It's an ugly planet, a bug planet!
I This post was automatically imported from my old sandfly.net.nz blog. It may look a little weird since it was not originally written for this format. enjoy my garden; it is coming along well since I moved into my new house several months ago.
Would you like to know more? Recently though, some of the plants have been looking a little worse for wear. In particular, my poor raspberry was all droopy and limp, not its normal raspy self at all. Closer inspection revealed the full extent of the horror:
Passion Vine Hoppers!
Despite having an awesome name for a band, The Passion Vine Hopper can be a major annoyance. These 6 legged sap-sucking nasties inhibit plant growth, vampiricly draining the vital juices right out of the stem. Compounding their sins, they are Australian and displace native species, possibly by beating the locals at cricket.
Once identified, the mission becomes one of extermination. I turned to a botanist friend of mine for help and she suggested organic mixture made up of chillis and garlic. Taking her advice I mixed up 2 letres of boiling water with a large amount of dried chilli and garlic then sprayed the result on the affected plants.
"My God. How could this happen?"
"We thought we were smarter than the bugs." following lists sum up the pros and cons of using this approach:
- organic and non-toxic (although a little hard on the eyes)
- easy to make with ingredients found around the home
- Does damn all against Passion Vine Hoppers
Time for something a little stronger: Pyrethrin (would you like to know more?). This is a natural insecticide, derived from plants. Unlike the chilli, it has an immediate effect. The Passion Vine Hoppers are gone almost immediately.
I will check again in a couple of days and respray in a week but I think I have found the answer. Pyrethrin is apparently also effective against white butterfly caterpillars, which as you can see I have a small problem with.
Now, if I could find something to get rid of the Oxalis (would you like to know more?) I would be a happy man.