Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

Add to My MSN

Can You Help Solve the Most Challenging Garden Pest Problems?

9/9/2009 11:34:28 AM

Tags: organic pest control, question to readers

From our surveys we know that MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers use mostly organic methods, but most of us have encountered some problems where organic options we’ve tried have not worked and we’ve been tempted to resort to heavy-duty chemical pesticides. If you have a pest problem you haven’t been able to solve, post a comment below outlining what organic remedies did not work for you, and maybe other readers will be able to suggest additional organic options to try.

 



Related Content

Something Is Eating Holes in My New Broccoli Plants. What Should I Do?

Learn to deal with cabbage worms through organic methods.

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite: Tips for Prevention and Eradication

“Bed bugs” are small nocturnal insects that feed on blood. Here are some tips for keeping them out o...

Nationwide Organic Pest Control Survey: Take the Survey, Plus Read Results

Take our Pest Control Survey and read the feedback of hundreds of gardeners that have already taken ...

Are There Any Pesticides Out There That Are 100-percent Organic?

Check out this expert advice for keeping an organic garden pest-free.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

Sam Duncan
12/13/2010 8:26:19 PM
Orchid Care is my area interest and I have tried a few things in my time when dealing with scale insects, but the most effective solution I found was over at http://www.orchidexpertsecrets.com where they recommend applying rubbing alcohol to the individual infestation areas. Scale insects, will instantly die and the plant will not be harmed. This method also works on mealybug. Although the site is about orchids, they have heaps of relevant information such as using "white oil". Its very good for scale, aphids, smooth skinned caterpillars, mites. Here’s how it’s done: 1. Combine 2 cups of vegetable oil with ½ cup of dish washing liquid. Mix well. This becomes the concentrate and can be stored in a jar. Be sure to label it and include the dilution rate on the label. 2. To prepare the concentrate for use, dilute 1 tablespoon in a liter of water, mix it well and spray the pest as well as both sides of the foliage thoroughly. 3. Be careful to follow the correct dilution, since you can burn the foliage if it’s too strong. Also,don’t apply it in hot weather, and avoid plants with hairy foliage as well as ferns, palms and cycads. 4. Regular applications will also help protect your plants from many common pests.

DJH
12/12/2010 11:20:41 PM
I've found that other insects (beneficial insects) are often the best "insecticides" in the garden. I personally use praying mantises and lady bugs and have found them to be great at keeping away the bothersome insects. As far as slugs and snails go, I've found that using copper strips stops them from climbing onto flowers - and I've used this method for my orchids for a while now and had no issues. I got that little trick from http://www.insideorchidsecrets.com/ and I can confirm that pyrethrins, although natural, are not good for bees at all...

TheGoodEgg_1
5/30/2010 10:49:14 AM
I found a way to deter groundhogs! Well, at least occasionally. Hang up old, scratched or unwanted CD's so that they hang freely in the breeze and twirl casting flashes of light. The movement scares them. Hanging it so that it bangs against something (a garden stake or a potting shed, the side of a raised garden bed...) really deters the little buggers. They don't like the noise. Try it! It is not unsightly, is utilizing a recyclable item and costs nothing extra.

P.Ruff_2
5/7/2010 6:18:23 PM
I have a patio and deck that I can't enjoy, because of those small flies that go around and around in circles, just about 4-5 feet above the floor. I read on line that they come around when there are chickens and rabbits. My neighbor has both, but they are clean and I love them! I have cleaned my "space", I do have a lot of potted plants, but they are healthy...How do I get rid of those pests?? What are they attracted to on my patio?

kokes_1
12/27/2009 5:55:40 AM
Don't kill or repel spiders, bats, snakes, frogs and toads. Grow ducks. Build bird houses. Eat larvae or feed them to fish/chickens/pigs/cats/moles... The best "insecticide" I found so far are hornets. I will try to attract some this season. They should be extremely effective while relatively friendly and harmless towards humans. They eat very few bees if other insects are present. Plus hornets keep unwanted visitors at bay. The last advice, read Masanobu Fukuoka. He had some very interesting advices and thoughts, such as: 'There's no such a thing as pest.' Just my two cents.

