b. thuringesis ONLY kills caterpillars, so if you want a targeted weapon for caterpillars on a particular plant, you can use that. Wear face- and hand-coverings. :)

Note: The reason that I don't use straight Volck dormant season oil mixed with water, is that it is too potent and too drying. The plants don't like it at all, if they have leaves on them, which they almost always do in San Diego. You can dilute it and spray it on a Citrus after you've buckhorned it, but I find it has limited use in San Diego. And again, it's a lot more expensive than Canola.

Plain canola is too sticky. The plants get coated with it and it never comes off. Meanwhile it sits on them collecting dirt and making them look terrible, and eventually the dirt can block their light. And because it's hanging around getting old, it makes your garden smell like a well-used kitchen. Gardens should smell like flowers, right?

And the reason that I use Canola (instead of olive or peanut, for example) is that it is the lightest cooking oil available at a reasonable price (you can get a gallon of it for $8.00, and a gallon kills A LOT of pests.).

For white fly, make sure you thoroughly saturate their webbing, or else the ones inside the dry webbing will be protected. Same for mealy bugs. It won't kill insects underground because it doesn't coat them, so it won't be effective for June bug larvae.
Yes, it will kill ants, but only the ones it touches, not the whole colony; usually killing the line of ants entering the house is sufficient to turn the colony's sights to safer places.

Hope all this helps.

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Supersaturated.com


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I also live in LJ and I'm at my wit's end with these insects! They have eaten everything. I am spraying with spinosad but don't want to over use. I also have a white fly infestation that won't quit. I've cut my hibiscus down to stubs but they have invaded my fruit trees and rosemary. Not to MENTION rats in the bougainvillea which we had to put bait stations down for. What an ongoing, frustrating mess, it's taken all the fun out of growing things.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Not to mention the expense. I took out my hibiscus when the whiteflies arrived. I'm waiting for the walkingsticks with a flock of chickens. Hungry chickens.
Renee


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I have many, many stick insects in my yard in Mission Hills. I have an organic vegetable garden, so I don't use systemic insecticides. I have used green or castile soap (ask your pharmacist) diluted with water (just a tablespoon or so in 1-2 cups of water) and sprayed them. They die, although the larger ones die slowly. I've noticed that they do not like most aromatic plants. Don't bother gingers, herbs, salvias, buddelia, California lilac, and may other California natives. They also don't seem to bother my large established roses. Mulch around my vegetable plants seems to discourage them, and they don't get on the vegetables, maybe because of this. They like brushy plants with many branches close to the ground. When I find such a plant full of the insects, I spray with water to flush them out, spray with soap to kill them, and take the plant out of the garden. Everything grows in San Diego, so there are many replacements available. I have also done the flashlight/water bucket technique (thanks to this page). It works, but I find it unpleasant. I much appreciate this page. I think we are stuck with these things, and I would welcome any other ideas that avoid insecticides.


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RE: Bad news--they're spreading

Just found this thread and read with fascination and horror. Bad news--they're moving north. We live in Berkeley, CA. About a year ago we started noticing the odd stick insect resting during the day on a wall or stair. Thinking as many others have they were benign even helpful I dutifully moved them out of harm's way onto a plant and thought no more about it.

This spring, our one miniature rose bush was shredded. Then, a few weeks later, I started noticing our lush morning glory that covers a fence was being eaten to bare stems. I put out snail repellent, no luck. Finally I noticed when I watered the morning glory a few week ago that a mess of walking sticks swarmed out of holes among the root base, 5" adults and hundreds of white babies down to 1/2". Yuck.

