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General Soap Spray
(will control aphids, two spotted mites, soft scale, whiteflies, thrips and mealy bugs)
Combine 2 teaspoons of pure soap flakes or grated pure soap with 1L of warm water. Shake well and allow to cool before use.
White Oil Spray
(will control scale, whiteflies, thrips and mealy bugs)
Mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid detergent with 1 cup of cooking oil. Add 1 to 21/2 teaspoons of this solution to 1 cup of water. Spray onto plants every 10 days while infestation occurs.
(a wide range of insect pests, eg: aphids, caterillars, stink bugs, grasshoppers etc. and is an effective fungicide.) Roughly chop 10 cloves of garlic and cover with 1L of warm water. Leave to infuse overnight, strain and use within a few days.
(will help prevent black spot and mildew)
Disolve 1 rounded tablespoon of baking soda in 41/2 litres of water. Add 21/2 tablespoons of white oil (to help the mix stick to leaves) agitate. Spray weekly, ensuring good coverage of foliage.
Another good treatment for powdery mildew is 1 part milk (full cream is best) and 9 parts water, mixed together and sprayed all over the leaf (don't forget the underside).
These treatments change the pH of the leaf surface, making it less suitable for these fungal diseases to take hold.
Snails & Slugs
Make your own snail traps using beer! Use a saucer or a cut down old plastic container (eg. Margarine) dug into the soil slightly so snails can access it. Use an upturned pot or similar, angled to allow entry. This serves to protect the beer from rain or reticulation. (See our archived newsletter article for more ideas on controlling snails & slugs.)
Difficult to control organically, the rate of strike can be drastically reduced by using baits and good housekeeping. Never allow fallen fruit to remain under the tree. Any affected fruit should be sealed in a plastic bag and left in the sun, or placed in a bucket with hot water and left to steep. Both methods need a few days to be effective. Recipe for baits: 50gm sugar per litre of water. Heat to disolve. When tepid, add a pinch of dry yeast. Use three baits per tree. (Make bait jars from old plastic cool drink bottles.) Replace baits fortnightly.
(See our separate fact sheet on fruit fly control.)
Insect netting (sold at Green Life) and exclusion bags are highly recommended.
Ants making nests in paving or areas around the house can be discouraged by pouring boiling water into the nest. Doing this a few times will encourage them to move elsewhere. A sprinkling of talcum powder on window sills will discourage ants from entering – they won’t cross it.
Wiping down surfaces where they walk with a strong substance like peppermint or eucalyptus oil is also helpful - they don't like it.
Roll up newspapers and secure with rubber bands. Soak in a bucket to wet thoroughly. Scatter the rolls throughout the garden and collect early in the morning to destroy the slaters which have gathered overnight. Doing this regularly will decrease the population noticably.
(See our archived newsletter article for more ideas on controlling slaters.)
Another product to consider for pest control is our Diatomaceous Earth (DE).
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