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victorb17_gw

How to kill harmful insects while, keeping bees

victorb17
11 years ago

I am new to the garden arena, so bear with me here. I have an ant, caterpillar, and aphid problem. It is a major problem. The ants have a reputation for being bad in my area. I have had them clog the contactor on the water pump several times they are so bad! I have tried every ant killer on the market it seems and they just laugh at me! Since growing a garden I have had other bug problems. I want to stay organic, but I need some serious bug fighting power. At the same time, we have very little bees, and my garden seems to be attracting more over time. So I obviously don't want to hurt them.

To make things more complicated, I would like to stay cheap. I am gardening because I like to do it. But at the same time it would be awesome if it would supplement the grocery bill. I already have over $500 invested in irrigation, soil amendments, and just getting everything prep'd.

Is there anything I can do? If I order bulk lady bugs, do they really stay put and work? I am now planting a fall garden. What can I use this time of year?

I'm willing to learn. Just need someone with experience to share! Thanks, Victor.

Comments (26)

  • digdirt2
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pesticides are very insect-variety specific. What type of ants for example? Carpenter ants require very different pesticides from sugar ants or leaf cutter ants or fire ants.

    Caterpillars, the majority of which are beneficials, not pests, are also variety specific pesticides. Organic Bt dust (Dipel) or liquid (Thuricide) will kill and control cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms but will also kill butterfly caterpillars while not harming corn ear worms.

    Aphids can be controlled with a hose and plain water or with a spray made of 1T liquid dish soap added to 1 gallon of water (never apply in the direct sun or heat of the day and only mist the aphids not the whole plant).

    So there is no blanket pesticide for all and there definitely is no "organic" one. Your first task is to ID specifically what are pests and what are beneficials and then ID the specific pest. There are many websites for doing that and it begins with a Google search using 'common __________(name of vegetable) pests'.

    For example:

    Common corn pests

    Common tomato pests

    Common cole crop pests

    Dave

  • lgteacher
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Have you contacted your local agricultural extension office? You don't say what state you are in, but every area has one. The ant problem and aphid problem are related. Ants "farm" aphids and protect them from predators.

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  • sunnibel7 Md 7
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dave already said what I was going to, but what the heck, if you're new it can't hurt to hear it twice. Different ants like different things. Make a little bottle cap of sugar water and see if the ants love it. Then they are sugar loving ants, so a sugary bait will work for them. Otherwise, they are probably protien loving ants, and a bait suitable for fire ants should work. You can buy boric acid based baits for either type, or if you prefer to make your own, that is also possible.

    A lot of organic sprays have directions for use, and will say to spray near dusk when bees are least active. I don't think that works with less environmentally friendly products. Don't worry, learning how to get your vegetables along without them succumbing to insect pressure is a major part of gardening and takes time to learn. Spend some time just browsing through the threads on here and you will learn a lot about all pests and their control. Cheers!

  • victorb17
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I know it's not organic, but what do you think about 7 dust? I hear people rave about the stuff. I did use it and it does keep everything off. But I'm wondering about the bees. Does it also keep them off?

  • Deborah-SC
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    it will kill bees - that's how it "keeps them off".

  • foolishpleasure
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We were invaded with ants in the house, in the garden, digging the lawn. I would say we had 10 millions may be more. They were biting my kids, my dog. where ever I looked in my house I saw lines of ants. I used ant spray it did not work what saved us is insectcide called spectracide which attacks their nerves and kill them but unfortunately that insectcide kills every thing else.

  • hcoon
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You have a lot of bugs, and Dave told you how to get rid of aphids -- cheap and easy. As for the ants and caterpillars, how much are they bothering the garden? My ants usually leave things alone, but caterpillars covers a lot of different bugs, many of which are not harmful...

  • digdirt2
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    but what do you think about 7 dust?

    Se we've gone from "I want to stay organic" to "what do you think of 7 dust"? That is a big change in your approach!

