Friday, June 18, 2010

ladybird love

The Organic Solution
In doing my research on my aphid farming ant problem in the garden, I read about many, many organic solutions. To name a few:

1. Squishing the aphids with your fingers.
2. Diluted oil/dish soap spray
3. Ladybugs or The Cute Pesticide
4. Neem oil (also recommended for the cockroaches we urbanites are familiar with)
6. Insecticidal soap

To elaborate. 

I'm all for trying to squish the aphids but there are a lot! I used to love the snails and caterpillars in my yard, still do, just stay off the vegetables! There are a billion other green things to feast on in the urban garden! Now, I pick anything I see off the leaves, be it baby caterpillar or little tiny slug things. I will toss you snail.

I don't think introducing thousands of ladybugs is the right choice for my garden. Once the lady bugs eat the aphids, then what? Where will they go, what will they eat? I just picture hundreds of out-of-work lady bugs on the street corners of Crown Heights begging for food.
Pest control sprays, even organic remedies, have the potential to kill beneficial insects as well as the harmful, annoying insects. Use homemade remedies selectively and do your research. Apply early in the morning or just before dark. Re-apply after a rain. Be careful that it's not going to harm your plant (ie. garlic oil remedies seem harsh and not for me.)

[Image via Apartment Therapy via Tanakawho's Flickr with a Creative Commons License]

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