I haven't yet taken offensive action but now that I have a chemical to try, I certainly will. This is a dangerous pest that even our excellent local nursery has no idea about. When I asked whether walking sticks could be the cause of my morning glory infestation they told me with authority that walking sticks don't eat foliage. Riiiiiiiight.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by wcgypsy 10 / Sunset 23 (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 24, 11 at 14:57

I would also think that nurseries in areas that are being hit hard with Walking Sticks would not want to speak too loudly about the problem. I don't want to buy from nurseries in areas with a lof of 'sticks'.I've bought a couple of plants from those areas, but inspect the plants very carefully and watch for the possibility of eggs hatching. Any nursery that truly knows what's what should be quite aware of the problem by now.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I completely understand the dangers of releasing walking sticks into the wild. I am unsure of how to kill them in larger numbers like what you have, But perhaps you could try talking to wildlife or botany specialists in your area about the threat they pose to the other insect population and the plants in the area? Also, I have been considering humane methods of euthanization for my small collection of Walking sticks. I have the Vietnamese species which are slightly larger than the Indian variety however I do not wish to keep them as I was unaware of the number of eggs females produce when they were given to me by a relative. I haven't got the space in my home to keep their offspring. I have 3 females. They have not finished molting yet, I have one on her 3rd molt, One on her 1st, and one who hasn't started molting yet. Any help on how to kindly kill off my bugs before they become a problem? Thanks!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Personally, if I was the bug, I'd prefer the guillotine to all other methods. Even as a person the guillotine sounds a lot better than being shot or electrocuted. A sharp pair of scissors would do it. Once the spinal cord is severed, no pain is felt.

If you are too squeamish, you can put them in the freezer. Some people euthanize fish that way. Double bag them before you put them outdoors in the trash, please. We don't want to see your garden infested! Good luck.
Renee


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I've been considering both of those methods, but I am worried about hurting them, Since I've grown to love them a bit. Thank you!


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Can you send some to me? I work at a school and would love to use walking sticks for educational puposes.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Use praying mantids, jzinboyz. You can buy the egg cases and the kids can watch them hatch. They are much cooler, anyway.
If your students accidentally let walking sticks out into a new neighborhood it would be a catastrophe. Instead, you could assign them to write an essay on how destructive imported pests are and how they should never, ever buy any, and if they do, they should never, ever let them loose but should return them to the place of purchase. Most children prefer writing essays to holding walking sticks anyway :D
Renee


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Thanks for the suggestion hosenemesis. I have been using praying mantises for several years and they are alot of fun but the kids have come to expect them so I would like to try something a little different. I thought walking sticks or large beetles would be fun. I have a reallyh secure/controlled room for the walking sticks and am not too worried about them getting out, and not sure they would last too long in a minnesota environment. So if there is anyone out there that would be willing to send me some that would be great.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

You will need a USDA permit to move walking sticks from one state to another, even for educational purposes.

Here is a link that might be useful: permit requirements for walking sticks


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by mikey SoCal-Z10-22/23 (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 23, 12 at 17:12

I've been watching this thread for several years fearing they would soon appear in my garden. So far, so good.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

I realize several years have gone by since the first post on this problem but I just wanted to report that my yard in Northern Louisiana is also suffering from a walking stick infestation. My whole family goes out in the yard every night armed with flashlights and clippers. For three weeks we have killed anywhere from 5 to 20 each night. When we cut them they give off a bad smelling powdery substance. They're quite disgusting and the whole experience is not conducive to getting a good night's sleep! We are going to try to flush more out tonight by giving the plants a good soak 30 minutes or so before going out. Also, I've noticed they only eat certain plants. They are destroying the 6 ft aucubas, gardenias, and vinca. I'm dedicated to finding a way to kill them off. Any recent ideas? I hope to avoid pesticides.


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

  • Posted by min3 9N.CA (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 16:22

Kudos to you and your family for not using pesticides. I hope you have a very successful hunt tonight! Min


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Good luck, knitting. I don't know any new ways to kill them- you are doing it right.
Renee


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RE: Walking Sticks - Help!!!! They're eating us to ruin!!!

Wonder if they ever tried spraying with neem oil. It should only kill the insects that suck or eat the leaves.


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