    Sevin is about as far from "organic" as you can get. It also says right on the label that it will kill bees, not to mention all the other beneficial insects it kills.

    If someone simply must use Sevin for some reason then the liquid form is less toxic to beneficials than the dust.

    You really need to do some homework on the pests you think you have and the controls for them rather than taking the nuke the whole garden approach.

    Of the three you mention - ants, caterpillars, and aphids - only one of them is normally considered a "pest" that requires chemical intervention. Aphids need to be controlled but there are many not-toxic methods to do that. Some caterpillars may need to be controlled and hand picking them off is normally sufficient in the average home garden. If not then the organic Bt products I already listed work great.

    Fire ants need to be controlled with chemicals made specifically for them. Most other varieties of ants are not normally considered garden pests and do have a limited beneficial role.

    Dave

  • victorb17
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Me Mentioning 7 dust shows you how desperate I am. Our garden in the spring looked like the garden of eden until the caterpillars and aphids came.

    If I simply spray the aphids off with water, won't they come right back? I mean how did they get there in the first place?

    I have to big of a garden to pick all the caterpillars off by hand. I have 38 rows about 10' each. There are so many. You can look at the lima beans for instance and see that almost every leaf has two or three pieces of leaf rolled over. If you unroll it, you will find the small green bodied, black head caterpillar.

    It an effort not to lose the fall crop before fall 8\ I used 7 dust to kill the things. It works but I do not want to continue doing that.

  • digdirt2
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Then look into the organic approved pesticides and control methods I listed above. But first you have to get specific ID on exactly which "caterpillars" you have.

    From your description they sound like Silver Spotted Skipper larvae, a butterfly which commonly uses bean plants to lay their eggs on. Other than folding the leaf over to hide and during metamorphosis and eating a bit while maturing they do little to no harm to the bean crop and are considered a garden-neutral. You can find many pictures of them on the web to compare to yours.

    And if you Google 'aphids' you can learn all about how they get there in the first place and why using water or the soapy water recipe given above on them prevents them from returning.

    Dave

  • sunnibel7 Md 7
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The bean leaf rolling, nuetral insect is a good example of learning not to freak out everytime you see an insect in your garden doing something you don't understand. When starting out, it is good to have faith and maybe lower expectations. Have faith that your garden is going to pull through and give you some vegetables. Instead of expecting that in your first year you are going to get a bumper crop of everything you plant just busting off gigantic, picture-perfect plants (thanks garden magazines for providing pictures that are as unrealistic as fashion mags are for normal women)... expect that you are going to get some that do ok and some that flat out fail. And that you'll have a lot of imperfect looking plants.

    Here's some examples from my own garden: frost hit my potatoes 3 times this spring, killing back the new shoots to the ground each time. They came up a 4th time and produced just a little less than the maximum amount you can expect from them. I could have made myself crazy for a month trying to cover them and uncover them as the weather bounced wildy around, or just calmly had faith. (I actually was somewhere in between, I thought a lot about acting crazy but decided not to.) Or my tomatoes have spider mites. The plants are huge and I know I have a large population of beneficials around. So I do nothing about the spider mitd but wait to see if it gets really bad. The beneficials do their thing, only one plant ends up looking bad, they all bear lots of fruit, and even the sad plant perks up after a while. I could go on.

    I am not saying that garden pests aren't real, but that plants can withstand a certain amount of damage and still produce just fine. If you want to grow organic, learning to pick your battles is important! And that means learning which battles are neccessary and which losses are acceptable. Cheers and good luck!

  • zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "The plants are huge and I know I have a large population of beneficials around. So I do nothing about the spider mitd but wait to see if it gets really bad. The beneficials do their thing, only one plant ends up looking bad, they all bear lots of fruit, and even the sad plant perks up after a while."

    Sunnibel touched upon one of my preferred organic approaches, which is encouraging beneficials - and giving them time to work. As has also been said, you need to know what is beneficial, what is only moderately damaging & bearable, and what needs to be dealt with swiftly.

