Early Season Insect and Pest Problems
Aphids love the soft new growth of spring. Aphids are a sucking insect. They appear in many sizes, shapes, and colors clustering on shoot tips, leaves and stems. When they suck, they excrete “honeydew”. This results in a sticky substance on the surface of the leaves, which “Black Sooty Mold” grows on. Black Sooty Mold is an indication of sucking insect problems.
Ants are attracted to the honeydew and will actually move or “farm” the Aphids. Ants will also protect the aphids from ladybugs and other beneficial insects. Curled leaf tips on citrus are a result of aphid invasion.
Try natural and non-toxic controls:
- Blast off with strong sprays of water
- Spray with Paraffinic Horticultural Oil (No synthetic chemicals)
- NEEM OIL (ROSE DEFENSE) (Organic)-repeat as necessary
- Organic Canola based Pyrethrin spray
Giant Whitefly are another sucking insect. They are usually found on Tropical Plants such as Citrus and Hibiscus. The first sign is a white spiral or circle under the leaves. This develops into long waxy “hairs”.
- Dislodge with blasts of water. Spray with Horticultural Oil. Repeat as needed
- Use BAYER TREE AND SHRUB – once a year systemic protection for specimen trees and shrubs
- Earthworm Castings have proven helpful in boosting immune systems in all plantings- increasing natural defenses against fungal disease as well as Insect infestations (including Giant Whitefly).
Snails and Slugs
Snails and Slugs hide during the day and come out at night “rasping” (biting) large ragged holes in plants.
Handpick at night
- SLUGGO made from Iron Phosphate is SAFE to use around pets and birds. It breaks down into fertilizer. SLUGGO kills slowly (3-6 days)
- METALDEHYDE is the active ingredient in most snail baits. It paralyzes snails. It works better in sun than in shade.
ALWAYS READ LABEL INSTRUCTIONS OF ALL PRODUCTS