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My perenial garden!!!!

Posted by hamiltonblooms 6a Ontario (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 5, 06 at 14:00

Hello, I have something eating holes in everything in my garden from petunia's and marygolds(especially)--daisy's--clamatis. I have checked at various times of the day/evening and all I find are ants and earwigs. I have even given in to bug sprays which only seemed to ruin some of my perenials. I dont think it is small animals because I see little holes or all the leaves eaten off and the stem left.

Any help would be appriciated...thanks,,,HamiltonBlooms

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: My perenial garden!!!!

I hear ya, Hamilton. My garden centre tells me that it's earwigs that are eating chunks out of my clematis blooms.
As for the other plants, beats me.

RE: My perenial garden!!!!

Earwigs are the culprit. They are great at completely eating all the petals of clematis. You need to hand pick them to reduce their numbers. THe alternative is to use chemicals and sevin is effective for that. It leaves a coating of the insecticide on the leaves and flowers when the spray dries and the insects die when they eat the plants. But try handpicking if i'ts not a huge garden, it's safer then using chemicals.

RE: My perenial garden!!!!

  • Posted by janetr Ottawa USDA 4a (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 5, 06 at 22:11

There are several ways of fighting earwigs without resorting to chemicals.

Soapy water kills them within seconds. A tsp. of dish detergent in a liter of water will do for a spray, or knock them into a bowl of soapy water.

Homemade traps can be made by setting tuna cans with a spoonful or two of soya sauce and a layer of vegetable oil. The SS attracts them and the oil kills them.

Do cover them when it's going to rain; plants don't appreciate being splashed with oil and then fried in the sun.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fighting earwigs

RE: My perenial garden!!!!

Ants almost never eat flowers or plant leaves (at least the ants we get in Canada are highly unlikely to do so).

It could also be slugs - in my garden they eat leaves and flowers both. Sometimes there are very tiny slugs that make fairly tiny holes, and are irritatingly hard to spot! A night time visit with a flashlight will show you what the pests are.

I have read (but never tried, so I couldn't comment on how well it works) that laying down a bit of corrugated cardboard acts well as an earwig trap. The buggers go to hide out in the hills and valleys of the cardboard during the day. You pick up the cardboard on a daily basis (and dispose of it in a trash bag, not the compost), and replace it with a new piece, and in theory, you will have put a major dent in their population - enough of a dent that there is now enough decaying matter to go around, and they don't need to snack on your flowers.

If it works, then it's another great way to control bugs without spraying potentially harmful pesticides around. If it doesn't work... well, you tried :-)


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