    Wasps can be one of your best allies in controlling insect pests naturally. Obviously, you would not choose that route if you were allergic to stings... but for most gardeners, I think wasps have been severely under-utilized. When I cage peppers for seed, aphid populations within the protected environment of the cage can really explode. If I open the cage, wasps will be swarming on the aphids within hours, and within a week, there will hardly be an aphid left. There are not many caterpillars in my garden either, thanks to them. I even found them eating the squash bug nymphs I had killed with soap spray... which might have trained them to go after the living ones, since I haven't seen many lately. Wow, wouldn't that be something!

    In my gardens (I have three widely separated plots) I always grow plants to attract wasps. Some - such as cleome - volunteer every year, so I just allow those which are out of the way to grow. My rural garden is also surrounded by Queen Anne's Lace, and allowing it to flower feeds beneficial flies & helps to keep them in the area.

    I grow cowpeas & yardlongs not only for food, but as part of my pest control strategy. Once they begin to bloom, cowpeas & yardlongs attract wasps, ants, and ladybugs... sometimes in very large numbers. Whatever the wasps feed upon, it appears to make them very docile; as long as I move slowly & watch what I grab, they don't seem to mind my presence. I have been stung only once, when I accidentally grabbed a wasp along with the yardlong bean it was sitting on.

    Yardlongs seem to be especially good at attracting adult ladybugs, so there is always a resident population in my gardens once they begin blooming. One of the chief complaints with releasing ladybugs into the garden is that they tend to fly away - unless there is a food source to keep them there. So if you intend to purchase & release ladybugs, raising yardlongs can increase your chances for success.

    The only downside of cowpeas & yardlongs is that they also attract ants. Unlike the wasps, these ants are very active, and will defend the plants aggressively. For the most part, this is only a minor annoyance... I just thump the stem above the pod to knock them off as I harvest. Occasionally, though, carpenter ants infest a patch. They can be destructive, and their bites are a little more than annoying. If they begin to cause damage, I wipe them out.

    Which brings me to the ants... with the exception of carpenter ants & fire ants, most ants are benign, or at least harmless. The problem, though, is that some ants farm aphids. Even that is not normally an issue, since aphid predators tend to keep the population below the threshold where it begins to affect the plant. But sometimes ant-borne aphids can spread disease. Killing the aphids is only part of the solution, since the ants will just re-infest the plants. In those cases, I control the ants first (using borax baits), then use soap spray on the aphids. The liquid borax baits have been very effective at wiping out a nest, even if you don't know where the ants are coming from. I place the baits near an ant run, and cover them with old paper 12-packs turned upside down.

    Soap spray is effective against most sucking insects. I have tried many variations, sometimes with the addition of cooking oil or rubbing alcohol. My favorite formula uses 1 ounce per gallon of dish soap (or one squirt into a spray bottle) and rubbing alcohol. I don't measure the alcohol, but I guess I use 2-3 ounces per quart bottle. This works especially well on squash bugs; it kills the adults in about a minute. It also works on Colorado potato bug larvae. Soap sprays need to completely cover the insect to be effective, so a light spray won't work... I like the horse sprayer bottles from my local Farm & Fleet for that purpose. To minimize leaf damage, rinse the soap spray off after it has done its work. That allows you to use stronger concentrations than might otherwise be possible, especially with additives like cooking oil.

    As previously mentioned, most caterpillars do only mild damage, and do not require poisons to deal with them. I sometimes get swallowtail caterpillars in my carrots, and because the butterflies are so beautiful, I leave them alone. Cabbage loopers can be very destructive, though, on cole crops. Bt is effective for controlling them, but since egg laying is almost constant & Bt degrades quickly, you need to keep spraying. Growing cole crops under floating row cover is a good alternative strategy.

    Corn earworms can also be controlled with Bt, with a strong sprayer. A couple good sprays into the end of the ear, when the silk appears, will kill most of the caterpillars as soon as they hatch & begin feeding.

