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BUGS taking away all my fun!

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BUGS taking away all my fun!

Post  jewlz2121 on 5/15/2013, 2:57 pm

There are so many types of bugs out in my garden, I don't know where to start. First, my pepper plants look horrible. We've had a ton of rain, so some of the browning I'm thinking is fungus from it being so wet. The new growth looks great. But they are covered with these big flies. Are the flies eating something else I'm not seeing? Or are these flies sucking?


Then, I found THESE on the underneath
side of my tomato leaves...
No webbing, so I'm guessing they are red aphids?
THEN, something? is eating my bush beans...

Lastly, I found this on a pepper plant...I know it's not a great picture, but it's so tiny the camera was having a hard time focusing. I'm thinking flea beetle?
He crawled, the red monsters did not.

I gave everything a good spray of NEEM a few days ago. When the sun goes down today, I was planning on a soap spray. Should I blast them with the water hose sprayer first?
Any other suggestions? It's just the start of the season and already I'm feeling defeated. My peppers look horrible. My tomatoes look great but not for long if I don't take care of business.
Ugh, Thanks.
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jewlz2121

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Re: BUGS taking away all my fun!

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/15/2013, 3:13 pm

Someone will be along to tell you about your bugs, but once you get rid of them, I would cover with tulle or something - a hoop or dome set up maybe?

CC
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Re: BUGS taking away all my fun!

Post  Lemonie on 5/15/2013, 3:29 pm

I'm not sure about those flies, but I've already been out squishing lots of aphids on my peas and plan to hit them with a soapy mix this evening. I expect the bugs to be bad this year with our mild winter.

Your beans appear to be a start of attack from bean beetles. They are almost pretty little things that look a bit like a bronze or orange lady bug...but they are NOT your friend! Evil or Very Mad It seems that you need to spray the neem almost every other day to get rid of these evil guys, but then the neem also drives off the lady bugs...so it's a catch 22. I've heard that garlic and rosemary deter them and might work to make a spray out of them w/ a drop of soap. You can also make a spray out of the beetles themselves but need to use it about once a week for 6wks to get them all.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Neem oil and peppermint soap

Post  Windmere on 5/15/2013, 3:46 pm

Hi jewiz2121,

I have been using a combination of neem oil and liquid peppermint soap (Dr. Bonner's organic). I have had to begin applying this mixture to my plants everyday (I do it either early in the morning or late afternoon when it's cooler).

My mixture for two cups organic pesticide is: 1 teaspoon neem oil and 1/8 teaspoon peppermint soap mixed in two cups warm water. Mix well, pour into spray bottle and you're good to go. Be sure to shake the spray bottle frequently to make sure the mix stays blended.

When I end up with some left, I put it in the refrigerator. Neem oil doesn't have a long shelf life, but I've used the mixture subsequent days with the same effectiveness.
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Re: BUGS taking away all my fun!

Post  jewlz2121 on 5/15/2013, 8:07 pm

@Windmere wrote:Hi jewiz2121,

I have been using a combination of neem oil and liquid peppermint soap (Dr. Bonner's organic). I have had to begin applying this mixture to my plants everyday (I do it either early in the morning or late afternoon when it's cooler).

My mixture for two cups organic pesticide is: 1 teaspoon neem oil and 1/8 teaspoon peppermint soap mixed in two cups warm water. Mix well, pour into spray bottle and you're good to go. Be sure to shake the spray bottle frequently to make sure the mix stays blended.

When I end up with some left, I put it in the refrigerator. Neem oil doesn't have a long shelf life, but I've used the mixture subsequent days with the same effectiveness.

There were a few different soaps on amazon, is this what you use? http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Bronners-Magic-Soaps-Pure-Castile/dp/B00120VWJ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368662777&sr=8-1&keywords=dr+bronner+peppermint
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Re: BUGS taking away all my fun!

Post  HOUSTONMOM on 5/15/2013, 8:57 pm

Hi,those holes and eaten leaves look like army worms.Look around the plant usually when those holes show up the worms are somewhere near by if not on the plant itself it's hiding in the soil .If it's hiding in the soil ,water the area around the plant and they should float up or try to get out of the water. I pick and get rid of it gross I know!If it's army worms they are never just one at least not in my garden I look for holes on leaves, in the tomato fruit and for trails of green poo.Those buggers ate three pear tomatoes in one row went in through one into the second one and out through the third .usually find them after a heavy rain early in the morning or late in the evening .I have those flies in my garden too but haven't seen anything bad from them.I am new here too and not an expert just comparing it to the same issue I had with my peppers and tomatoes.Hope that helps.
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Exactly what I use

Post  Windmere on 5/15/2013, 11:43 pm

@jewlz2121 wrote:
@Windmere wrote:Hi jewiz2121,

I have been using a combination of neem oil and liquid peppermint soap (Dr. Bonner's organic). I have had to begin applying this mixture to my plants everyday (I do it either early in the morning or late afternoon when it's cooler).

