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Old 06-15-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
As Harry wrote, use garlic. This is the recipe I was told: garlic, onion, hot pepper, water - put it in the blender (raw). Let it sit for a while; strain it; then use it as a spray. I got another recipe: take some of the leaves with bugs on them and put that in the blender with some water. Strain the water and use that as repellent. The bugs have to be live. They will give off pheromones that communicate fear, danger, etc. to other bugs.
interesting stuff about the pheromones tax,never thought of that.saw a programme recently about plants communicating.apparently all plants produce toxins,on demand,to ward off animals that feed on them.the scientists cut some leaves off a plant & and some plants of the same species isolated in a tank in another part of the lab started to produce defence toxins.same principle for bugs i guess
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:23 AM   #12
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Rolly-pollies, or pillbugs, or sowbugs generally are not a plant pest--they are scavengers and eat decaying stuff. Sowbugs and Pillbugs | University of Kentucky Entomology

Earwigs can be a problem--they do sometimes harm garden plants. Insect Note template

Both of those critters like damp spots--your lettuce bed is probably just perfect for them. I am one of those organic type people, so I am more of a live and let live girl. If you are getting enough lettuce to eat, don't worry about them.

If they are really eating enough to matter, try thinning your greens to allow more air between plants, to dry out the surface of the soil a little.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I got another recipe: take some of the leaves with bugs on them and put that in the blender with some water. Strain the water and use that as repellent. The bugs have to be live. They will give off pheromones that communicate fear, danger, etc. to other bugs.
There's something humorous and Far Side cartoon like about putting them in the blender live, like one bug saying to another, "We're fine Joe, nothing to worry about, stay cool." "Wait...OMG!!!!"
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:13 AM   #14
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There's something humorous and Far Side cartoon like about putting them in the blender live, like one bug saying to another, "We're fine Joe, nothing to worry about, stay cool." "Wait...OMG!!!!"
or the two deer leaning up against a tree in the forest during hunting season.one has a birthmark on his chest in the shape of a target.the other deer looks at it and says "bummer hal......"!
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:27 AM   #15
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There's something humorous and Far Side cartoon like about putting them in the blender live, like one bug saying to another, "We're fine Joe, nothing to worry about, stay cool." "Wait...OMG!!!!"
I used to work for the entomology department of the Bishop Museum (Honolulu) and the "bug guys" used to LOVE Far Side cartoons! Working for bug guys was one of my more interesting jobs.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:28 AM   #16
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I think the best way to find out what is happening in your local area is to talk to someone at the local cooperative extension service or a good plant nursery with a well-trained staff. Here's a link to the Illinois Extension Service.
I must be brain-lame not to have thought of this. I think the local office is in Elizabeth and they are only open a day or two a week, but I'll call them and ask.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:38 AM   #17
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Rolly-pollies, or pillbugs, or sowbugs generally are not a plant pest--they are scavengers and eat decaying stuff. Sowbugs and Pillbugs | University of Kentucky Entomology

Earwigs can be a problem--they do sometimes harm garden plants. Insect Note template

Both of those critters like damp spots--your lettuce bed is probably just perfect for them. I am one of those organic type people, so I am more of a live and let live girl. If you are getting enough lettuce to eat, don't worry about them.

If they are really eating enough to matter, try thinning your greens to allow more air between plants, to dry out the surface of the soil a little.
I didn't know which of the two bugs was the problem, but should have guessed the earwigs because some years when I wash the lettuce I get a sink-full.

Part of my problem is that my lettuce bed is on top of an old cistern (hence the source of constant humidity under the bricks that cap it; the bugs actually live down there and just come up to feast on my lettuce). It's only about 3'X4', so planting enough for both us and the bugs? Not gonna happen. Otherwise that area is just dead space in my garden --- it's only 3" of soil and most years perfect for my greens garden, especially since it's right outside my kitchen door. Right now I'm in between crops (did get a great crop of romaine and one of spinach already), and am looking to treat the soil to try a crop of mixed baby lettuce, which will be vulnerable. After that the tomatoes in the next bed will take over the lettuce bed, and it will be too hot for lettuce anyway.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:14 AM   #18
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As a kid I remember in the kitchen garden there were alternate plants of marigolds , onions, and other plants set randomly to discourage the bugs. At that time smoking was considered cool. All cig buts were saved and dropped in a large bucket outside in water. It was so nasty looking and disgusting. Every so often it got emptied and strained. The wet tobacco and paper was placed in the compost pile. Eventually it ended up in the dirt. It was used to water the dirt around the plants. The bugs do not like nicotine. It is a poison for them. They also do not like plants that give off an offensive odor like marigolds. I know there are more flowers like marigolds, but for the life of me I can't think of them right now. (Senior moment) I don't remember there ever being an off taste. But now I can't help wondering if some of that nicotine that was in the dirt was getting into the veggies in the garden. I don't remember if some of the nicotine water went into the compost pile out by the pig pen. I know the compost pile was filled with worms. I would think the nicotine water would have killed them.

I guess we were ahead of our time with planting and growing naturally without chemicals.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:18 AM   #19
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OK, now I'm getting paranoid. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. I woke at 4 (lifelong insomniac) and decided to start marinating some chicken wings to put on the barbeque this evening. Looked over, and one wall was full of flying ants. At least I hope that's what they were. Dozens of them. All on just one 2' section of kitchen wall above the counter and below the cupboards. Removed all food related items (I had a couple of clean pans and food packages there for a project I'm doing later this morning, and my food processor, also clean) and sprayed the area (unlike when I'm growing food, I'm ruthless with killing indoor pests). Went back and washed up the remains. Now there are a dozen more. In the throes of death because I used an insecticide that puts down a barrier for future infestations (I'll scrub the entire area with soap & water, and bleach, and rinse before cooking there).

Where did they come from?
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:21 AM   #20
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As a kid I remember in the kitchen garden there were alternate plants of marigolds , onions, and other plants set randomly to discourage the bugs. At that time smoking was considered cool. All cig buts were saved and dropped in a large bucket outside in water. It was so nasty looking and disgusting. Every so often it got emptied and strained. The wet tobacco and paper was placed in the compost pile. Eventually it ended up in the dirt. It was used to water the dirt around the plants. The bugs do not like nicotine. It is a poison for them. They also do not like plants that give off an offensive odor like marigolds. I know there are more flowers like marigolds, but for the life of me I can't think of them right now. (Senior moment) I don't remember there ever being an off taste. But now I can't help wondering if some of that nicotine that was in the dirt was getting into the veggies in the garden. I don't remember if some of the nicotine water went into the compost pile out by the pig pen. I know the compost pile was filled with worms. I would think the nicotine water would have killed them.

I guess we were ahead of our time with planting and growing naturally without chemicals.
One of the others is nasturtiums. I haven't been able to find seeds this year. Anyway, the earwigs and cutworms seem to find the marigolds (my husband's favorite flower) just delicious.
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