    Floating row covers over young squash plants will reduce or eliminate SVB infestation, and also reduce squash bugs & cucumber beetles. The cover must be removed when female flowers appear, to allow pollination. By that time, though, the egg-laying period for most squash pests will have passed.

    One other pest control strategy is in planning. Treat your garden less like a small farm, and more like an ecosystem. Where possible, rotate the locations of vulnerable crops each year. While this might have only a modest impact on the insect population, it gives more vigor to the plant, making it better able to defend itself. Also, try to divide vulnerable plants into small plantings spaced throughout the garden, as opposed to large blocks. Make the bugs hunt for their supper. ;-) Incidentally, spreading vegetables out into small separate plantings is also good organic disease management.

    In all pest control strategies, if at all possible, try to be proactive. It is easier to deal with problem insects early (when their numbers are small) than to wait until the infestation becomes severe. Hunting down the first adult squash bugs, and killing their eggs before they hatch, is a great example.

    There are many other organic strategies for insect control, which hopefully will be added by other posters; but there are times where natural methods to control insects will prove to be insufficient. At that point, you need to evaluate whether poisons are an option for you, or whether it would be best to just not grow that crop. If a plague of locusts descended upon my garden, before I would even consider using poison, I would be out there scattering fish bait to attract sea gulls... but that's just me. Personally, if pest pressure is high for a certain crop year-after-year, and organic methods proved to be impractical, I would rather just not grow it.

    Oh, and about attracting bees. To some extent, that depends upon the bees you wish to attract, and what you wish them to pollinate. Don't know your location (region, rural/urban?) but it also depends upon whether there is a population in your area for you to attract. In urban areas, or where poison use it widespread, bees could be really scarce, even if flowers are plentiful.

    If your property is large enough, and you provide enough pollen & nectar sources, bees will eventually establish themselves. Those will most likely be solitary bees, such as ground dwellers... so if you see them, don't destroy their habitat. If you have the room to do so, plant pollen-rich flowers in or near your garden. Honey bees are getting scarce these days, but if they are in your area & you provide food, they will eventually find you.

    Good 'bee culture' requires some planning too. Use pollen & nectar sources that bloom over long periods, which offers the bees a consistent food supply. Perennial flowers offer food early in the season; observe any dead spots between blooming periods, then drive around your neighborhood, and look for varieties that are blooming to fill in the gaps. Squash, okra, & limas are good vegetable bee plants. For annual flowers, I have had good luck with cosmos, cornflowers, a flowering mallow ("Zebrina") and sunflowers. For sunflowers, look for varieties that branch, and have plentiful pollen... some ornamental varieties are poor pollen sources. The flowering mallow is particularly impressive, it blooms constantly until frost, and I've observed 5-6 species of bees working the flowers at the same time.

    Wow, this post kind of took on a life of its own once I started it. I've been meaning to collate some of these methods into one place anyway. Hope something I've mentioned here proves to be useful.

  • wolverine1012
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think, too, that sometimes we picture what we seen in the store and that becomes expectation. We say that we want to grow our own produce to eliminate the pesticides used to produce the perfect fruits and vegetables that we buy in the store and yet we expect our harvests to look like those in the store. Well you can't have it both ways--you can have the perfect produce from the supermarket that contains tons of pesticides, or you can accept less than perfect that you grown yourself with a minimum of pesticides.

    Don't misunderstand me. It is occasionally necessary to apply a perticide to save a crop but I think that we use more than is necessary.

  • zzackey
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We have mocking birds eating our caterpillar in the garden. If you can put out a bird bath to attract them and they have a tree or a shrub to sit in that might help you. I prefer to handpick. BT is a natural pesticide for caterpillars. Baby powder kept my inside ants away ffrom my cat's food bowl. I've heard they won't cross a chalk line. They don't like hot peppers either. All of these have to be re-applied on a regular basis. I've hear of Over and Out being a natural pesticide, bu tI'm not familiar with it. I would plant some plants to attract benefical insects. Herbs work well in attracting them i fyou let them go to flower. Maybe even companion planting would work.