nancy petersen
10/23/2009 6:08:31 PM
My lizards eat bugs not my greens, The greens are being eaten by finches and quail. I cover it with garden row cover and that has helped alot. Likewise with cabbage loopers on the broccoli, cauli and cabbage, I put a shallow dish, (actually use an old satellite dish) filled with water. this brings in wasps, which are not aggressive away from their nests. I provide the water at the garden bed with the broccoli etc. After drinking, they proceed into the broc or caul and eat the green worms. I also add ladybugs to the garden each year as I learned this last year, ladybugs are eating potato beetle eggs. So look under the potatoe plant leaves for bright yellow batches of eggs, then you know its time to release ladybugs. I pick the adult beetles, and the pink larvae off the plants and put them into a gallon jug with lid and a little water. The lid helps, dead Colorado Potato Beetles stink!! I put teh ladybugs out in the early evening after watering the potatoes, they seem to be quite thirsty after being packaged for who knows how long. I only release a few at a time. so row cover, wasps, lizards, frogs, and ladybugs so far have solved all the problems I have run into with organic gardening. I even have frogs in my greenhouse that seem to winter over. They keep the aphids at bay through the summer and fall. I do add a few ladybugs in the summer but am betting the frogs get them or they get out the windows because they don;t seem to be there long. Nancy

Jyllian
9/28/2009 5:13:23 PM
Has anyone tried sprinkling borax on ticks? We dont really have ticks around here but I know the borax is awsome for fleas. I dust our chickens and furry ones with it. And should the little buggers make their way inside, (daughter thinks we are a shelter for strays)Throw a little over yer carpet/couch an watch them pop up and die. Just a thought

Anna_16
9/21/2009 2:10:19 PM
My very good friend is having lizard problems in her lovely garden - she noticed a couple of weeks ago that her leafy greens were being eaten before she/we could! Just yesterday she found the culprits. She loves lizards but we need to eradicate them! Please give us your helpful feedback!

Orange Crush
9/16/2009 10:41:20 AM
Here's a good article on the worm tea...gives some testimonials too: http://www.yelmworms.com/compost-tea/page3.htm as for the diatomaceous earth...you need to dust the plant..including the underside of the leaves. i do it with a baby powder bottle, but they make dusters like the dustin mizer that have attachments to make it easier. Just as a side note...i have read a lot on earthworm farms and worm castings in combination with keeping rabbits. supposively a rabbit cage kept over an earthworm farm produces some of the best material for your garden, done right. so it makes a combination of manure and worm castings and supposively can be used without any other processing or wait times without burning your plants. I plan on trying this, but trying to decide what kind of rabbits to get for the endeavor and how many. need to make a plan and do some research on the costs. for your compost, one simple solution to keeping the critters out is to use regular chicken wire or some other somewhat weave of wire fence similar...use a ten foot piece, bend into a circle, wire together the lose ends. attach three stakes evenly to it to anchor it into the ground. really thick black plastic or an old shower curtain and a good strong bungie cord can keep the top covered. covering it will also help to keep the rain from washing the nutrients out of it. lot cheaper than a store bought barrel composter....i think here in florida we have every critter and pest known to man and some not so well known. LOL.

Gaylene
9/16/2009 9:53:10 AM
MC wrote: "I've asked my friendly local bug man; all his suggestions are horribly toxic. I'd like to get guineas, but my stupid suburbanite neighbor will just poison them if I do. He's old. I hope he dies soon. I really do." What a horrible and offensive thing to put in writing! SHAME ON YOU! Haven't you ever heard of winning over your neighbor? Try baking a cake and NOT poisioning him. He just might become your friend. Sounds like a lonely old man who really needs some love. WWJD? My grandfather, father, and myself were in the pest control industry for years. There are many things that we were taught to us that would really take a lot of personal research to decide we didn't want to have in our lives. I no longer use pesticides as a rule, but sometimes one has to. Chemical companies tout the safety of their products all the time, and show wonderful research to back up their claims. Like many people of his age, My Dad, now 79, was not raised in the "question authority" age. Everyone should understand that pest control people don't set out to hurt the earth, they simply do what works in the most effective and safe way, to solve problems that they are paid to solve. In response to many years of people educating themselves, the pest control industry has developed safer and safer products to take care of the problems that our society still refuses to live with. We all wish that fairy drops and elfen sprinkles would solve the worlds problems and continue the quality of life we enjoy in this country, and the reality is that fleas still carry bubonic plauge, ticks carry lyme disease and tick fever, people are deadly allergic to wasp stings, bed bugs and lice are disgusting, termites can destroy your home, and human beings are generly intollerant of other predatory creatures. That is why pest control exists such as it is. It isn't perfect, and we all want to do better. On a more organic note, Ticks can be

