Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Pests Encouraged by Warmer Weather; Unseasonal Temperatures Increases Pest Problems

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Pests Encouraged by Warmer Weather; Unseasonal Temperatures Increases Pest Problems

Article excerpt

Byline: THE GARDEN BECKONS wellsleyhorticultural@gmail.com

NOW that the weather appears to be starting its cooling cycle towards winter, many gardeners may be of the opinion that, as their lawns, shrubs and trees start to slow their growth, then possibly the numbers of garden pests will fall as well. That may be true for the warm weather-loving nasties of the subtropics, such as fruit fly, but many others are either having a last hurrah and attacking on all fronts, or just waking from their slumber and planning their assault on our favourite trees, turf grasses, shrubs, fruit trees and vegies.

1. It's no doubt that sap-sucking insects are definitely more numerous this autumn. My theory is that the recent extended spell of warmer weather has helped them continue their life-cycles (or sneak in an extra one!). This is the first year I've seen a concerted attack on my 'Sublime' tree by mealy bugs, with the little blighters lodging between bunched fruit and overlapping leaves. A couple of late afternoon sprays of an organic oil or a natural soap product will sort them out, without affecting bees and other beneficial insects.

2. Not all aphids are warm weather lovers! These grey cabbage aphids were discovered on some early-planted broccoli plants, and whilst they weren't in plague proportions, a few days would have seen their population explode! They like temperatures around 20-25[degrees] C, so autumn and spring are their favourite seasons. They, too, can be controlled using soap or oil-based sprays, or simply hose them off with a strong jet of water. Lacewings and ladybirds are their natural enemies.

3. Disgusting eh? The nymph of the sap-sucking spittlebug envelops itself with a foamy mass, said to reduce dehydration and to provide protection from predators. Common on many Australian native plants such as melaleucas and grevilleas, they don't seem to do much harm unless in large numbers. A strong jet of water will dislodge and discourage them

4. Most ladybird beetles are to be encouraged in our gardens, as many are predators of soft-bodied sap suckers such as aphids. Not this one! …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.