Pest Management News From PPM - November, 2014
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Pest Management For Your Garden - Volume II
This month we conclude our garden pest management review by taking a look at a few more home remedies that can be used to keep certain creepy crawlies out of your beloved garden.
We'll begin with those slimy pests, slugs and snails.
Slugs & Snails
Most people are all too familiar with these common slimy critters. These pests can often cause damage to young plants, seedlings, and vegetables. Who hasn't seen at least one of our glutinous friends crawling around the inside of a lettuce in the veggie garden?
While their numbers can be high, especially in the wetter areas of your garden, there are a few easy remedies to take care of them.
Slugs & Snail Pest Management
The tried-and-true method is to spread slug pellets around the infested plants but these might be harmful to kids or pets so not everyone wants to use this method.
A natural remedy is to try spraying small amounts of saltwater on the plant. The salt will dehydrate the slug or snail and they will die off. Be careful not to use too much salt in the mix, however, as it may also dry out the plant. Start with a weak concentration of saltwater and see how you go. You can always increase the amount of salt later if it doesn't work right away.
Another chemical-free method is to spray coffee on the plant and soil. If you're willing to sacrifice a cup of java mix 1 part espresso coffee to 10 parts water and spray away - the stronger the better. This will act similarly to using saltwater and will dehydrate the pests.
Mealy Bugs are very similar to Aphids and Black Scale (which we discussed last month) as they are sap suckers. This drains plants, limiting health and growth and results in wilted, distorted leaves. They prefer shade and shelter so they will not only be found out in your garden but they you might also have problems with them on patios and even on indoor plants.
As with the other sap suckers we've previously mentioned, the result of Mealy Bugs' activities is honeydew which leads to Sooty Mould fungus and an increase in ant populations.
Mealy Bug Pest Management
Nothing complicated here. Simply dab methylated spirits on them. This will dissolve their waxy coating and they will dry out and die.
Citrus Leaf Miner
As you would assume from the name, the Citrus Leaf Miner focuses its attention on all types of citrus plants. Their larvae will dig down into the plant's leaves and produce snail-like silvery trails all over the surface. Once these larvae are fully grown, they will curl the edges of the leaf around to form a type of cocoon where they will eventually mature into a small moth. This leaf distortion can stunt growth and reduce yield. It can be especially damaging to the tender new growth of plants.
Citrus Leaf Miner Pest Management
The most effective way to deal with the Citrus Lead Miner is by physically removing any leaves that show signs of the silvery-trails.
This pest prefers hot and sunny weather so to protect vulnerable young plants try putting them in the ground during autumn. This will give them plenty of time to establish themselves before you may need to prune affected leaves later in the summer.