Gaylene
9/16/2009 9:52:47 AM
MC wrote: "I've asked my friendly local bug man; all his suggestions are horribly toxic. I'd like to get guineas, but my stupid suburbanite neighbor will just poison them if I do. He's old. I hope he dies soon. I really do." What a horrible and offensive thing to put in writing! SHAME ON YOU! Haven't you ever heard of winning over your neighbor? Try baking a cake and NOT poisioning him. He just might become your friend. Sounds like a lonely old man who really needs some love. WWJD? My grandfather, father, and myself were in the pest control industry for years. There are many things that we were taught to us that would really take a lot of personal research to decide we didn't want to have in our lives. I no longer use pesticides as a rule, but sometimes one has to. Chemical companies tout the safety of their products all the time, and show wonderful research to back up their claims. Like many people of his age, My Dad, now 79, was not raised in the "question authority" age. Everyone should understand that pest control people don't set out to hurt the earth, they simply do what works in the most effective and safe way, to solve problems that they are paid to solve. In response to many years of people educating themselves, the pest control industry has developed safer and safer products to take care of the problems that our society still refuses to live with. We all wish that fairy drops and elfen sprinkles would solve the worlds problems and continue the quality of life we enjoy in this country, and the reality is that fleas still carry bubonic plauge, ticks carry lyme disease and tick fever, people are deadly allergic to wasp stings, bed bugs and lice are disgusting, termites can destroy your home, and human beings are generly intollerant of other predatory creatures. That is why pest control exists such as it is. It isn't perfect, and we all want to do better. On a more organic note, Ticks can be

LINDA GILLUM
9/16/2009 9:06:11 AM
We have had a bad problem with grasshoppers this year. I noticed that they stripped the leaves of my potatoes but they only sampled the leaves of my sweet potatoes. I intend to strip the leaves of them myself and make a "tea" of them to use next year in hopes of controlling the grasshoppers.

MC_2
9/15/2009 4:11:29 PM
I love the idea of feeding the birds. Might be a little tough on the 'maters, not sure, but as I don't have any other fruits in the big garden I think I'll give it a try. Don't think it will work on the blister beetles though. They got that name for a reason-- contact is irritating to the skin-- and I'm pretty sure nothing will touch them unless it's some other insect. Didn't have any luck with DE either. Maybe I wasn't using it right. I scattered it pretty thickly on the ground around the plants. I didn't see any dead bugs. Plenty of live ones, though. Munching. Happily. I need to build a hot compost pile. Or one of those barrel turner things. I think it's the only way I'm going to get compost before the critters scatter the kitchen scraps. I'm thinking of going for vermicomposting (after a little while, or if I get a couple of composters going, I think it's also called a bait farm). Anyway OrangeCrush, the upshot of all this is: Do you know if worm tea will also work on grubs???? It would be a better sell to dh (especially when the li'l crawlies have to overwinter indoors) if it did three things for the space of one.

MC_2
9/15/2009 12:26:33 PM
Hi jim adams. Ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes the size of songbirds-- yeah, life's an itch. If I'd been apprised of this when I moved here, I might have stayed in WV. Even though it's mostly second-and-third stage ticks that carry the nasty diseased, I think I hate the seed ticks most. Thanks for taking the time to give me the info. I have no clue about where to get quiet guineas... ...but I am sorely tempted to get them anyway. Then when they all die suddenly and for no apparent reason, I'll make my neighbor several nice, meaty CHICKEN POT PIES. When the new neighbors complain about my new guineas, I'll tell them I was here first. Does any farm chick shave??? I can think of about 3 dozen things to do with 20 minutes that are far more useful. The tick tape is a really great idea. There may be some screaming on the front end, but it beats holding a twisting screaming toddler down for an hour while I pick seed ticks off. Just wearing shorts might help too. We'd get a few more bigger ticks, but those li'l buggers can get thru the weave of most fabrics anyway and socks just give them a sheltered place to congregate. Thanks for the mint idea. We use a lot of it in teas all summer. I'll plant even more. I've read that a soap wash can be used against blister beetles. I haven't read any actual success stories, nor have I found anything about concentration rates. Has anyone here actually had it work??? What kind of soap did you use, and how concentrated???? I tried Neem; it works, but too slowly. A large infestation-- which seems to pop up overnight in my garden-- can almost completely defoliate tomatoes before the Neem gets around to killing them.

Orange Crush
9/15/2009 12:39:22 AM
one more thing...in reference to the post about mosquitos...heres an excerpt from an article about a natural biological compound for mosquitoes. the full article can be found at: http://www.gardencentermagazine.com/gcm_0809_project_green_insects.aspx "B.t. – Bacillus thuringiensis may be the best-known microorganism used for pest control. There are two different strains: one controls caterpillars, and one controls mosquito larvae. B.t. kurstaki (Dipel, Thuricide, or Safer brand Caterpillar Killer) is the control for caterpillars. B.t. israelensis (Mosquito Dunks; Gnatrol) is effective in controlling mosquito larvae, black flies, and fungus gnats."

