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Sow Bugs

Saturday, June 12th, 2010
Blue Sow Bug

Image by Ben Amstutz via Flickr

They are called by several varyent names–sow bugs, pill bugs, woodlice, doodlebugs, and roly-polies. These bugs are ordinaryly found in small numbers in lawns and gardens. For the most part, they are no predicament, but when they breed in large numbers in a small area they can overrun a vegetable garden.

Sow bugs most frequently live in areas where there are piles of old leaves or in beds covered with garden mulch. They thrive in moist areas and eat dead or decaying vegetation. If there are too many in an area, they will discover new young shoots or tender leaves to eat. In a garden, this can spell disaster. Most gardeners want to discover a way to keep them out of the vegetable garden.

Diatomaceous Earth for Garden Pest Control

Sow bugs have a great defense against predators. Their shells taste bad and most insect eaters leave them alone. The most likely predator is the woodloutilize spider (Dysdera crocata). To keep down the numbers of sow bugs, gardeners are advised leave this reddish spider alone to do its job.

There are pesticides that kill sow, pill, and other crawling bugs. However, most people want to limit the utilize of pesticides in their gardens, even if the product is labeled as protected for utilize on edible plants. And pesticides are never utilized in organic gardens. organic gardeners look to other categories of pest control.

Here are some organic ways to control sow bugs:

  • Reduce the amount of moisture
  • Remove excess mulch or debris from the area around the garden
  • In raised beds, replace wooden supports with stone
  • utilize corncobs or half cantaloupes to bait and remove
  • Dust around the plants with diatomaceous earth.
  • A organic Alternative to Chemical Pesticides

    Diatomaceous earth is a good alternative to pesticides. This organic mineral substance is mined and then ground up into a very fine powder. It is nontoxic to humans and animals. Any crawling insect that moves over or into the powder picks up the dust. The dust kills the insect by damaging the outer shell and drying out the moisture inside.

    Place the powder around the area or the plants that needs to be protected. Surround the perimeter of the garden. Dust the top of the soil or run the powder along borders especially wooden planks. Sow bugs frequently burrow in the moist soil along the side of a wooden riser. After they’ve burrowed in for the winter, this area can be dug up and removed.

    The utilize of diatomaceous earth has a couple of disbenefits. One is that it must be kept dry to keep it in powder form. Of course, it is complex to avoid wetting the diatomaceous dust in a garden. The gardener must reapply the powder periodically between waterings or after the dust cakes up. The other disbenefit is that the powder is not targeted just to sow or pill bugs. The utilize of diatomaceous earth will affect any crawling insect, such as ants.

    Controlling Sow Bug Infestations

    The presence of small numbers of sow and pill bugs is typically not a predicament. They can just be left alone. However, large numbers of them may become a nuisance. They are especially damaging to the new growth of an timely spring garden. comprehendably, most people do not want sow bugs in their vegetable gardens. Diatomaceous earth is a helpful approach to controlling these garden pests.

    Organic Gardening Products

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    Controlling Aphids in the Garden Without Pesticides

    Thursday, June 10th, 2010
    Group of Aphids

    Image via Wikipedia

    Controlling aphids in the garden, without the utilize of pesticides or powders and chemical sprays that kill the insect but leave unhealthy chemical residue behind, has gardeners jumping on the “green” bandwagon.

    What Are Aphids

    Aphids are small pear-shaped insects that come in a variety of colors, with green and black being the most ordinary. Aphids attach themselves to the area of the plant where new growth appears. They regenerate quickly and are voracious feeders. Aphids suck liquid from the plant, dehydrating it and eventually killing it. Their waste is a sticky shiny residue called honey dew.

    Ants in the garden are attracted to the honey dew and will really take aphids as pets. Once they have the aphids securely settled in their ant colony, the ants cut new growth from nearby plants and bring it to the aphids. By feeding the aphids the ants are able to maintain a steady supply of honey dew.

    Controlling Aphids in the Garden

    Aphids especially love certain plants and can overrun a garden in a single weekend. But once acknowledged these garden pests can be controlled. Controlling aphids is not always as simple as it might seem. One method for removal these garden pests is a soapy spray. The soap washes off the protective waxy coating found on aphids. Without that coating this garden pest will dry out and die. To make the spray, mix one part hand soap to 100 parts water.

    Most garden pests can be controlled when the plants are sprayed with the combination twice a week and again after each rain. The little bit of soap won’t harm the plants, and most other garden pests will not like the taste and will move to an area where they can discover a more delectable dinner.

    While container gardens are relatively easy to handle and even easier to keep free of pests, an infestation of aphids can even occur from time to time on a patio or on the back steps. Insects don’t concern themselves with propriety, they simply want an easy meal. But either in the garden or in a container garden, controlling aphids is best done without commercial chemical pesticides. Vigilance and a good bottle of soap generally will do the trick.

    Aphids can as well be washed off the plant with a vigorous hosing down. Be careful, however, that the plants are not damaged by the spray.

    Organic Insect Control

    Aphids suck the life out of flower plants and vegetable plants, causing the leaves to curl up and flower buds to remain hard and unfurled. The pear-shaped aphid will infest ntimely any type of plant but is particularly attracted to yellow flowers. Place a shallow yellow container in the garden with about an inch of water in it. This type of organic insect control relies on outsmarting the aphids. Aphids will be drawn to the color and jump into the container and drown. All the gardener needs to do is to make sure there is always water in the container.

    Another organic insect control measure is to crush a few of the aphids on the plant or sprinkle the remains around the base of the plant. Other aphids will be deterred by the scent. And remember that ants and aphids go hand in hand. Ants will even move their pet aphids from one plant to the next, thereby creating more damage. To keep ants away try sprinkling baby powder, cornstarch or cinnamon around the base of the plant.

    Organic Gardening Products

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