  • gingertopjoan
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This has been very helpful to me to figure out how to grow w/out nasty poison. I have been reading this site for about a month. Have nasty jap. beetles ravaging my roses. Will NOT kill bees tho! Trying to find safe spray. Does Zeedman have an experience w/ Murphy Oil Soap spray? Or anyone else?
    Just joined now to get advise and thank Zeedman for his extensive and valuable info.
    New to vegy gardening and new to rural n.e. TN from northern suburbia.
    Thanks to all for great info!

  • cindy_ga
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Zeedman - THANK YOU for such a wonderful essay on how to garden. :) This so sums up most of what I think and yes, sometimes I weaken and wreak havoc on ants in my raised beds because they are in everything and on me and make me miserable from bites. But I try to let nature take care of most... Excellent post!

  • zzackey
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I planted Holy basil and regular basil this spring. The honeybees and several different bees, wasps and butterflies love it. Along with lots of green spiders. Unfortunately, I've only seen the green spiders eat beneficials. I don't use any chemicals except for fire ants. It's been a rough year. Lots of handpicking and turning my head away to plant damage. Even though my Lady Bell peppers have tons of bug holes in them, they are producing like crazy.
    Every year is different. I try to rotate my crops. Some crops shouldn't be planted in the same site for 3-4 years. It takes research to figure out what works best for you in your area. I strongly recommend you go to you local Agricultural center. They have lots of good advice there.

  • zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "I planted Holy basil and regular basil this spring. The honeybees and several different bees, wasps and butterflies love it. Along with lots of green spiders. Unfortunately, I've only seen the green spiders eat beneficials."

    Thanks for mentioning the basil, it is another excellent bee plant for the vegetable garden.

    As for spiders... my observations mirror yours. Spiders are indiscriminate killers - and they are just as likely to kill beneficial insects as harmful ones. They are often listed as "beneficial", but I would rate them neutral at best. I've also had some nasty bites from spiders, and those bites heal slowly, so I don't have a great love for them.

    Fortunately, the wasp population in my property is very high - including mud daubers. Some of them hunt spiders, and do so very effectively... so the spider population in my garden is very low. Only those which spin webs at night & hide during the day escape the wasps, which suits me just fine.

    Never tried Murphy's Oil. I've used insecticidal soap, sometimes as part of the following recipe. It was contributed by Jimster several years ago, and is a great starting point for formulating your own insect sprays:

    INSECTICIDE: A U.S.D.A. formula combining oil and soap is effective in killing soft-bodied insects. Mix 1 cup peanut, safflower, corn, soybean, or sunflower oil with 1 tablespoon liquid dishwashing detergent. To make the spray, use 11/2 teaspoons of the oil-detergent mixture for each cup of water.

    As I mentioned above, I've tried several different variations of soap spray, sometimes with oil or alcohol. Since soap spray primarily works by blocking insect respiration, I even used sugar as an additive, when I was trying to kill cucumber beetles. Figured that would really clog their spiracles, and it seemed to help. Molasses might be even more effective, provided you can get it to dissolve.

    The advantage of using insecticidal soap (such as Safers) is that it is potassium based, and will cause less leaf damage. You can also use dish soap or baby shampoo, which is what I normally use. But in stronger concentrations (which may be required, depending upon what pest it will be applied to) there may be some leaf damage if the spray is allowed to remain on the leaves. Provided you are just targeting small areas, that is no big deal... but if spraying young plants, or covering a larger area (such as a squash bug infestation) then the spray should be washed off when it has done its work.

