Orange Invaders

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    Hi, this year my outside swan plants grew really well but have been invaded with these little orange bugs everwhere on leaves and branches tried the squash trick but really this was never going to work as they just doubled in bulk the next day, tooooo many now, even tried the hose when I was sure no baby caterpillers where around that did not help at all. Is there any way one can prevent this happening next year. Never had them before either. Hope just a one off season for these nasties. They have not done the plants and good either as they most probably suck the goodness out.

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    Just found this from an old discussion after a Special General Meeting:

    “Tomatoes should not be grown near milkweed. The close proximity encourages whitefly.”

    “A good aphid spray is made from crushed aphids steeped in hot water and cooled. It should be a light yellow in colour.”



    If you plan to use washing machine water to irrigate, you need to beware that detergents and other laundry products use a variety of chemicals to aid in cleaning. Some of these ingredients can be harmful to your plants. Consider the following product characteristics when planning your overall greywater system and how you will use the greywater you generate.

    Alkalinity/Acidity – refers to the relative pH of soil. Lowering the pH of the soil to make it less alkaline is generally desirable and beneficial to your plants.

    Boron – considered a plant micro nutrient, required in only very, very small amounts. Most soils provide adequate amounts of this chemical. Concentrations only slightly higher than those considered beneficial can cause injury or death to plants.

    Nitrogen – a very necessary nutrient for plant growth. It is extremely beneficial as a supplement to your landscape plants.

    Phosphorous – a necessary plant nutrient, which is very beneficial to your landscape plants.

    Potassium – a plant nutrient which is, in general, beneficial, though not as necessary in our soils as in more acidic soils

    Sodium – can act as a plant poison by reducing the plant’s ability to take up water from the soil. It can build up in the soil gradually increasing its toxicity.

    Chlorine – undesirable for plants in large amounts, though found in small amounts in many municipal water supplies. Bleaches and detergents carry larger amounts of chlorine, but it is generally expended in the washing process. Minimizing its contact with your garden is an important goal.

    Generally, liquid laundry detergents, liquid hand soaps and shower gels contain less salt, so are more suitable to use with a greywater recycling system.



    I had always thought that detergent was bad for the soil and that you should use soapy water



    Previously I had assumed aphids drowned in the spray, and had concerns that the caterpillars would do the same. But recently I read somewhere that aphids have a waxy skin and the soap or detergent removes the wax, leaving them to dehydrate. This would not affect caterpillars in the same way.



    Thanks for the help,I did not want to spray the detergent because I presumed it would affect the cats,but now you have enlightened me, I will give it a go tomorrow,



    Yes, everything you’re unsure about is correct, i.e. they are absolutely foolproof, Misty. They don’t sting. They don’t affect Monarch caterpillars. They control aphids and that’s it.



    The digital control method was getting too much + no ladybirds so I contacted Bioforce who have Aphidius (miniature wasps)available at $10 per 100 + p+p. I was assured that they are aphid predators only and Monarch caterpillars are quite safe. Neither do they sting. However I have been too nervous to order them yet. Any one tried them?



    Hi Bruce,

    Good to see you back on the forum again.
    I know how you feel we’ve had to battle the orange blitters here also.
    The big plus is we have loads of ladybirds everywhere. The most I have seen in a long time.




    Awful season for aphids been loving the heat – I’ve had a massive battle keeping them off my 2000 garden centre plants – make me very angry – on your garden plants use a spray bottle eg mt window cleaner bottle – mix detergent with water (stronger than u’d wash yr dishes in) – spray up n down yr branches/leaves totally saturating yr aphids – within a day or two they b black/dead – mop up pockets u missed over following days – if they yellow they still alive & u missed them prev. Inspect yr branch tips reg & get onto them before they multiply – they give birth to live young so explode in nos – they very annoying – make u happy the dead black bodies – as an experiment I’ve tried saturating the cats too – they no die – can even walk on the slippery branches unaffected – u can even clean up badly infested plants with a little persistence – very satisfying……



    Brian, ladybird (or certainly their larva) feed hungrily on aphids.
    I used to think the ladybird larva where ugly things that I wanted to get rid of – until I found out how much they like aphids.
    Now I move them around my plants to help control the aphids.

    If you check on the righthand side of the page >>>>>
    under “Hot Tags” you will find lots of information about aphids and wasps.



    I also have had a mass attack from these lil greebies.
    I have Washed the plant several times with the hose, but it only lasts a day before they return.
    I have individually washed each branch and leaf as they leave a horrible black residue on the plant.
    The plant is strong,two seasons now,and over a metre tall,so I do not want to lose it.
    All the catipillars I have introduced to the plant have dissappeared,I do not know if it is these orange things or paper wasps.How do I keep these wasps away as well??
    I have many monarchs laying eggs but nothing seems to eventuate?
    any help much appreciated.


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