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Organic Pest Control

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FarmerValerie
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Post  middlemamma 4/23/2011, 11:38 pm

Which of the methods (organic pesticides) like BT, DE etc are safe for bees?
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Post  shannon1 4/24/2011, 12:08 am

BT is for sure it targets only catapillers that are munching on your plants.
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Post  acara 4/24/2011, 10:17 am

@shannon1 wrote:So sad to hear the copper thing is a myth I was going to try it on the snails. Any sugestions on what will work?

Do you get a lot of snails up there Shannon?

I used to get a couple when I lived in Miami, but I can't say I've seen any since I moved to Central FL
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Post  FarmerValerie 4/24/2011, 10:20 am

Beer in a tuna can buried level with the soil.
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Post  acara 4/24/2011, 10:31 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:Beer in a tuna can buried level with the soil.

+1

That's the only bait-trick I know (beer in a aluminum pie pan).

I also remember something about a more "humane" method putting orange rinds out as bait & then transfering the slugs elsewhere when they moved on the rind?

However, easiest "spot treatment" when I found them was to go grab the salt shaker from inside & hit them with a dash of salt.


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Post  acara 4/24/2011, 10:38 am

@middlemamma wrote:Which of the methods (organic pesticides) like BT, DE etc are safe for bees?

DE's a little dicey from what I've read.

On the ground its supposedly okay, if you don't use too much (where a strong gust of wind would get it airborne). On the plants or in the air, where the bees run across it, it can kill them.

I use beesource.com for most of my info on "not harming bees" with my gardening & the opinions on DE range from don't use at all, to use only "here" and use sparingly, between the beekeepers on the forum.
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Post  shannon1 4/25/2011, 12:44 am

@acara wrote:
@shannon1 wrote:So sad to hear the copper thing is a myth I was going to try it on the snails. Any sugestions on what will work?

Do you get a lot of snails up there Shannon?

I used to get a couple when I lived in Miami, but I can't say I've seen any since I moved to Central FL
Yes nice big ones but not eat'n size I will try the orange rind, if I can remove them without killing them that would be nice. Too bad they are not bigger since my brother is a classicly traind chef Organic Pest Control - Page 2 889526
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Post  Goosegirl 4/25/2011, 8:21 am

@shannon1 wrote:
@acara wrote:
@shannon1 wrote:So sad to hear the copper thing is a myth I was going to try it on the snails. Any sugestions on what will work?

Do you get a lot of snails up there Shannon?

I used to get a couple when I lived in Miami, but I can't say I've seen any since I moved to Central FL
Yes nice big ones but not eat'n size I will try the orange rind, if I can remove them without killing them that would be nice. Too bad they are not bigger since my brother is a classicly traind chef Organic Pest Control - Page 2 889526

There is a county in CA that has an annual "Slug & Snail Fest". Several years ago the winning recipe was "Pineapple Up-Slide Down Cake"
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Post  walshevak 4/25/2011, 8:29 am

Organic Pest Control - Page 2 656620

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Post  dizzygardener 4/25/2011, 8:34 am


  • DE is iffy, but if used where bees don't go it is generally ok.
  • Pyrethrums are HIGHLY TOXIC to bees and other beneficial insects. It should be avoided if you have bee activity at all. It will kill bees on contact, but it does break down pretty quickly.
  • Spinosad is HIGHLY toxic to bees when it is wet, but after it dries (4 hours ) it is less toxic. Those who use it are advised to use it once the bees have quite work in the evening, but I'd just stay away from it unless you have no other choice.
  • BT is bee safe.
  • Rotenone is non-toxic to be, but make sure you aren't using it with a pyrethrum.
  • Insecticidal soap is harmless, but I wouldn't go around spraying the bees.
  • Neem oil is bee safe so long as it isn't used in high concentrations. It should be applied in the evening after the bees have gone home.
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Post  FarmerValerie 4/25/2011, 8:54 am