    Sucking insects die pretty quickly, you could rinse the leaves off after 15 minutes or so. For beetles, you just need to watch to see how effective the spray will be... it's possible a second spraying might be necessary. Beetle larvae are easier to kill than the adults, which can be remarkably resistant to soap spray... they will be temporarily paralyzed, but slowly recover. Cucumber beetles are a great example of this, they are pretty hard to kill. You really need full body coverage when spraying beetles, and a little alcohol in the mix will prevent them from flying away while you give them a good soaking. When trying out a soap spray the first time, observe its effect on the target insect.

    It's worth mentioning that while soap sprays have little to no no lingering toxic effect, they will kill most insects they are sprayed on. I've used the alcohol spray in my previous post to kill yellowjackets, it will knock them right out of the air. If bees or other beneficials get sprayed, it will kill them too.

  • squirrelwhispererpup
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wise words from Wolverine. I used to drive myself crazy thinking I had to go on the offensive at the first sign of a pest. Finally had the epiphany Wolverine describes. This year I used Neem a few times to get the upper hand on citrus leaf miners that were sapping the strength of some young lemons with few leaves to spare; insect soap on scale that was making my bay laurel leaves un-usable and aphids that were threatening the growth buds of two okra plants (the other 5 were inexplicably unaffected); a fairly complicated application of Bt on the summer squash which kept the SVB at bay long enough to give me all the squash I could eat (not sure I will do that again, though); and a few treatments with Sluggo just inside the rims of the pots with tender basil seedlings, which at one point were almost totally defoliated by snails who had no respect for beer or any of the barrier methods I erected. I had bees and wasps and (a little scary) yellow jackets, Lady bugs, little spiders, toads, and small benign ants that crawled in and out of the cucurbits and pollinated them more efficiently then I ever could with a paintbrush. I also found that insect soap killed the stinging ants that were farming the aphids on the okra, though they generally reappeared within 24 hours. As long as they stayed off me I left them alone. Don't aim for perfection; my motto has become, "the perfect is the enemy of the good." (i can't claim credit for that but I don't recall who said it first, LOL). Gardening should not become war.

  • danzeb
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This thread has "keeping bees" in the title. Sevin was mentioned in some messages. Sevin is one of the best ways to kill bees. Sevin will stick to bees. The bees will bring it back to the nest. The result can be a kill of all the bees from that nest. Sevin can be an insecticide of choice but please keep Sevin away from the flowers they visit.

  • daninthedirt (USDA 9a, HZ9, CentTX, Sunset z30, Cfa)
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think the one obvious answer is to keep the pesticide off of where the bees are going to be. Bees go to flowers. Period. Keep bee-killing pesticide off of flowers. How do you do that? Well, you don't dust, and you don't spray entire plants. In fact the best way is to apply directly to the soil and or vines/stems where the pests hang out. If you want to kill ants they sure aren't going to be going after flowers, or even plants.

    Sevin is great stuff, and while it is biodegradable and is no threat to humans eating veggies, it does need to be kept away from bees.

    Any more specific answer is going to have to require some idea of exactly what pests you're trying to get rid of. For ants, a boric acid bait works really well. For fire ants, you need something more specific, but that pesticide goes on the ground, not on plants.

  • nc_crn
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ...don't spray/dust flowers or take care with plant applications avoiding flowers while in flowering...what dan said. This won't help much for some pests like thrips, though.

    There's 90%+ of your issues solved if saving bees is the issue. You can solve another 5%+ by not having contaminated water sources with runoff that bees drink out of.

    One of the biggest killers of bees I've seen in most residential areas is swimming pools and lawn people taking care of weeds (especially clover) when they're already in flower. Swimming pools, especially, tend to kill a heck of a lot of bees over the course of their active period. The chemicals in pools don't tend to kill them (though it may slow them)...it's more that for every "smart" bee there's usually a "dumb/unfortunate" one that will end up drowning itself by getting it's wings so wet it can't fly away.

    This post was edited by nc-crn on Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 18:47

  • ndnlady60
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    At first I thought it was just mildew. Now, on my gourd leaves and other plants I am seeing white eggs, a white little caterpillar, and another dark brown bug. I'm trying to send a pic. I've most of my squash, in tears. I've been fighting whatever it is for two weeks and I'm losing. I've done the dish soap and baking soda with water thing. Tried Neem oil.
    Ok, I'll try to post pics, I'm new.

