I discovered this past year that a combination of rubbing alcohol and pure mint acrylic keeps these pests at bay. I mixed 2 oz of pure mint (in the health food shop ) with 14 ounces of rubbing alcohol. I was using this to spray for wasps, but found once I rubbed it , that all other biting insects stayed away also. It works well for me.
The alcohol evaporates to nothing and the mint stays. Boost the formula to 25% mint and this kills off wasps in the bird house, there nest and drops them just like a stone. My research proves that mint is a toxin for bees and wasps.
The alcohol evaporates and leaves no trace for man nor animal. Cider vinegar functions for this as well. Use mints when you’re on a picnic to keep the wasps and yellow jackets away.
A drop or 2 of pure mint helps keep the bees away from hummer feeders and again, it wont damage the hummers. Pure mint is strong stuff, so be careful with it.
Most of you’ve noticed aphids on your plants at one time or another. All these small soft bodied, green to yellowish to black, insects normally arrive in colonies of 10 or more and appear on new leaf and bud development.
1 thing you could be sure of is that there’s a sort of aphid capable of feeding every plant you’ve got. Aphids have the advantage of bearing live young, which can be infrequent in the insect world. This lets them reproduce very quickly.
Some aphids become pregnant with no help and can stay pregnant through hibernation. This allows them to flourish and people can develop almost like magic. Luckily there are natural enemies for aphids.
These predators are so effective, that under ordinary conditions we might not see aphids in any way. As soon as we see aphid issues on plants, it is usually because an insecticide was applied for some other pestinfestation. This induces a secondary outbreak in aphids months or weeks afterwards. Long-term direction for aphids is simple.
Avoid using broad spectrum insecticides such as pyrethroids, carbomates or even organicphosphate insecticides. This allows natural enemies to reunite and keep the insects under control. Restoring the natural order of things may take a year or two longer, but is well worth it to get our houses and surroundings. General insecticides can not ascertain what’s good or bad. They kill off pollinators, butterflies and their larvae and other beneficial insects.
Pesticides get on and in our birds. Without insects, some birds will go elsewhere to feed. Plants and insects have lived together since the start and will continue to do so if we do not mess up things.
Does it really matter if you’ve got a hole on your plant leafs? Some controllers for aphids can be pinching the leafs together, A shooter with the hose may wash off them. Safe insect bites are on the market or make your own.
“Nature” had things in control, lets make sure it continues. Yes, I understand. In some cases insecticides are required. Invasions of locust or another pests need help. With non native invasive insects such as Japanese beetles and Emerald Ash Borer, we need help to combat them. But, these are instances where there isn’t a natural enemy and they’re taking over.
There’s a time and there’s foolishness. There are insect free lawns, but these lawns lack other wildlife. Me,…
I want my birds, birds, dragonflies and toads. The wildlife is my display piece.
I enjoy the robins, cardinals, wrens and other insect eating birds.
I like to watch the butterflies. When I encounter a toad, I know I am doing something right.
I believe we want them as much if not more than they need us in many cases. Native plants may endure hardships better than non natives.
Where is my orange crate?