Orange Crush
9/15/2009 12:26:20 AM
one thing i forgot to mention is compost tea. it works well with grubs and overwintering insects. to make it, fill any container with compost (preferably your own homemade compost), fill the container with water, cover and let "brew" for a week. after a week, strain off the water and what you have is a compost "tea". it's high in nitrogen if your compost mixture is correct, so you need to dilute it 1 part to 10 parts of water although you can use it full strength on bare soil. it works well as a foliar fertilizer spray as well when its diluted. pour it around your plants and your soil in the garden.

Orange Crush
9/15/2009 12:15:04 AM
(continuation) as I was saying, pyrethrins and their synthetic cousins, pyrethroids, are extremely fatal to bees and other beneficial insects, so please dont use them, thanks.

Orange Crush
9/15/2009 12:11:35 AM
Several things to address here, but in all my research, I think I've found the key to most of them with three things. 1. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. It has to be food grade, and you need to use a mask to spread it. a Dustin Mizer makes it even better, but it is all natural and kills anything with an exoskeleton. dont put it on your vegetable/fruit flowers. look into this one. it may possibly be the most perfect pesticide! scroll down past the sale part of this page for an indepth look at diatomaceous earth: http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/product/diatomaceous-earth-food-grade 2. Neem oil has an extract called Azadirachtin. This natural extract works in two ways. It suppresses hunger and interferes with normal growth and reproduction. Since bees don't ingest plant parts, it doesn't harm them unless it is overused. http://www.neemuses.com/azadirachtin.php 3. You're onto something with the mint. Although you cannot use very aromatic herbs around some vegetables like cucumbers, you can still use mint in the garden. it is very invasive, so it is not recommended that you plant it directly in the garden, but rather in pots, then using the leaves to crush and spread around your plants. As for squash vine borers, even though they are avid flyers, moving your squash to areas outside your garden, if that is feasible will help. Keep moving them around. Also check out the lifecycle of that pest and adjust your planting times if you have longer planting times. I wait til September to plant my squash and try to get it in the ground in March early in the season. Squash vine borers are typically active from May til August. heres a good information page about them: http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef314.asp A note about pyrethrins: although they are a natural insecticide derived from a specific strain of chrysanthemums,(pyrethroids are synthetic pyrethrins), they are extremely fatal to bees and other beneficial ins

Orange Crush
9/15/2009 12:11:00 AM
Several things to address here, but in all my research, I think I've found the key to most of them with three things. 1. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. It has to be food grade, and you need to use a mask to spread it. a Dustin Mizer makes it even better, but it is all natural and kills anything with an exoskeleton. dont put it on your vegetable/fruit flowers. look into this one. it may possibly be the most perfect pesticide! scroll down past the sale part of this page for an indepth look at diatomaceous earth: http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/product/diatomaceous-earth-food-grade 2. Neem oil has an extract called Azadirachtin. This natural extract works in two ways. It suppresses hunger and interferes with normal growth and reproduction. Since bees don't ingest plant parts, it doesn't harm them unless it is overused. http://www.neemuses.com/azadirachtin.php 3. You're onto something with the mint. Although you cannot use very aromatic herbs around some vegetables like cucumbers, you can still use mint in the garden. it is very invasive, so it is not recommended that you plant it directly in the garden, but rather in pots, then using the leaves to crush and spread around your plants. As for squash vine borers, even though they are avid flyers, moving your squash to areas outside your garden, if that is feasible will help. Keep moving them around. Also check out the lifecycle of that pest and adjust your planting times if you have longer planting times. I wait til September to plant my squash and try to get it in the ground in March early in the season. Squash vine borers are typically active from May til August. heres a good information page about them: http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef314.asp A note about pyrethrins: although they are a natural insecticide derived from a specific strain of chrysanthemums,(pyrethroids are synthetic pyrethrins), they are extremely fatal to bees and other beneficial ins

Michael_82
9/13/2009 10:01:58 PM
I'd be willing to bet that Andrew Schreiber got his "story" idea from the Windward community posting http://www.windward.org/notes/notes69/walt6918.htm Harvesting Duckweed and Yellow Jackets! Everything matches except for the duck weed! No plagiarism people!