  • zzackey
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The bug sounds like a stink bug. Worst year ever for me in the garden. I think I need to garden by the moon now. Amazing how well that works for some people.

  • gingertopjoan
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO HAPPY TO REPORT THAT I THINK I HAVE SOLVED MY JAPANESE BEATLE PROBLEM ON THE ROSE BUSHES, WITHOUT KILLING ANY BEE'S!!!!!!!!
    AFTER MUCH RESEARCH OF READING ALL YOUR MOST KNOWLEDGEBLE AND INSIGHTFUL POSTS, THIS IS WHAT I DID;
    4 tbsps. MURPHY OIL SOAP
    2 tbsp. OIL OF WINTERGREEN
    TO 1 GALLON OF WATER IN A GALLON SPRAYER.
    I SPRAYED THE HECK OUT OF THE ROSE BUSHES YESTERDAY AROUND 4 PM.[ 7 KNOCK OUT ROSES VARIETY WHICH ARE JUST PLANTED LAST FALL; THEY ARE ABOUT 3' IN SIZE] SOAKED THEM.
    NO SIGN...........NO SIGN OF ANY BEATLES ON ANY OF THEM TODAY. I CHECKED THIS MORNING AND AFTERNOON AND NARRY A SINGLE BEATLE!!!!
    I COULD NOT BE MORE PLEASED!!!
    THE BUTTERFLIES AND HUMMINGBIRDS CAME AND FED AND LINGERED AS USUAL AND DIDN'T SEEM ALARMED OR DISTURBED AT ALL!!!
    I FOUND SOME OIL OF NEEM TODAY AT LOWE'S AND MAY TRY THAT TOO, IF NEEDED. I STILL HAVE THE ROSES OUT FRONT TO DO, STILL, AND I AM OUT OF THE OIL OF WINTERGREEN NOW. IT IS HARD TO FIND; I ENDED UP ORDERING IT FROM WALGREEN'S TODAY.
    FYI, MY LOCAL FARM CO-OP STORE IS USELESS, THEY CARRY TONS OF STUFF, BUT , IT IS ALL TOXIC TO BEE'S. I HAD TO RETURN 3 BOTTLES OF THE ^^%$ STUFF!!! AND THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING SAFE FOR BEE'S. THIS IS WHY OUR BEE POPULATION IS NEAR DEAD!!!! DAMN FARMERS ARE POISONING OUR ENVIRON.!!!! I JUST DON'T GET IT!!! THEY SHOULD!!! WOULDN'T YOU THINK!
    I TRUELY HOPE THIS HELPS ANYONE ELSE WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT THIS PROBLEM!
    THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE POSTED! YOU ARE GREAT FOLKS!
    BLESSINGS!

  • NilaJones
    10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Another thing:

    Look for the reason why bugs are attacking your plant. They often go for plants that are already weakened by something else.

    Does your plants need more food? More sun? More shade? More water? Less water? To be grown at a different time of year?

    Aphids, for example, will *cover* brassicas in spring and fall where I live, but leave them alone in winter and full-on summer. So I primarily grow them in winter :).

    For pretty much everything except brassicas, in my garden, aphids mean the plant either wants more sun or more water. Powdery mildew, same thing. I give the plants what they need and the aphids go away. If there is a huge population, I squish and soap-spray the ones I can reach, to speed things up :).

    I also save seed from the plants that do well in my garden. I now have strains of brassicas that are aphid-resistant, basil that is slug-resistant, and pole beans that are leafminer-resistant, for example.

    Gardening takes years of practice and experimentation and study. There is a lot of stuff on the web now telling people that it will be effortless -- which inspires many new people to try growing some food, but also tends to lead to absurdly high expectations for beginners.

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