My mixture for two cups organic pesticide is: 1 teaspoon neem oil and 1/8 teaspoon peppermint soap mixed in two cups warm water. Mix well, pour into spray bottle and you're good to go. Be sure to shake the spray bottle frequently to make sure the mix stays blended.

When I end up with some left, I put it in the refrigerator. Neem oil doesn't have a long shelf life, but I've used the mixture subsequent days with the same effectiveness.

There were a few different soaps on amazon, is this what you use? http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Bronners-Magic-Soaps-Pure-Castile/dp/B00120VWJ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368662777&sr=8-1&keywords=dr+bronner+peppermint

The soap you found on Amazon is exactly what I use. In fact, I actually buy mine from Amazon. I have learned that sometimes grocery markets stock it, so you might want to shop around. This formula is based on an article I read when I first began looking for organic pesticides. It's called "10 Homemade Organic Pesticides." There are some other formulas that I intend to use as well. The link is here:

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/organic-pesticides/

I hope this information helps. The neem oil/peppermint soap mixture has worked well for me. However, my area and types of local bugs could be a factor as well.
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Re: BUGS taking away all my fun!

Post  Pollinator on 5/16/2013, 9:23 am

This is another example of where blasting everything with a spray (even an organic one) is a terrible idea. Keep the sprays for carefully considered spot treatments when all else has failed.

The little irridescent green flies you pictured are syrphid flies. They are among your garden friends. The adults are pollinators, and the young eat aphids, spider mites and other small pests. The appearance of the adults meant that they were already working on the problem, but they probably died along with the aphids.

http://www.unce.unr.edu/programs/sites/ipm/files/pdf/SyrphidFlyInfo.pdf

There are also tiny wasps that lay eggs on the aphids and their young parasitize the aphids. Look at a cluster of aphids and see if there are some that are already just hollowed out shells. If you see them, you have your little wasp friend already at work. If you are patient, you'll soon see mama wasp come along to lay eggs. But they aren't obvious, as they aren't much bigger than gnats.

For the caterpillars, encourage the paper wasp nests that you see, instead of destroying them. These laid-back wasps are constantly foraging through your garden, looking for caterpillars to feed their babies. Indeed, one of the signs of health I look for in a garden, is to see these wasps flitting through the leaves of the garden plants.

Here's what happened when an area-wide spray killed off the paper wasps: http://goodbugpage.com/mosquitospray.htm

When you spray EVERYTHING, the good bugs are killed off, along with the bad bugs. Guess which ones return faster? Of course the bad bugs! So you get on a treadmill - the more you spray, the more you have to spray.

Study your pests and your beneficials; learn their life cycles and how they interact. Many times, leaving things alone is the best course of action. Once in awhile you may lose a crop, but treat it as a learning experience, and be better prepared the next year.

Yes, I do use pesticide. But each time I do - and it is not common - I feel that I have failed at getting along with Mother Nature, and I must study to learn better how to cope in a gentler way.
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Any other less fatal options?

Post  Windmere on 5/16/2013, 10:27 am

@Pollinator wrote:This is another example of where blasting everything with a spray (even an organic one) is a terrible idea. Keep the sprays for carefully considered spot treatments when all else has failed.

The little irridescent green flies you pictured are syrphid flies. They are among your garden friends. The adults are pollinators, and the young eat aphids, spider mites and other small pests. The appearance of the adults meant that they were already working on the problem, but they probably died along with the aphids.

http://www.unce.unr.edu/programs/sites/ipm/files/pdf/SyrphidFlyInfo.pdf

There are also tiny wasps that lay eggs on the aphids and their young parasitize the aphids. Look at a cluster of aphids and see if there are some that are already just hollowed out shells. If you see them, you have your little wasp friend already at work. If you are patient, you'll soon see mama wasp come along to lay eggs. But they aren't obvious, as they aren't much bigger than gnats.

For the caterpillars, encourage the paper wasp nests that you see, instead of destroying them. These laid-back wasps are constantly foraging through your garden, looking for caterpillars to feed their babies. Indeed, one of the signs of health I look for in a garden, is to see these wasps flitting through the leaves of the garden plants.

Here's what happened when an area-wide spray killed off the paper wasps: http://goodbugpage.com/mosquitospray.htm

When you spray EVERYTHING, the good bugs are killed off, along with the bad bugs. Guess which ones return faster? Of course the bad bugs! So you get on a treadmill - the more you spray, the more you have to spray.

Study your pests and your beneficials; learn their life cycles and how they interact. Many times, leaving things alone is the best course of action. Once in awhile you may lose a crop, but treat it as a learning experience, and be better prepared the next year.

Yes, I do use pesticide. But each time I do - and it is not common - I feel that I have failed at getting along with Mother Nature, and I must study to learn better how to cope in a gentler way.

Pollinator,

I understand your position. I have heard many opinions concerning this topic. Some have even suggested that the application of neem oil should begin upon germination. Obviously this is a topic of heated debate.

Neem oil aside, what do you think about the other types of natural pesticides mentioned in the article I cited? Garlic, salt, citrus blends, chile blends, etc.

In addition to being a successful gardener, I would like to negatively impact the environment as little as possible. Your comments have given me food for thought

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