Get the upper hand on Ants in your garden.

by Rincon-Vitova Insectary

Ants 

There are more than 12,400 species of ants throughout the world. In California, there are about 270 species, but fewer than a dozen are important pests. Ants interfere with biological control.  Honeydew-secreting pests, like aphids, supply sweet food to the ants. In turn, ants protect the pests from beneficial insects that try to eat them. Controlling ants is important when attempting to control these honeydew producing pests. Baiting is a low risk approach that interrupts ants’ interference. Once they have found an adequate food source, they create a pheromone trail, a chemically marked highway, to and from the ant nest. More bait stations are not necessarily the answer, but strategic placement is important. 

Identification 

Ants are close relatives of bees and wasps.  

Common wingless adult forms, known as workers.  

Winged forms, which leave the nest in large numbers in warm weather to mate and establish new colonies, are often mistaken for winged termites. 

Life Cycle 

A newly mated queen typically establishes a new colony.  

After weeks or months of confinement underground, she lays her first eggs.  

When the eggs hatch, she feeds the white, legless larvae with her own metabolized wing muscles and fat bodies.  

Several weeks after the larvae pupate; sterile female adult workers emerge and dig out of the nest to collect food.  

The queen continues to lay eggs. As colony numbers increase workers add new chambers and galleries to the nest.  

After a few years, the colony begins to produce winged male and female ants, which leave to mate and form new colonies. 

*Argentine ants differ – nests are shallow, extending just below the soil surface (dry conditions will nest deeper) 

Colonies aren’t separate but linked to form one large “super colony” with multiple queens.  

Newly mated queens dispersing to found new colonies are accompanied by workers 

Monitoring 

Regularly inspecting is an important part of an IPM program.  

Check near attractive food sources or moist areas and along pipes and electrical wires. 

Look for large trails of ants or for just a few stragglers. Stragglers are scouts randomly searching for food/ nesting sites. Try to follow trails to where ants are entering the building, and also to the nest if possible.  

Look indoors and outdoors for holes or cracks in foundations and walls that provide entry points to buildings. 

Cultural Practices 

It is unrealistic and impractical to attempt to totally eliminate ants from an outdoor area.  

Focus efforts on excluding ants from buildings or valuable plants and eliminating their food and water sources.  

In pots: Submerge pots (20+ minutes) in a solution of insecticidal soap and water: 1-2 tablespoons soap per quart of water.  

Submerge so the surface of the soil is just covered by the water-soap solution. 

Ants can be kept out of plants by banding trunks with pest glue such as Tanglefoot.  

Trim branches to keep them from touching structures or other plants so ants are forced to climb up the sticky trunk. 

Protect trunks by wrapping with heavy paper, duct tape, or fabric tree wrap and coating this with the sticky material.  

Check coating every 1-2 weeks for debris and dead ants, which will allow subsequent ants to cross. 

Mechanical Disruption and Exclusion: destroy ant mounds as much as possible with a shovel or pick. 

Auntie Fuego soil conditioner (orange oil, humic acid, molasses) also deters ants. 

Granular Ant Bait 

Dry granular ant baits are a discrete way of treating public access areas and may be used with liquid systems 

In low rainfall areas, be mindful of buildup of boron in the soil to avoid burning plants. 

Boric Acid Ant Bait Systems 

Boric Acid (borate or various forms of sodium borate) is a salt that is a low risk insecticide. It is considered non-toxic. 

Boris acid is less toxic to humans than table salt.  

In trace amounts, the boron in boric acid is a plant nutrient; high concentrations will cause a little salt burn in plants.  

Foraging ants take low concentration bait solution back to colony in repeated trips.  

The colony will weaken and possibly die. This may take 1 – 2 months.  

Higher concentrations of boric acid kill the ants before they can take the food back to the colony.  

The 0.5 – 1% concentration is more effective long term at reducing the colony. 

DIY: Use any container with 1/8 inch holes so ants can get in but bees and butterflies can’t. Put in twigs, or plastic “bridge” material so ants can access bait without drowning. 

Recipe: 1C Sugar / 2C Water / 2 teaspoons boric acid [1% boric acid in 25% syrup (by weight) developed by UC] 

Not interested in sweet bait? Try cups with a small amount of corn meal wet with vegetable oil, or peanut butter. 

For oily baits, try 10% boric acid by weight (or less if ants reject the bait/dead individuals are seen near bait). 

If ants are more attracted to any of these foods, change the bait in the bait stations to more attractive matieral.  

Placing of Liquid Dispensers 

For initial baiting try 2 – 8 liquid bait stations around a home or 4 – 16 per acre in a production setting.   

Structural baiting:  

-Always bait outside of residences  

-At least one station on each side of structure, (depending on size and number of different structure walls).  

-Key areas: by common corner where insects converge from more than one direction 

-Place by the A/C condenser water overflow outlet.  

