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Small Pests

A new garden in a new neighbourhood is a challenge – pests move in quicker than beneficial bugs. I’ve had a small amount of aphids and plenty of white fly eating through my seedlings, which can be pretty deflating.

APHIDS & WHITEFLY – also for thrips, caterpillars etc

I spray the yard with pyrethrum – pyrethrum is made form plants, so isn’t as toxic to you and washes off easily, it’s not systemic so you can use it on vegies – that is, the plant doesn’t absorb it into the system so the plant does not become toxic. You can buy it in a little sprayer gun or do yourself a favour and buy a 2L or so sprayer, buy the concentrate and mix up yourself. Don’t pay for a bottle of mostly water.

When spraying, gently push the leaves over and try to spray the underside too – this is where whitefly and thrips will reside, they can easily access the sap.

Make sure you leave some areas of your garden free from spray if possible, as pyrethrum will kill soft shelled bugs like lady bugs. They are the goods ones who in the long run will control your bad bugs.

I have sprayed my gardens twice within a week to control the white flies, but will only now pray plants occasionally where I see larger volumes of pests.

SCALE

So this one came with me on my sickly citrus trees. I actually lost my lemon tree, but have saved the lime, he’s doing exceptionally now. So I wanted to get rid of as much scale as possible.

You can buy scale specific spray, to be honest I haven’t had a lot to do with these. In the cooler months its best to almost soak the scale with white oil, suffocating it. In warmer months be careful as the oil will get hot and burn your plant. Always check the forecast for the week ahead!

My tree was coated in scale head to toe, so I decided to scrape off the scale and wipe into a cloth to dispose of. Use a small sharp blade and gently scrape with almost no pressure – you only want to take the scale off not damage the tree in any way.

Areas that were suffering terribly I pruned.

SNAILS

And plenty of slugs with them too.. I will use snail pellets. A lot of people are against this, and I get it, but when its my seeds or seedlings I use pellets because I know it’ll work.

After rain or in the evening when I have watered I will pick them off, bag them and put them in the bin, which is actually the most effective.

I’m collecting all of my egg shells at the moment to crush and make a border around my garden, I’ve heard this will discourage slugs and snails. Just make sure the area you haven’t bordered already has some in it. You can buy products like this in stores too, make from shells and rocks that also claim to repel ants but I haven’t used them so couldn’t really say.

USE GOOD BUGS!

Ma used good bugs to control bad bugs in our orchard. You can buy them online for a whole variety of pests. Usually they come in bulk so my garden would be too small, but I could easily get some friends in the neighbourhood and divide them up. They aren’t too expensive and are not invasive  – ladybugs, lacewings, native wasps to name a few. They come usually in cacoons about ready to hatch or as baby buggies, you can release in stages over a week or so or all at once. hang them in a tree and away they go!

 

 

 

 

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