Constance_4
9/12/2009 2:27:10 PM
....here are a few tips i've learned over the years... real soap like castile is better than chemical commercial soap...works good for aphids...you can also add a few drops of tea tree oil....most critters attack the undersides of the leaves...so be sure and saturate the under side of the leaf..... cigar or cigarette tabacco soaked in water to extract the nicotene etc. works well on some other pesky critters but the all time best is to feed the birds...i've chosen black oil sunflower seeds that i partially grind up in a coffee grinder...do not pulvarize...some seeds will be left whole...i do it until looking through the plastic top...i see the seeds slow down their rotation....birds of every kind are drawn to the size of the bits...little birds little bits...larger birds like them whole and all size birds in between... rather than having to buy more expensive blends that bring unwanted weeds to your garden...and it is cheaper than buying niger thistle that those little yellow finch like birds love....i've found that a 50# bag costing about 18 to 20 dollars, last from 1 1/2 to 2 months...depending on how much you feed...also...little known, is that hummingbirds are also meat eaters and have their own particular insects they love...i live on well treed acres and struggled for years with oak worms...but..since i retired and began feeding the birds...not only haven't i had any oak worms...but the insect population has dwindled to perfect managability...i haven't seen a tomato worm in several years...one last observation....birds do not like their feeders out in the open where they are vaunerable to hawlks...but rather under a tree where they can at least feed in the cover of it's canopy....one of the advantages to sunflowers is that the birds scatter them about...causing flowers to bloom...they then feast on the new leaves as the flower gains height..then they eat the seed when the seed head dries...i scater some seed on purpose...the q

Tori
9/12/2009 10:04:53 AM
I'm a garden newbie. This is my first year growing a garden of any significant size and the only bug prevention method I used was a spray with mint, ammonia and dish soap. It worked well on everything but my tomato plants which were completely destroyed by huge, disgusting tomato hornworms before I could figure out what was doing it. How do I keep them away next year?

nancy petersen
9/11/2009 11:27:56 PM
I have a natural population of praying mantis, lady bugs (who's larvae eat the eggs of the potato beetle) meat eating wasps, frogs and desert lizards. I have not had to use any bug or insect controls at all. At least no so far.

nancy petersen
9/11/2009 11:24:24 PM
Controlling cabbage moth/green worms in the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage has turned out to be as simple as a pan of water placed in the bed where each of these grow. Wasps appear to be meat eaters, and if there is water at the row, they are attracted there, and then move into the broccoli and eat worms. I have had worm free broccoli 3 yrs running now. Give it a try, sure works for me. I refill the water regularly to keep it clean, and it is always loaded with wasps. They do not bother me at all, as long as I am not near the nest.

charles_51
9/11/2009 10:28:34 PM
My wife thinks i am crazy, but what i use, that no one else mentioned yet, is spiders,lol. I will catch a few wolf spiders and a few of what i call scarred spiders, the kind that roll up and play dead if you touch or poke at them,usually found behind plywood in the garage, and toss them in with my tomato plants every year, and except for the occasional munched tomato, there are no insects to speak of. Of course, you have to look when you grab the tomatoes, but the spiders usually hang out down in the mulch or lower leaves. The best way i have found to deal with black widows is place a few 1x6 boards in shady areas,spaced from 1-3 inches above the ground and go flip them over every 3-5 days. the bws love hiding under boards close to the ground. when you flip the boards, they usually remain still. then i just squash them.Make sure you kill the male ones,too. google pics to id them, they look totally different from the poisonous females. Also i believe the wolf spiders will eat them.I dont have much problem with wasps or yellow jackets, they normally wont sting you unless you are within 10 ft of the nest.

Maggie_8
9/11/2009 8:42:11 PM
I have been able to manage squash bugs primarily w/ 2 methods. First, I put a layer of newspapers, about 4 sheets thick around the plant base and under the vines. I read that this was the best protection in an Iowa study, and it has worked for me. ( I stick tall markers at the base, so I know where to water.) Second, once a day, along with inspecting the leaves for eggs and, if I find some, removing and smashing them - either in the fairly early morning or late afternoon, but I'm not sure it matters when, I spray my plants well with water several times. This always makes the squash bugs and nymphs crawl out from wherever they are hiding and begin climbing up the leaf stems. I wear a glove and simply squash them (I figure it's their fate given their name!) If I am diligent about this, I can easily control the population and maintain healthy plants all summer long. Good luck!

Doreen_4
9/11/2009 5:37:00 PM
Does have anyone have a sure fire way to get rid of slugs. I have tried "Sluggo Plus" (organic) and beer in a saucer - but they still keep on coming ... especially as we had rain 24/7 for the months of June and July. I even put pieces of shingle between the rows of veggies and every morning went out to the garden, turned over the shingle and dropped the slugs into a bowl of water/washing up liquid - quite a chore in the pouring rain! Any suggestions would be welcome!