-Water is always a primary attractant.  

-North-side: high shade & moist areas.  

-Do not put stations directly over nests 

-Do not use insecticides near nests   

Lawn, garden & rest of property:  

-For full property protection, place additional ant bait stations spaced around perimeter of lot.  

-Avoid locations where substantial water run-off will occur.  

-Placement Guideline around property:  

– Up to two acre lot size, use a min.    of 4 units  

– Greater than two acres, use 2 units for each added acre 

– Adjust as needed based on activity.  

Agricultural Acreage:  

-General: use 14 per acre or about 50 to 60 foot apart in a matrix. 

-Number of ant bait stations per acre depends on the targeted species (Argentine Ant, White-footed Ant, etc.); the degree of infestation; and the acreage involved and whether it is contiguous acreage.   

-If trying to manage Argentine ants, move stations to perimeter after no more activity is observed in interior of the block or property.  

-Argentine ants may forage as far as 75 to 200 feet. 

Check bait stations every few days for the first week of baiting. Refill bait stations as needed. 

If no bait is taken from bait station and no ants are seen around it, move the station to another location.  

Certified organic farms: bait cannot contact the soil. Use secure bait stations or place station on a tray to contain spills.  

Tips to Improve bait effectiveness 


Remove any particles of food, residues of sweet liquids, or other attractive material from ant-infested areas.  

Treatments in late winter and early spring when ant populations are just beginning to grow will be most effective.  

Ant preferences can change throughout the year; set out different formulations of various bait, giving ants a choice.  

Baits can dry up or become rancid and unattractive over time. 

If dead ants are seen inside bait stations, wash with plain water, refill and replace. 

Avoid using pesticides: Phenylpyrazoles (fipronil), Avermectin B (abamectin). hydramethylnon, 

Pyrethroids: (bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, fluvalinate, and permethrin) actually contact insecticides that rapidly kill foragers and don’t control the colony.  Carbamates (propoxur) or Oxadiazines (indoxacarb) aren’t very effective, because the active ingredient is too fast-acting. These materials are highly toxic to natural enemies and pollinators. 

Safer contact insecticide hard surfaces: Mix 4- 6 ounces orange oil per gallon with 2- 4 ounces liquid detergent or soap. Treat for ants around trees: Saturate soil around trunk, and look for where ants are coming from.  

Orange Guard is a ready-to-use orange oil spray. 

Where in the backyard are you going to put your cannabis garden?

by Alex Robles

  Warning: When you do anything cannabis related at home, please look up and read your local and state cannabis regulations.  This way you know what your rights and limitations are.

     The temperature is warming up, spring is coming.  If you’re anything like me, you’re not just daydreaming about what fruits and vegetables are going in our garden this year.  We’re also thinking about which cannabis veritals/strain we want to grow this year.  But before we put any cannabis seeds in the soil, let’s talk about some things we need to think about when we’re looking for the best place to locate our cannabis garden.  

  • I suggest to plant your cannabis plant in a 3-5 gal nursery pot or container.  This seem to be a good size for new growers because they’re easy to move around the garden if need be.     
  • Locate your garden in a natural breeze way of your yard.  The breeze is important for a couple of different reasons.  First, the breeze makes the plant sway or flex back and forth, which helps strengthen the plant.  Secondly, that breeze helps dry any moisture that may settle on the leaves (morning dew).  This is important because if moisture sits on the leaf surface too long, it could cause or attract fungus or mold.  
  • Cannabis plants LOVE direct sunlight so choose a nice sunny spot in your garden.  Be aware that most cannabis plants will need filtered sunlight if midday temps are higher than 85 degrees.  High temperatures can cause slow growth in some varieties of cannabis.  
  • Remember, even though cannabis is legal in your town, it’s still a high value plant. 

With security in mind, make sure your cannabis garden is not against a fence where strangers could walk by and easily steal your plant (i.e. hiking trail or alley). 

I hope these suggestions help you get a better idea of where to put your cannabis garden when you’re walking around your backyard. 

Grow Learn Teach

Knowing is half the battle when it comes to fighting Earwigs in our gardens.

By Rincon-Vitova Insectary

Earwigs 

Easily recognizable pests in the garden and active at night, earwigs hide in tight, dark, moist places during the day. True omnivores, they actually are important predators of aphids, insect eggs, but will eat almost all parts of flowering plants, especially soft tissue, like newly forming buds in cannabis.  

Identification 

The adult body is about 3/4 inch long and reddish brown.  

Most species have wings under short, hard wing covers, but they seldom fly.  

Two appendages that resemble forceps at the tail end of body are used for defense, mating, and capturing prey. 

Life Cycle 

Females lay masses of eggs shallow in the soil during fall and winter.  

Generally there is one generation a year, but females produce two broods. 

