It’s been a rather crazy week, well really when isn’t it crazy around here? The weather is back to raining yet again, cold and windy here lately making it once again difficult to get outside to tend to the garden. When it does stop , the very brief and rare moment I hop outside and get things done. As I was going through my strawberry plants the other day I found tons of unwanted bugs.
Since the weather keeps the natural warriors away from my garden (ants, bees, other critters that eat these bugs) I need to get rid of them myself.
A simply solution that you can whip up within seconds is soap and water. Simply take your everyday liquid soap you use with dishes (not dishwasher liquid) Soap like Dawn, or your store brand liquid soap would do. Put a little in a water bottle and fill with water. Shake it up and your ready to go. Now you can use this solution on most plants, but not any melons. Use it right up to harvesting even your vegetables just be careful to keep the spray away form your flowering buds i.e. your squash flowers, or anything else that needs to attract pollinators. You can use it on stems, underneath leaves where most bugs thrive. If gone unnoticed or untreated, these bugs can destroy the entire plant.
White flies are the most difficult to get rid of, this solution keeps the numbers down the best. If the plant is truly infested, this would mean a good few inches of a stem and or leaf is covered in bug larva you need to snip it and toss it. Once a leaf starts wilted and you find bugs underneath do the same, before it effects the rest of the plant. Check underneath all the leaves of the plant making sure you haven’t missed any.
Simply spray the underneath of the infested leaves and the bugs will die, but do not over spray the plant. Go back to it the next day and swipe the dead bugs away with a cloth sprayed with the soap solution. By cleaning the stems and leaves lightly with the solution you are going to be protecting from any infestation again. I find this works really well, most bugs don’t like the soap. This is an easy inexpensive way to keep pests down while not harming your plants.