Dennis H
9/11/2009 4:23:08 PM
There have been some really good tips here, Thanks. Dose anyone have any tricks for getting rid of moles?

MA Doc
9/11/2009 2:49:02 PM
Re: squash bugs: I figured out pretty late what these nasty things were, after a lot of damage was done. Out of pure ignorance, since the nymphs looked like aphids, I tried The Aphid Cure - spraying on a water solution of Dawn dish detergent. It took several iterations but it really seems to have worked. If I'd only caught on earlier. I also cut off and removed all damaged leaves and those with eggs attached. Need help with: Red lily beetles. Have tried picking (adults and larvae) but always end up having to spray them at least once. I try to keep spraying minimal, but am not willing to completely sacrifice my tiger lilies. I'm in Massachusetts.

Mary McAvinchey
9/11/2009 12:57:02 PM
I tried this a minute ago but couldn't send it. I have many hollyhocks that every year start out strong, but by mid summer+- they get TINY green worms all over the leaves that eat them to nothing. I've tried various organic remedies but they don't work too well. I bought Capt. Jack this summer but managed to break my ankle before I could use it and couldn't take care of any of gardens all summer. Any help would be appreciated. *Frodo*

Andrew Schreiber
9/11/2009 12:53:29 PM
for most bud problems in the garden there are a few simple tricks my colleagues and I employ. companion planting garlic, onions, mint, and some other pungent herbs interspersed with all your other veggies and legumes. very effective way to deter bugs. malicious bugs hate the smell and taste of those plants, while pollinators still come to do their business. Planting French Marigolds, Dandelions and other kinds of flowers on the borders of the garden. Aphids and other bad-bugs prefer to hang out on the marigolds instead of plants. The ants like to be where ever the aphids are as well. That has been out main problem, aphids stunting our plants growth. Also, dandelions have bad tasting roots so burrowing mammals (Squirrels!) are deterred from entering. Also, we naturally have predatory wasps which take bugs back to their hive to feed to larva in exchange for sugar. It is a delicate balance however, between a good amount of wasps where you want them, and too many wasps everywhere. that is why we have guinea hens, they love wasps. Wasps need water, and in arid climates like ours they tend to not be active all year. So we lure the wasps in places we don't want them with some water. Then the guineas eat them, or we shop-vac them up, freeze and kill them, then feed them to chickens. hope that helps

Shelli
9/11/2009 12:34:50 PM
I have a major problem with squash bugs - they invaded my garden a couple of years ago. I first tried sevin - then when that didnt work, went semiorganic with pyola, that didnt work, went to cayanne pepper, ivory soap, murphys oil soap - i am at my wits end - i have tried covering plants, not mulching plants - the stupid squash bugs are now eating my tomato plants, all curcurbits, peppers, corn everything. what can i do short of putting some kind of insecticide in the ground to kill bugs that overwinter? i literally am at my wits end - i clean out the debris from the garden every year, my compost pile is away from the garden, HEEEEEELLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPP!

jim adams
9/11/2009 12:00:50 PM
(and here's the third half of a too long message. The first two halves are below this) to carry off the itchy toxins. I do this 2 - 4 times the first day, a couple times the 2nd and 3rd day and suddenly it is only a minor itch instead of a major attention getter. Untreated bites will last about 2 weeks. Treated with hot water and massage diminishes this to about a week. Plus, i scratch the bite and put on Bag Balm (a veterinary medicine that dairy farmers put on cows udders). It contains only three ingredients: petroleum jelly, lanolin, and 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate (an antiseptic). I use this cuz i've found that the 2ndary infection itches as bad as the tick bite. So, being kinda wimpy i choose to get rid of my tick bites in a week or less rather than in 2 weeks or more. Oh, Bag Balm has a sulfur compound in it. If you're worried, don't use it, Find something else. And, since you chose to live in Arkansas, you -- like me when i lived in SW Missouri -- can really undwerstand the local philosophy: Life's an Itch. p.s.: does any one know how we can get guineas without vocalizing abilities? I wanna know too.

