Growing Made Easy Spring18 Spring 2018 - Page 11

Leafhopper You’ll certainly know it’s leafhopper when you have it; clouds of tiny, leaping insects will swirl around you as you pass by plants, disturbing them. These little leaf suckers are common pests of grape and virginia creeper vines, speckling leaves with a silvery haze as they feed. Control begins in the dormant season (in fall after leaf drop or early spring before leafing out), when bare vines are sprayed with horticultural oil to smother overwintering pests. Once plants leaf out, knocking leafhoppers down with frequents sprays of water can keep numbers down, but chemical control may be required. Effective insecticides include Doktor Doom House and Garden or Ambush insecticide (suitable for edible grapes). Lily Beetle This recently arrived pest is causing heavy damage to garden lilies. Adults and larvae chew holes into leaves and flower buds at a fast rate, devouring entire plants. Inspect the underside of leaves for bright orange eggs and crush by hand. Hand-pick adults and larvae off plants and drop into a bucket of soapy water to prevent escape. Dust Diatomaceous Earth directly on the plants and beetles. This silica-based material will control beetles by causing them to dry out. Residual insecticides such as Doktor Doom House and Garden will also provide control; spray on upper and lower leaf surfaces. Slugs These sneaky pests hide in dark moist places during the day, then devour plants at night. For cultural control, keep garden beds weed free, rough up soil often beneath leaves and hand pick slugs in the early morning or at dusk. Place traps filled with stale beer amongst plants, slugs crawl in and drown. Bait can be spread amongst plants (don’t forget under foliage mounds), Safer's Slug and Snail Bait (iron based, safe for pets) is also an effective control. Natural deterrents include Diatomaceous Earth dusted on plants or crushed eggshells/sawdust spread around and beneath plants.