Archive for the ‘EVERYDAY CHALLENGES’ Category

APHIDS

This are pests that can be a real menace to your plants and attack a variety of vegetable crops and ornamentals both shrubs and trees. Aphids are found on almost all types of plants and a few species can cause plant injury.

Aphids are the most common insects found on trees, shrubs, and garden ornamental plants. Aphids feed by sucking sap from plants. When the number of aphids on a plant are very high for an extended period, their feeding can cause wilting and sometimes even dieback of shoots and buds. Some aphids can cause leaf curling when the insect infests emerging leaves.

Sometimes problems with aphids do not primarily involve plant injury but instead their production of sticky honeydew. Honeydew is the waste material excreted by aphids and certain other phloem-sucking insects (e.g., soft scales, whiteflies, some leafhoppers). It may cover leaves, branches, sidewalks and anything that lies beneath a infested plant material.

Gray sooty mold grows on the honeydew, further detracting from plant appearance. Ants, yellow jacket wasps, flies, and bees are usually attracted to plants that are covered with honeydew.

A recipe for a home remedy to get rid of aphids

1 cup vegetable or white mineral oil
2 cups water
2 teaspoons dish soap (without bleach)

Spray this homemade aphid control mixture on the aphids every few days until the aphids recede. This home remedy to get rid of aphids will suffocate the aphids. Make sure that plants that are treated with this solution are kept out of direct sunlight as the oil may magnify the sunlight and burn the plants.

Bring in predators as an organic control of aphids

Aphid predators are a natural way to kill aphids. These include lacewings, ladybugs and aphid predator (which is an actual bug called that). Introduce these beneficial bugs to your garden as a natural way to kill aphids. Planting mint, fennel, dill, yarrow, clover and dandelions will also attract these insects to your garden.

Grow plants for a homemade aphid control

Growing plants that are especially attractive to aphids can actually help with a serious aphid infestation. Plants like nasturtiums, asters, mums, cosmos, hollyhocks, larkspur, tuberous begonias, verbena, dahlias, and zinnias are very attractive to aphids and are especially good for organic control of aphids. Grow these plants away from the plants you wish to keep aphids off. They will act as a lure, keeping the aphids away from the plants you wish to keep aphid-free.

You can also try planting garlic or onion plants nearby the infested plants. The smell of these plants drives the aphids away. You can plant garlic and onions in pots for mobile homemade aphid control.

SAGO PALM cycas revoluta

Cycad aulacaspis scale (CAS)   

This scale is also referred to as the Asian cycad scale.

They are armored scale insects that   colonize every part of the plant, including roots and are free from the natural enemies that keep population under control in its native habitat. Therefore, its populations can increase rapidly in just a few days.  Even when scales are controlled in the plant foliage CAS can quickly re-infest plants from root populations. Root infestations are difficult to detect.

Symptoms

CAS causes damage by sucking plant fluids. Initial symptoms of infestation include small yellow spots on the upper surface of fronds.  As the infestation progresses, fronds become brown and desiccated

Control

Integrated pest management (IPM) there is No single control alternative.

  • Prevent pest problems: Check new plants before purchase or prior to installation.
  • ·         Detect infestations quickly and monitor pest populations:
  • Act quickly and use effective control tools: The CAS has overlapping generations therefore increase rapidly.
  • Cultural control. Avoid plant crowding to reduce movement of scale crawlers. Pruned plant parts must be disposed of properly and tools used for pruning must be cleaned.
  • Chemical control.   Contact foliar sprays such as horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps require 2 to 3 applications (5 to 10 days apart).  Systemic insecticides usually are more effective when applied as soil drenches.
  • Biological control: Two natural enemies, a predaceous beetle, Cybocephalus binotatus Grouvelle, and a parasitic wasp, Coccobius fulvus