Pyrethrums are toxic to bees, but when that's your last resort (as it was here last year-either that or malathion-NOT using) you can go out when there is the least chance of bee activity, evening, and carefully spray insects directly, being extremely careful not to spray on blossoms. You may need a helper for this. Give your plants a good squirt of water with the hose at the base, bugs will scatter, spray them directly, they will die soon. If it makes you feel better, you can rinse plants a bit, again being careful not to get pyrethrums on blossoms. Last year we were over run with squash bugs and cuke beetles. I have not yet seen SB's but have seen not only cuke beetles, but Mexican Beetles (look like orange lady bugs). I've been killing by hand so far. Also, I planted radishes in my 3 sisters boxes because garlic and onions don't do well with beans and peas, so far the bugs are having fun with my radishes, and staying away from my summer squash. I bought more radish seed yesterday and am going to try to keep some in those boxes all year. We don't eat radish, but we do have neighbors who do, and the goats love the leaves, so even if most of the radishes end up in the compost pile, feeding the goats and keeping the bugs off of my squash are worth the 50 cents a packet for radish seeds.
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Post  dizzygardener 4/25/2011, 9:21 am

FV,

If you are willing to be that careful then I suppose you can use them without killing off the bees, but most folks just aren't that careful. Bees aren't the only thing that Pyrethrums will kill. It is a broad spectrum pesticide. It will also kill many other non-targeted insects and, if introduced to a stream, many fish and other aquatic animals.

I'd still strongly advice against using it unless it is your absolute last resort then then I'd take the precautions you mentioned above.

For the cucumber beetle, studies have shown that Rotenone is just as effective as Pyrethrums and less toxic to beneficials and other wildlife (although it is not OMRI listed).

If you want a long read check this site out: http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/cucumberbeetle.html

Here are a couple pretenant paragraphs:

"The botanical pesticides sabadilla, rotenone or pyrethrum have moderate effectiveness in controlling cucumber beetles (Caldwell et al., 2005). Sabadilla is toxic to bugs and honey bees, and sabadilla should not be applied when bees are present. Pyrethrum is also toxic to all insects, including beneficial species. These botanical pesticides are also highly toxic to fish until degraded (King County Hazardous Waste Program, 1997).

One way to enhance the effectiveness of these materials while reducing overall management costs is to combine the materials with perimeter trap cropping so that sprays can be concentrated on the border. See the above section on trap cropping for more on this topic. Some growers use pyrethrum or rotenone in combination with the commercially available particle film barrier Surround WP Crop Protectant (Grubinger, 2001). Note that rotenone is currently not approved by the National Organic Program. "

Direct applications of Neem have been shown to be quite effective on squash bugs as have insect soaps.

Of course, folks are free to do as they please in their own gardens. I just hope that folks are willing to be as careful as you are FV.
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Post  clfraser 4/25/2011, 9:30 am

I treated my garden with Neem Oil over the weekend and had a few dead bees. I waited until the evening around 7pm. When I was about half way done spraying I noticed some bees flying around and one dead on a tomato plant. I am sure some others died. I was trying to be very cautious. I plan to spray again in 7 days and see if I can get my bug problems under control. I didn't think the Neem Oil would harm the bees though, but it does say on the packaging when I read the book that came with it, that it is harmful to bees, so I will have to be even more careful next time.
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Post  dizzygardener 4/25/2011, 9:33 am

CL You have to be careful not to spray the bees. The Neem will suffocate them just like the bad bugs. That's why they say to use it at night. You can also try diluting it a bit more. That should help.
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Post  FarmerValerie 4/25/2011, 10:02 am

I used Neem last year with great results for the Grasshoppers, not so much for everything else, but I recently found out it was a good year for squash bugs-bad for gardeners. Several lost their gardens to them in our area.

