Pest Notes

Print this entry

Animal repellent for possums, rabbits and hares from the TreeCropper Magazine in NZ: Recommended by Eric Appleton from Appletons Tree Nursery.

Mix 5 eggs, 600ml water and 150ml acrylic paint. Spray it on your plants – very good for seedlings

Anti-Possum Fence
In a recent edition of the excellent West Australian publication Quandong Magazine Vol 32 No. 1, it has information from New Zealand on how the Coastal Otago Branch of the New Zealand Tree Crop Association control their possum problem in their conservation apple orchard at Volco Park north of Dunedin. The entire area was fenced first before plantings went in and since then “hot wires” were added to exclude grazing stock.  The photo shows fence posts about 3 mtrs apart and the key to this type of fence is that the lower part attached to the fence is rigid and the top part which extends above the fence posts about 2 mtrs is quite floppy with an overhang away from the orchard. Nearby vegetation is cleared well back.  Tall posts are attached at every 6th fence post to attach the upper part of the wire.

Ants   Wrap the trunk with duct tape – sticky side to the outside. (Make sure to go around just once and don’t overlap so the trunk can continue to grow.) On top of the tape you use a sticky resin. There is a product called Tanglefoot. It is a natural very stick resin. The ants will not cross that. You have to reapply every 3-6 months, depending on conditions. You would not want pesticide or diesel to contact the trunk as it could damage the tree. Even the Tanglefoot can damage the trunk if you put it straight on. You can also spray the ants with diluted dishwashing soap. That kills them. Some ants don’t like cinnamon and won’t cross a line of cinnamon. Ref:  Oscar, Hawaii

Ants    Todd in Guatemala has been using several different techniques due to the resources that they have on hand: 1.  Use an old 2 litre plastic soda bottle as a collar. Cutting the top and bottom off, make a vertical cut to put around the tree. Bury the collar a few inches in the ground. The ants can’t climb the plastic. 2.  The manure from another nest spread around your nest will make them leave. (Similar to all the male dogs peeing on the same post!) 3.  If there is a lot of water, domestic or rain water, flood their home. I dug a 6 inch ditch to canal to rain run off to flood their home/nest. After 3 days they abandoned their nest. 4.  The old timers say to put a banana plant on their nest. They don’t like the humidity of the banana roots.    

Bryan Brunner says that they have lots of biting ants in Puerto Rico and every country person knows that if you wear rubber (plastic?) boots, the ants won’t climb up them to bite you!!!  

Luc in Mexico uses a black plastic bag and ties one end around the base of the tree to protect and folds the whole thing down – has been working successfully for the past 6 months to stop ants climbing up.

Ants: Collect citrus bugs, put them into a jug of hot water then pour the brew down ant mounds or where you don’t want ants! 

Ants: Put small piles of corn meal around. They take it back to the nest and eat it but can’t digest it so it kills them.

Ant Deterent mixture:

500 gms polanta – cook like porridge; 1 cup golden syrup, mix with Fipronil or other ant deterrent like Crawly Cruncher and put around trunk of tree when fruit is on the tree. Put out once a month. Fipronil is very effective against insect pests, and may be used in doses of less than 0.5 grams of active ingredient per hectare. At these low concentrations it is not harmful to reptiles, birds or mammals (including humans). Fipronil does not dissolve in water so there is no danger of it threatening  water supply.

Diatomaceous earth is also said to act like a barrier if sprinkled around ant mounds. To ants it’s like crossing small pieces of glass and will encourage them to relocate mounds to a safer location.

In terms of a broadcast bait for ants, you can make you own by mixing 1 cup of sugar, 4 teaspoons of boric acid and 24 ounces of water in a glass jar. Close the jar tightly and shake the mixture thoroughly until all the crystals dissolve. Pour 1 cup of this mixture into a smaller jar filled partially with cotton balls. Screw the lid back on, seal around the lid with weatherproof tape and punch a few small holes in the centre of the lid.

General all-rounder for controlling pests: 1 dsp molasses, 1 tsp detergent, 500ml water

If you double the concentration of the molasses, you can use it as a possum repellent on your roses says Annette McFarlane …wonder if it works on fruit trees. The double concentration also works with nematodes.

Grubs on Cabbages  –  Try growing Wong Bok instead and sprinkle with a light dusting of fine salt when the heart first forms. Repeat every 2-4 weeks. Too much salt will burn the plant.

Insects love yellow so protect your citrus with netting, bag your fruit and hang fly traps in your trees.
Get a large 20 litre yellow bucket (white works too) fill it with 9 litres of water and they will fly into it. The versatile duct tape can also be used to get rid of white flys. Just staple the NON sticky side to a piece of Gyprock or similar material by opening up a stapler to a 180 degree angle and stapling it into the board. You can also use yellow sticky paper, whitefly/aphid traps. I use duct tape.  Tape the duct tape sticky side up.  You can accomplish this with a stapler into the wall. Masking tape also works with white flys, or try garlic/oliveoil/red pepper (red hot sauce works too)  Spiders are also natures sticky tape so get them to do your dirty work for you.   Tom Waters – www.

Possums  One of the ladies I met at the ABC Gardening Expo said that her mother had great success using garlic which she had segmented then threaded onto fishing wire and this had deterred possums from jumping onto the roof of their caravan.

Another new member brought along to the last meeting plastic spikes she had bought from Bunnings and apparently they had worked fairly well when she had wrapped a couple of them around her pawpaw tree.

Powdery Mildew Prior to spraying, the plant should have been watered for 2 days!

Mix 1 full teaspoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of mineral oil, half a teaspoon of dishwashing soap or insecticidal soap, 4 litres of water.

Milk Spray Recipe for Mildew: 12 cups full cream milk to 1 cup water. You could add 1tsp bi-carb also to it.

Steel wool can be loosely placed around the circumference of tree trunks to help prevent ants from walking up into the tree’s canopy.

Sterilize your tools:   Dip them in 1 part household bleach : 5 parts tap water. Then dip immediately into 1 part vinegar, 5 parts water and ¼ part salad oil.

Stink Bugs in Citrus:  Soap sprays or Pest Oil will treat nymph-stage stink bugs in winter. Dissolve 10gm of soap flakes in one litre of warm water but do not spray on hot days or foliage may burn. However, by the time stink bugs turn orange or bronze, they are hard to kill. Knock them into a bucket of hot water or use an old vacuum cleaner to such them up. Wear eye protection as they squirt caustic fluid.

White Ants:  One cup of Phenyl in a bucket of water and pour over infected tree.

White Louse Scale  Only use Lime Sulphur on deciduous trees when they are dormant and when there are no leaves on the tree.