Re: insect control
"I understand the city of San Diego destroyed many of their venerable
Hibiscus trees because of a white fly problem. "
Yikes! That pains me. You're right, you have to know the (often rapid,
especially in warm temperatures) life cycle of the critters to get a handle
I haven't found rotation (of pesticide types, for those lurking) to be
important when using water, hort oils or soaps. They act directly by
drowning, drying or smothering. Back in the days when I used chemicals,
there was a constant battle of resistance, and rotation was the only way to
As for biologicals in the greenhouse, you have to be dedicated. You're
right, you can't maintain beneficials without a food source. And they do
have narrow temperature and humidity ranges. That's why the need for spot
spraying with soaps and hort oils.
Re PETA, I wouldn't be surprised, since some of them are against any form of
human interference and even want to outlaw pets. I know many folks in PETA
that are more moderate though, and some might even applaud a method that
involves killing target species rather than wholesale spraying of toxic
Remind me some time to tell the story of Snowball, a large "rescue" chicken.
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Franzman" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 12:58 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] insect control
> Well you're right Daryl if your neighbors are all spraying and you're
> not you will have a more difficult time if not impossible to control in
> a natural way. I had a nasty white fly invasion in my backyard this
> year. I've never seen them like this. I figure it was because we had
> such a mild winter that the population wasn't killed off by the cold.
> In any case my wife urged me to spray the little blighters. I resisted
> mainly because I have a nice population of birds including several
> hummers and I didn't want to poison them. Not to mention the bees and
> other beneficials. I did cut way back the plant that seemed to be
> housing them and that was the Melianthus. Problem now seems to under
> control and I never did spray.
> I understand the city of San Diego destroyed many of their venerable
> Hibiscus trees because of a white fly problem. I have come to
> understand that most people do not know how to use insecticides in the
> proper way. I suspect that was the case of San Diego but I'm not sure.
> Rotation is the most important aspect but if the population is bad you
> have to spray every three days at least three times to kill off the
> succeeding generations. If you don't do that you won't take care of the
> Biologicals to me aren't very useful in the greenhouse if you are going
> for near zero population. First their temperature range makes them
> fragile. Second, you have to have a population of bad guys otherwise
> your beneficials will starve to death.
> Interesting piece on the vacuum method. I wonder if PETA will become
> involved? They certainly don't like it when they force feed geese to
> make froi gras.
> Daryl wrote:
> >You've raised a good point. You'll notice I used the words "resistant"
> >instead of "immune" and "usually" rather than "always". ;-)
> >There are times when you can't let Ma Nature do it all, particularly, as
> >mentioned, if it's an imported pest with no natural controls. Sometimes,
> >too, the beneficial insect population has been so knocked down by other
> >folk's spraying, or because of weather, that some help is needed.
> >Where intervention is needed, I try to use the least toxic method for the
> >job. Many insects can be removed with a blast of water, or by smooshing
> >them, or clipping off severely infested branches. Insecticidal soap
> >are useful for some soft-bodied insects such as Aphids. Ultra-fine hort
> >such as Sunspray will do quite a fair job on White Fly (at least the two
> >kinds that we get here) and on Spider Mites.
> >When I used to work in a greenhouse, we also used Cinna-mite, and one
> >an IGR for the Poinsettias. The greenhouse owners tried to avoid harsh
> >pesticides as much as possible, preferring to release predators and do
> >spraying w/ water or hort oil. It's not always possible in that kind of
> >un-natural environment, though. If nothing else, the high fertility
> >particularly Nitrogen, make the plants more attractive to insects, not to
> >mention the inevitable crowding and the need to sell pest-free plants.
> >I confess to using an IGR in my own greenhouse one year, when the White
> >Flies were so bad that I couldn't inhale, and you couldn't walk through
> >without slipping on the insecticidal soap. It was my fault for not paying
> >attention, though, and also for bringing in an infested plant that I felt
> >sorry for. Never again!
> >(I also should add that I still have my original bottles of both Sunspray
> >and Insecticidal Soap after many years. Obviously, I don't use very
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "David Franzman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >To: "Garden" <email@example.com>
> >Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2003 2:39 PM
> >Subject: [CHAT] insect control
> >>Hey Daryl
> >>I just read your letter about allowing mother nature to take care of the
> >>insects in the garden. I completely agree with you with this caveat:
> >>Under your guidelines how should one control an insect invasion from a
> >>foreign nation or area when that harmful bug has no natural controls?
> >>There are many instances of this but the two that stand out here are the
> >>Glassy Winged Sharpshooter (from the southeast) which damages vineyards
> >>and more important for me and my business is the Giant Whitefly from
> >>Mexico which leaves a nasty white stringy goo on Hibs and other
> >>plants. Neither of these insects have a natural predator here so I was
> >>wondering how your philosophy deals with this kind of menace. (Again,
> >>in my garden I practice what you describe.)
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