Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pests- scale and beetles

I've noticed some pests about lately (and I'm not talking about the migraine that my brain wants to have). For the most part the plants are healthy enough to handle a few pests but my pink grapefruit which is only small has scale. I walk past it most days on my way to the letterbox but didn't take too much notice until it was looking denuded of more leaves than I would like.

Scale on citrus

So headache or no I did something about it. 

My preferred method of scale eradication is to give the leaves, stems and branches a good old going over with soapy water. Rinsed with clean water after. It is usually sufficient, removing enough of the offending bugs to allow the tree to fight back itself. I'm sure there are probably all manner of insecticides which can be used but I never spray them. The bees most likely wouldn't be best pleased and my tendencies, regardless of having bees, are green. If the wash and wait method doesn't feel like you are doing enough then a spray with some sort of emulsified white oil/ vegetable oil could satisfy as suggested here.

The other bug giving me some grief are these three striped potato beetles. They leave the potatoes alone, choosing the tomatillo as their fare. I had never seen these in our garden until after I purchased some seed potatoes online. I can't say that they some how came in with the potatoes but I do know my own garden and I do have my suspicions. I haven't let it stop me from buying from the supplier though because I don't know for sure and they really are one of the best.

Beetles doing what they do best- multiplying

My preferred method for eradicating beetles is the tried and true squishing method. It's gruesome and they are tough to squash. I might try this method when I get tired of squashing them. 

Now I need to work out what to buy Tim for his birthday on Saturday. Perhaps it is the strain on my brain from thinking about that has a migraine brewing. He's a difficult customer.


shez said...

Hi Tracy it interesting to see how you cope with the pest,thankyou for sharing and yep hubbys are so hard to buy for and boy i hope your headache goes.xx

Tania @ Out Back said...

I have that pesky scale invading my fig tree. I will try your method and see how that works. The ants are the spreaders of these scaly pests, but I don't want to get rid of them as they have their good points :)