Pest Management News From PPM - October, 2014

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Pest Management For Your Garden

Spring is upon us and as we venture back into our gardens once more there are several pest management issues that you can deal with all on your own with a few trusted home remedies. Over the next couple of months PPM will show you how to take care of some of the more common pests you’ll come across in your garden.

We’ll begin with a pesky little insect that a lot of people may be familiar with, the Aphid.


Aphids are soft-bodied insects, typically 1 to 4 millimeters in length, and can be coloured anywhere from yellow, to green, to black. They can be found all around your garden on roses, hibiscus, citrus trees and vegetable plants.

Aphids are a pest because of two factors:

  • The first is that they are sap suckers and their consumption of plant sap can stunt growth, wilt leaves, cause buds to drop, and force poor flower and fruit yield.
  • The second problem is that as Aphids digest plant sap they create a sweet residue called honeydew. This honeydew can be detrimental to plants as it encourages a dusty dark mould called Sooty Mould to spread all over the plant, causing more poor growth issues.

A secondary problem caused by the presence of honeydew is the attraction of ants.

Aphid Pest Management

A quick and easy way to deal with Aphids is to simply spray the infested plant with your garden hose in an effort to dislodge them from the plant. This only works temporarily, however, so you’ll have to blast them a few times a week to keep them at bay.

A longer lasting method is to create a spray with some everyday items from the kitchen.

  • Chop up and then crush around 100g of fresh garlic and chili peppers
  • Combine the garlic and chili with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of liquid soap or soap powder
  • Let this mixture ferment for 2 days and then strain into a garden sprayer and dilute with 3 litres of water

Use this spray on your infested plants and send the Aphids packing. Once they’re gone, the Sooty Mould will also soon disappear.

Black Scale

Black Scale are small black insects, usually found on citrus plants, olive trees and vines, that cover the plants’ leaves and stems. A small amount is nothing of concern but when too much of the planets’ leaves are covered not enough sunshine gets through which leads to stunted growth.

Additionally, as with our Aphids friends, Black Scale will sap nutrients from plants and excrete honeydew attracting ants and Sooty Mould.

Black Scale Pest Management

If you only notice a small spread of Black Scale on your plants you can try a physical remedy by brushing them off with a knife or toothbrush.

If the infestation is more widespread, however, you can make a spray to take care of the problem.

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of pure liquid soap
  • Shake this mixture in a container until it turns white
  • Dilute this with 3 litres of water and you’re ready to spray

The oil in the spray will suffocate the Black Scale within a few days but ensure you’re spraying in milder weather as the leaves may end up becoming burned if the temperature gets too hot.

Of course if you think you need professional pest management services the best thing to do is to call PPM!