jim adams
9/11/2009 11:58:45 AM
(here's the 2nd half) or stick or piece of cardboard, and i fold the end in an eighth to a quarter inch so i can always grab the free end. When i feel a tick (or a bunch of ticks) crawling on me, i pull out my deticker tape and dab at the ticks. When the tape still feels sticky, i wind the tape back up so i can use it till it doesn't feel sticky ... then i roll up the end with the ticks on it into its' own roll. NOTE .. ticks can pry themselves off the duct tape glue, so i always keep the tape rolled up. When i have used up a foot or so, i tear off the roll, throw it away and start with a fresh end. Or i can show off a museum of my travels Oh, the deticker tape will pull off most seed ticks that have bitten you. It doesn't do so well with 2nd stage ticks and even less well with adults. This is because they glue themselves to you ... literally. Just pull ticks off slowly. Twisting doesn't make a difference. Don't do anything that will kill them -- like cooking them with a lighter flame or swabbing them with alcohol or other chemicals. When they die, their neck muscles relax and even a light pull can leave the cemented-in head under your skin... an almost sure recipe for an infection that is hard to control. I've found that wearing short shorts and sandals means i can find the ticks more easily and i don't have to pull down my pants every few minutes to take off ticks. Leg hairs let us feel the ticks as they crawl and shaved legs don't have much sensation for lightly crawling ticks... but that's your choice --- looking good vs being effective at finding ticks on me. Me? I'd rather be ticked off than ticked on. Once they've put the bite on you ... well, a 3 second bite itches just as much and as long as a day long bite. I've found that running hot water on the bite for a 10 to 20 seconds while i massage it ...it expands the veins and capillaries in the region of the bite and allows my blood

jim adams
9/11/2009 11:54:37 AM
Hi ... responding to MC about ticks. I spent 10 years in the southwest Missouri Ozarks where, on a bad day i would get between 3000 and 5000 seed ticks on me, plus a few dozen 2nd stage ticks and another few dozen adults ... all wanting to be fed. In your neck of the woods, there are lone star ticks ... ticks with a silver-white dot on the middle of their backs, and dog ticks --- the female is red brown with a lighter line between her thorax and abdomen; the male has reticulations all around the edge of his abdomen. Google the neme of the tick + photos. The primary hosts are deer -- for the lone star ticks, and any fuzzy (or non-fuzzy) mammals for the dog ticks. Fox, squirrel, mouse, rat, dog, cat, possum, racoon, skunk, ground hog ... plus any i forgot about. Mamma tick hooks onto a mobile food source and starts to fill up. Daddy tick comes by and breeds her. When she is full, she drops off and drags herself to a dampish place, like at the base of a plant. 2000 to 5000 eggs form and hatch. These are called seed ticks and they are an appetite just looking to put the bite on you. They crawl, en masse, up the plant to about shin to knee high and do a mass transfer to you or any other warm blooded food source. They are also deficient in the bad taste department -- i.e. even DEET won't deter them. These are about the size of a period in this e-mail. Assuming they get a blood meal, they fill up, drop off and metamorphose into 2nd stage ticks ... about the size of a pin head. And if these get a blood meal, they come back as a sexually mature adult, ready to start the cycle over again. My reading sez there are 3 stages, but my observations sez there are 4 sizes. I don't know what this means. Because of the small size of seed ticks, i invented what i call a De-ticker tape (from off-the-wall street, of course) I tear the standard duct tape in half, creating a strip 1 inch wide and 3 to 4 feet long. I then wind this around a paper clip, or

Melody _1
9/11/2009 11:45:00 AM
How To Make Deer Repellent This appeared in the Missoula, Montana newspaper, The Missoulian, as a letter to the editor from Lisa Ward in Florence, Montana. It worked great for her. 10 drops of clover oil ½ teaspoon of dish soap ½ teaspoon pf vegetable oil 1 egg ½ cup milk Whisk all of this together and add ½ gallon of water. Put in Spray bottle ( after making the opening on the bottom of the spray part larger, as egg will clog it up ) Spray plants with it. Use again after new growth. Spray once a week. Can be kept in the refrigerator

Melody _1
9/11/2009 11:31:38 AM
I am allergic to bees and we had lots of wasps coming into our house. I bought a fake wasp nest. it's just one of those paper light covers in the shape of a wasp nest and colored like a wasp nest. Wasps will stay 200 feet away from another colonies nest. I has worked wonderfully to keep wasps away from our back door and out of the house all summer. NO PESTICIDES, TRAPPING, KILLING INVOLVED. Easy,Simple, Clean.

ilazria
9/11/2009 11:24:19 AM
My yard and garden has bee a real challenge this year. Early in the year, frogs and toads spawned tadpoles in my kids' swimming pool. It was so fun for them to watch them grow, and i figured having them around would be good pest control, so i let them be and bought the kids a new pool. Of course, the flip side of that is that now mosquitos are breeding there. Is there anything I can do to kill the mosquitos without hurting the frogs? Anywhere from 1-6 frogs hang out in there on a daily basis. We're also having a problem with wasps and Black Widow spiders. I killed three! Black Widows yesterday that had taken up residence in my grill/smoker. I've also found them under a plank I was using as a weed blocker in my garden trenches. I have 2 kids who like hunting for bugs and I'm terrified they're going to get bit. Also, as much as I want to appreciate the wasps help in controlling pests, they love the dilapidated shed that came with the house. I'd tear the stupid thing down, but it's the only option I have for storing the lawnmower and garden tools. Any suggestions?

