(Pest control) Worm tea

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Phone quality picture of my worm tea in the making

After having sprayed commercial pesticide on my plants, I was rather annoyed at myself for having done so.

I can’t really remember what triggered me spending the whole of yesterday trying to Google up information, but the gist of the story is that someone had once told me that worm tea, used as a foliar spray on plants, repelled pests. Since, after having fertilizing my plants with worm poo often and seeing a marked decrease in pests, I thought that the tea idea was interesting and definitely possible.

Googling simply brought up hundreds of sites all claiming the same fact – worm tea repels pests. Why? None of them said why. How? The answer still eludes me.

Whatever the case, I’ve made my own batch of worm tea to try. I used the old and dirtied pantyhose I’d pulled over the lid of my worm bin (have replaced it with a Daiso wash bag which is more durable), tied a knot over one opening, filled it up a bit, and then tied another knot to seal the casting inside. I filled a container with de-chlorinated water (I have a filter on my taps), dumped the worm-cast-filled stocking in, and added a tablespoon of raw (muscovado) sugar to feed the beneficial bacteria.

I shall harvest the tea tomorrow and spray on all my plants. Hopefully, within a few days, I won’t see any white flies at all.

(Pest control) Synthetic pesticide

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I’m not a fan of using chemical stuff on my plants most of the time. I like the organic way, because a lot of the methods I use reuse things which would otherwise be treated as mere waste.

But, there are some times when the delicate balance between healthy plants and a minimal amount of pests gets tipped over.

After converting to using worm poo to feed my plants frequently, the presence of pests infesting my plants has severely nosedived. The only pests I find are the random scale insects, and, as I found out yesterday, three or four of the lowest leaves of my raspberry baby plant having about 10 spider mites each or so.

I recently took a few pots of plants back from a friend’s place. I didn’t know that the plants had white flies, and that my friend had tried fighting them off to little avail.

When this kind of thing happens, through no fault of his/her/my own, the balance in my own garden gets tipped. I’ve had enough of experiences fighting off infestations of pests – it gets tiring more than quickly.

So, I turn from using things like garbage enzyme, to using a pesticide my dad bought in 2006. I have no idea of the compounds, but it’s so strong that five years after buying it, he/I/we haven’t finished using it even. The dilution rate must be very high, to prevent leaf burn and plant death.

I haven’t touched chemical pesticide for well over two years. It infuriates me that I have to resort to it now, but I really need to control the darn white fly infestation before it gets severely out of hand.

Ah well. As long as I remember not to consume anything within two weeks to a month of spraying this.

(Pest control) Updates on 1-step ant poison

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After quite some months of using the 1-step ant poison, I have this to say: ants these days are getting more intelligent. Heh.

I don’t think it’s purely the fault of the poison for not working. What I believe is that the ants either adapt to the poison so quickly, or else they quickly learn to scent out and detect the poison, that usually after a week or so, they avoid the poisoned liquid.

I’ve tried the 1-step one on ants in the garden and ants in my kitchen, and both sets (different nests, I guess?) avoid the liquid.

However, I’ve also bought other ant poisons in the meantime (Horti ant-dust or something; and another ant lures/traps from Giant supermart) and none of them have worked.

We need stupider ants, or more intelligent traps.

(Video) Typical home-made remedies for fungus and pests

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(With thanks to feather123 on GCS for posting the link up)

(Pest control) 1-step ant poison

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I refer to this post I’d written not too long ago, on using a newly-bought liquid ant killer.

Over the past week of daily   application along my house all the way to the other end of my neighbor’s house, I have seen a gradual decline of ants along their usual trail.

The day after I’d applied the ant poison outside one of my neighbor’s house, my neighbor approached my dad to tell him what I did (I asked for his permission first), said that the ants IN his house had vanished, and asked if I could buy a set for him.

I suppose this 1-step ant killer does work.

Their ant poison can be found here.

(Pest control) Mealy bugs

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Just a note to everyone regarding killing mealy bugs with whatever kind of spray: use a high-pressure spray and make sure the white protective coating of the mealies are blasted off when you spray, so that whatever chemicals you use have all the more effect in eradicating them.


Credit: Sarracenia.com

(Pest control) Ants

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With the pelleted ant poison not working (yeah, I sat there for half an hour observing the ants and their behavior, and only less than 1% of the total ant trail population would pick up the pelleted poison), I was forced to consider other chemical alternatives.

I chanced upon liquid poison at a homefix (I think) store in a local mall yesterday, and bought the pack of poison for $5.90.

I’d applied the liquid at various points along the extremely long ant trail (I live in a corner unit in a block which is built in an L-shape, and the trail went all the way to the other end of the ‘L’), and over one hour, I saw hundreds of ants congregate at the liquid poison points.

It will probably take a few days to a week to check on the effectiveness of the poison, after which I will update once more.

(Pest control) Ants

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It seems that ants these days have grown accustomed to ant poison in pellet form, and largely avoid them.

Seeing ants congregate and climbing up and down my vitex trifolia plant which seems to be constantly infected with scales (although daily spraying of garbage enzyme helps A LOT to keep their numbers down) drives me a bit nutty since ants farm scales for their sweet nectarish secretions. Good for the ants, bad for my plant. So, it’s them which has to go, both ants and scales.

I found the whole ant trail this morning, and as a first round of attack, I sprayed home-made white oil on all of them. The white oil consists of about 30ml water, one teaspoon of cooking oil, and one squirt of dishwashing liquid. Unfortunately (in the past at least), these ratios are too strong for plants’ leaves, so one has to make sure that the plant has been watered beforehand, or you don’t spray on the leaves directly at all.

I made sure all the ants on the trail were dead. I must have killed hundreds of them. If I continue doing that every day, I expect to see larger and larger ants coming out each day, which mean that the nest’s worker ants has diminished and they’re sending out soldier ants now.

I’ve tried the corn meal method, but I cannot be sure it works since 1) I can’t see the ants when they take the corn meal back to their nest and I’m not sure if they really do explode; 2) my packet or corn meal got infested by some weevil things.

However, I will be dunking the whole pot of my vitex trifolia in warm water soon to kill the ants which have made a nest in it. And couple it up with a two-pronged attack by spraying more white oil or white vinegar on any other ants I see.


Credit: Google Images

WikiHow contains some amusing techniques to kill ants without using pesticides

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