It can get tricky to "find the right time" to spray, when you have a life outside your garden. Dizzy is right, evening is best, and take a look around before spraying to see what is out and about. I personally don't have a problem taking a flash light and a helper out and spraying at dusk-thirty (not quite dark-thirty). Be careful to just spray vegetation, not blooms.

clfraser, I may have missed it, but what bugs are you dealing with?
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Post  clfraser 4/25/2011, 1:29 pm

I believe it is in another post where I talk about my pests problems. I know I have flea beetles per a few kind SFG forum members. I also have leaf miners and cucumber beetles. I have whatever is making my squash look like this
Organic Pest Control - Page 2 Img_2030

and my green beans look like this Organic Pest Control - Page 2 Img_2031

and this
Organic Pest Control - Page 2 Img_2032

and my pepper look like this? Where are all the leaves going? Not sure if that is a pest problem though.
Organic Pest Control - Page 2 Img_2033

and my peas look like this. (Maybe a nitrogen problem though with the peas, so I could use fish emulsion?)
Organic Pest Control - Page 2 Img_2034

I think I have a lot of pests. The flea beetles (if that's what they were, were hopping every where today while I was out. I was hoping the Neem Oil would help, but no such luck. Yet. I really want to stay organic, but I don't want all the money I put into the garden to go to waste either or my husband will not let this venture continue.

If anyone has suggestions on the pests bothering these plants or organic control for those pests (since this thread is about organic pest control) it would be greatly appreciated.
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Post  Barkie 4/25/2011, 9:01 pm

Flea beetles, apparently if you get a piece of bright yellow card and cover one side with grease, hold the greased side over the top of said pest, they hop up when you disturb them and they stick to the grease. Done.
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Post  clfraser 4/25/2011, 9:15 pm

Gonna try that one. Thanks Barkie!
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Post  camprn 4/25/2011, 9:42 pm

@Barkie wrote:Flea beetles, apparently if you get a piece of bright yellow card and cover one side with grease, hold the greased side over the top of said pest, they hop up when you disturb them and they stick to the grease. Done.
I hear Tanglefoot works better on the yellow cards Tanglefoot.
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Post  Barkie 4/26/2011, 9:26 am

@camprn wrote:
@Barkie wrote:Flea beetles, apparently if you get a piece of bright yellow card and cover one side with grease, hold the greased side over the top of said pest, they hop up when you disturb them and they stick to the grease. Done.
I hear Tanglefoot works better on the yellow cards Tanglefoot.

Looks like good stuff. I prefer any method that just gets the pests out of the picture and nothing else.
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Post  dizzygardener 4/26/2011, 9:28 am

I hear so many folks talking about Tanglefoot. I'm going to have to see about getting some.
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Post  camprn 4/26/2011, 4:28 pm

@dizzygardener wrote:I hear so many folks talking about Tanglefoot. I'm going to have to see about getting some.
Me too!!!!! Very Happy
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Post  bill_clancy 4/26/2011, 5:26 pm

"Sluggo" and Neem oil!
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Post  FarmerValerie 4/27/2011, 8:44 am

Did you start from seed? We still have pelnty of time for squash and beans, peas maybe wait until fall to try again. Looks more like a disease problem, but I may be way wrong. If you have seend I would try again for the beans and squash, but that's just me. Give it a bit of time. Hopefully you will get more input, also we have had crazy weather here in TX, hot, cold, rain, hot, rain, hot, wind, and more to come.
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Post  clfraser 4/27/2011, 2:27 pm

I did start from seed. I planted some more squash and beans, and I am hoping those don't succumb to whatever has taken down these plants. I have been taking off what appears to be affected leaves and the new leaves appear to be healthy. I am hoping maybe some will still be successful. If the new leaves start to look the same way I am going to pull them all up and start completely over. I may just end up planting a lot of okra if it gets to late to start again with my other plants. It looks as if some of my melon has started to turn brown around the edges as well (the leaves). I am wondering if something in my soil is bad, but I used 7 sources of compost, the peat, and the vermiculite. Not sure what would be the issue.

The weather has definitely been crazy. I pulled off some green tomatoes that apparently were frozen in the growing cycle and now the plants have started to blossom again. I am wondering if a few weeks back when it got about 50 at night if they were shocked or something because it had been so warm. Just guessing.
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