Page
9/11/2009 10:57:19 AM
We have lots of tomato plants and for the first time, we do not have the worms that can decimate them. We think it is because we have several wasps nests that we have left alone...and they eat the larvae. My husband is a beekeeper and we have four hives in the back of the garden. The bees (and wasps) are at the small water pond constantly as well as being among the vegetables, and so we do not even have birds eating the tomatoes! Want to know how nasty chemicals are and why you should stay away from them? Someone sprayed something on a field nearby and two of our hives are dead! It is quite a sight to see hundreds of thousands of bees writhing on the ground and in two and three inch piles that you can pick up with a shovel. Please, the next time that you are tempted to pick up a can of chemicals to solve your 'bug' problem, remember that the chemicals kills ALL bugs, including the incredibly beneificial ones like ladybugs, bees, wasps, praying mantis etc. Use the bugs and companion planting, not the sprays...and your garden will come into amazing balance.

KW
9/11/2009 10:11:18 AM
A great resource is Richard Fagerlund "The Bugman" as he is known in New Mexico. His website is www.askthebugman.com, and he has written two books, "Ask the Bugman : Environmentally Safe Ways to Control Household Pests" and "The Bugman on Bugs : Understanding Household Pests and the Environment"

ALAN JONES_1
9/11/2009 10:03:32 AM
Hmm, Guinea hens year around, regular hens from October thru April, Milky Spore, Pheremone (sp) traps, absolutely no garden trash hits the ground. Garlic spray, Neem oil, and insecticidal soap. Hugely better than the bad old days of Nuking the bugs with chemicals. Still an issue with the G.D. japanese beetles, but all in all, much better.

Elise_1
9/11/2009 10:03:00 AM
I seem to have solved the squash bug problem on butternut squash this year. I planted a big patch of nasturtiums right next to the squash plants. I don't know how much they had to do with deterring the squash bugs because I also put a pot of peppermint plants right in the middle of the squashes. I believe it was really the peppermint that did it. I had squash bugs on my zucchini, which was nearby. I'm wondering if making a spray out of peppermint would work.

Jennifer_55
9/11/2009 9:56:59 AM
I have squash bugs every year. I have tried companion planting with radishes and basil and nasturiums but that only works for the little part of the squash plant that is right next too the companion plant. I tried insecticidal soap too but I have not been dilgent enough in getting under the leaves. Is there any fool proof solution anyone knows of. Please help! :)

MT Mi Mi
9/11/2009 8:40:58 AM
The best overall solution, for any garden pests, has been to buy PRAYING MANTID AS SOON AS I CAN, when I move to a new place, and put out as many as I can, depending on pests I've seen, length of time home has been vacant, yard acreage/footage, etc. So far, the best price I've found is Peaceful Valley, CA, incl. shipping. They can be ordered by mail, phone, or internet. This usually makes a place habitable and organic gardenable within the first year. I also know that CHICKENS are great for ticks, if you can have even one or two.

MC_2
9/10/2009 7:05:13 AM
Other than the doggone blister beetles (which I'd like to know what I'm doing to attract, since no other gardeners in my area seem to get them), I've been pretty lucky with garden bugs. How do you get rid of ticks???? I grew up in the woods, and I don't mind the occasional tick now and then. But West Virginia was one thing; Arkansas is a completely different bug-box. I let my 2-year-old out to play Monday afternoon. Monday evening I pulled 137 (!!!) nymphal ticks off his legs. If I don't put a fine net over the baby's carrier, I can't even set her down on the porch without pulling ticks off of her. My 8-year-old weighs how willing she is to sit thru a through tick-check before she goes outside this time of year-- and while I'm glad she's learning to think about consequences, most of the time she chooses to stay inside. I've asked my friendly local bug man; all his suggestions are horribly toxic. I'd like to get guineas, but my stupid suburbanite neighbor will just poison them if I do. He's old. I hope he dies soon. I really do.







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.