NATURAL PEST CONTROL

The pest chart below (at the very bottom of this page),  is based on our own experiences of what works in our gardens and is by no means exhaustive. Here at Garden Deva, when we have pests, we first make sure that our soil is healthy and mulched and that the plants growing in it aren't stressed from lack of nutrients or water. We then check we haven’t been over fertilising and creating sappy growth (of which aphids are particularly fond). Ensuring that there is a diversity of beneficial flowers and flowering trees (for beneficial predator insects) with some birdbaths for the birds ‘good bugs’ is also vitally important to help nature balance the eco system. This allows the birds and predatory bugs to do all the hard work and gobble up your ‘nasties’.  However, sometimes natural sprays or powders need to be hauled out – this should be a last resort. Med fruit fly is an exception and usually needs human intervention! 

HOW EACH REMEDY WORKS

Diatomaceous earth aka Defeatabug, is used as an insecticide. Its fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons, which causes them to dehydrate. It won't harm the soil, earthworms, or any animals that eat the insects that came into contact with it but it will kill beneficial insects, so avoid using it where beneficial insects may stay.

For fleas, rub directly into your pet's fur and on their bedding and surrounds. Dust around chook pen and on the chooks themselves regularly to prevent mites. This really does work and sure beats dowsing them with expensive and toxic chemicals. You may need to do this weekly until the breeding cycle is disrupted. It is even sometimes added to stock feed as a nutrient so is safe for animals. Please note – it is NOT the same as the pool Diotomaceous earth so please do not substitute!

For plants - sprinkle DE over the entire plant. Apply to the top and bottom of the leaf with paintbrush or old salt shaker. Reapply after rain. DE is a long lasting, effective powder to which insects cannot build up resistance. Use a dust mask when applying. AVAIL: www.gardenersdirect.com.au

Multiguard pellets contain iron phosphate and an attractant which poisons slugs slaters and snails. They are generally pretty safe to use around pets (unlike the metaldehyde based pellets which are marketed as pet safe but definitely aren’t), as they contain no toxic chemicals. If your pet guzzled a whole heap of pellets it would probably suffer from iron toxicity but just to be sure, keep animals away from areas which you have applied the pellets. As pellets are organic based and swell when wet, apply away from plant stems to avoid rot.

EcoNatralure is a certified organic protein and sugar based bait, attracting both male and female fruit fly. It contains the bacterial insecticide Spinosad. It is highly effective against fruit fly if you are vigilant about following procedures outlined on the info/fact sheet included when you buy the product and use traps as well. For more info:. www.ocp.com.au and www.petercoppin.com. EcoNatralure also works well on caterpillars.

EcoNeem is our favourite spray, a real allrounder. It is a pesticide, fertiliser and fungicide rolled into one which works by interfering with the hormones of pests, stopping them breeding as well as feeding. It does everything Eco Oil does (and more) and has systemic qualities when drenched into the soil to control soil borne insects and borers. EcoNeem also controls grasshoppers, pests notoriously difficult to control organically.

Exclusion bags are just waxed paper bags like the ones in which pies + sausage rolls are sold. Simply place over each fruit and fasten with a wire tie. This excludes birds, fruit fly and any other being who wants to eat your fruit. Although using exclusion bags can be a laborious process, it works a treat for small trees with a small - average amount of fruit. Once you’ve done the work, there’s nothing else to do other than sniff your fruit or have a peek every now and then to check if they’re ready. These bags also help the ripening process.

Exclusion netting is a very effective barrier against fruit fly and birds and works extremely on any size fruit tree. It is best to rig up a frame so the fruit is not right against the netting (allowing pests some access). Frames can be made from 19mm polypipe forced over steel stakes to create a crossed over dome – see pic left taken at a Peter Coppin fruit workshop. Use old hole free mosquito netting or buy proper fruit fly netting from Tass1 nursery in the Swan Valley or online at www.netprocanopies.com . Ensure tree has been pollinated first as nets also exclude bees, without which you will have no fruit. It’s best to wait until your fruit has already been formed but and is approximately 3–5cm diameter in size.

 Eco Oil works by suffocating the pest and its eggs. I believe it is superior to Pest Oil and other white oil products because it is based on vegie oil instead of mineral oil which is safer for foliage, flowers and fruit. It also has essential oils added to further enhance the efficacy. As with other oil products, do not use on plants in full sun when temperatures are over 34C as you may ‘fry’ foliage. It has a low impact on beneficial insects.

Eucalyptus oil and orange essential oil are both powerful and pleasantly scented remedies which control pests naturally. Simply put 5ml Eucalyptus oil (Bosisto’s is good) or 5ml orange oil (available bulk at Freo markets or online); with 20ml vegie oil, ½ tsp dishwashing liquid with 1 litre of water. Decant into a good plant sprayer (Organic Crop Protectants 360 degrees sprayer is great for doing small areas). Thoroughly spray over foliage making sure you do underneath as well. Repeat in 10 days and then again in another 10 days to break the breeding cycle.  Make up spray fresh each time.

PS instead of using bleach to disinfect garden tools when cutting diseased plants, wash secateurs in hot water with 2 tsp of either oil or wipe with methylated spirits (also handy to have in a spray bottle simply screw a cheap spray attachment to the bottle it comes in). You can also disinfect plastic pots using eucalyptus oil after washing them in hot soapy water to which a teaspoon of Eucalyptus or orange oil has been added.

Horticultural glue is a sticky wet glue made from gum resins vegie oil and wax. It works by preventing crawling insects reaching the tops of trees where they feed, mate and lay eggs. The main pest it controls is ants and caterpillars. It is very effective to prevent the havoc wreaked by processionary caterpillars (eg the ones which defoliate Cape Lilac trees) as well as other caterpillars.

Ants carry scale, aphids and mealy bugs up trees so they can feed off the honeydew excreted by these pests.  Available at garden centres usually sold as Trappit. Vaseline or Tiger balm are alternatives (use in mild - cool weather only). Avoid applying in the same place on the trunk every time you apply it.

 

 

  Ants

 Aphids

 Cockroach

 Citrus leaf  miner

 Fruit  fly

 Mites

 Scale

Caterpillar

 Root knot  nematodes

 Mealybug

 Thrips

 Whitefly

 Slugs  and snails

 Chooks & dogs  mites & fleas

  REMEDY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  DE (Diotoma-

 ceous Earth)

   *

   *

    *

 

 

   *

 

     *

 

    *

    *

    *

    *

    *

 Eco Neem

 

   *

 

      *

 

   *

 

     *

     *

    *

    *

    *

    *

    *

 Eco Oil and/or  Eucalpytus/orange  essential oil

   *

   *

 

      *

 

   *

   *

 

 

 

 

    *

 

 

 Eco Natralure

 

 

 

 

   *

 

 

    *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Exclusion (bags)

 

 

 

 

   *

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Dipel/Success

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Handpicking and  swatting

 

   *

    *

 

 

 

   *

    *

 

 

 

 

    *

 

 Molasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

      *

 

 

 

 

 

 Multiguard pellets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    *

 

 Horticultural

glues

  *

   *

    *

     *

 

 

  *

    *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Growing flowers to  attract ‘good’ bugs

 

   *

 

 

 

   *

 

     *

 

    *

    *

   *

 

 

 Growing natives to  attract  birds, Frog  ponds

 

   *

 

 

    *

   *

   *

     *

 

    *

    *

    *

   *

 

 

CALL US NOW for a free chat on how we can transform your garden!

GARDEN DEVA 0423 385 568