Monitoring 

Soft tissue damage looks similar to snail damage – Look for the presence of slime trails to distinguish between the two. 

To confirm that earwigs are causing the damage, go out at night with a flashlight. 

Leaves will appear jagged and full of holes when it is earwig damage.  

Plants will become ragged overnight, and some leaves will only be partially eaten.  

A scattering of black excrement will often be present, also. 

Damage often occurs after rainy weather, which forces earwigs to seek dry shelter and climb up into plants and leaves. 

Cultural Practices 

Reduce hiding places: loose clods of soil, boards, or dense growth of vines or weeds. 

Manage irrigation/watering to reduce surface moisture (not a problem in dry areas, earwigs need moisture & shade). 

Homemade oil traps: Tuna or cat food cans buried to soil surface: Add 1” oil and a drop of Fish oil or tuna oil 

Equal parts soy sauce and olive or vegetable oil, put it in a small plastic container, and secure the lid. Punch holes around the top of the container, near the lid. Bury container in the soil just up to the holes.  

Homemade harborage: rolled up newspaper, bamboo/arundo grass sections/ hose sections. Dump into soapy water 

Dust with Diatomaceous Earth: these jagged particles cut the insects and expose to desiccation & disease. It will need to be reapplied as it gets wet. 

Double sided tape or sticky pest barrier around pots to prevent movement into plants. 

Apply Petroleum jelly around the stems of plants, or around a protective cup; earwigs won’t crawl over it 

Alcohol acts as a surfactant, or wetting agent, it penetrates insects’ waxy exoskeleton and kills on contact. Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) works fine, but make sure it doesn’t have additives.  

Ethanol (grain alcohol) seems to work best. Comes in 70% strength or 95% strength   

DIY insecticidal sprays: Mix equal parts 70% alcohol and water  

  Mix 95% alcohol: 1 part alcohol to 1 ½ parts water 

Avoid using pesticides: Carbamates (carbaryl). These materials are highly toxic to natural enemies and pollinators. 

Bio-Control: none 

Summary of Strategies 

Reduce habitat and manage irrigation 

Oil Traps – emptied and refilled regularly 

Newsprint Harborage Traps – emptied in the mornings 

DE dusted around plants 

Petroleum jelly barriers/glues to prevent them from reaching plants 

Alcohol Sprays 

Fighting off the Leafhopper in your garden.

by Rincon-Vitovo Insectary

Leafhoppers 

Leafhoppers feed on leaves and stems with piercing sucking mouthparts that extract a bit of fluid from the plant. Most have insignificant effects. A few species cause small, light flecking/stippling injury may occur at the feeding site. Black sooty mold is a secondary outbreak from their honeydew. Although some leafhoppers transmit plant pathogens that cause diseases of crops none of these leafhopper-vectored plant diseases are presently known to affect hemp.  

Identification 

Leafhopper adults are slender, wedge-shaped, and less than or about equal to 1/4-inch long.  They have varying colors; some species are brightly colored, while others blend with their host plant.  Leafhoppers are quite active; they crawl rapidly sideways or readily jump when disturbed.  Sometimes leafhoppers can be confused with aphids or lygus bugs: Lygus can be identified by their red-tipped antennae.  Aphids can be distinguished by two “tailpipe” structures (cornicles) protruding from their hind end.  1 or more long rows of spines on the hind legs distinguish leafhoppers from most other insects they may resemble. 

Life Cycle 

Females insert tiny eggs in tender plant tissue, causing pimple-like injuries.  Leafhoppers overwinter as eggs on twigs or as adults in protected places such as bark crevices.  In cold-winter climates, leafhoppers may die during winter and in spring migrate back in from warmer regions.  Egg to adult is approximately 3 weeks. Several overlapping generations may occur during the growing season. 

Monitoring 

Leafhoppers are often more present in dry weather, looking for moisture from plants.  Look for adults, nymphs, and their pale cast skins on the underside of leaves.  Black spots of excrement and cast skins may be present on leaves and/or fruit.  Damage shows as pale or brown stippling. Shoots may curl and die. Some leafhoppers cause diamond-shape yellowing from the leaf tip.  A few species secrete honeydew, which often leads to black sooty mold growth.  If honeydew/sooty mold is present, be diligent watching for ants. 

Cultural Practices 

Low risk materials applied to infested foliage reduces numbers of nymphs – thorough coverage of undersides is critical. Insecticidal soap: fatty acid salts weaken the cuticle (exoskeleton), and won’t leave a harmful residue.  To help the soap penetrate the insects’ outer shell, mix 1 Tbs of isopropyl alcohol to 1 Qt of the spray.  Dust with Diatomaceous Earth: these jagged particles cut the insects and expose to desiccation & disease. It will need to be reapplied as it gets wet.  Narrow-range oils: smother pests by coating their spiracles (breathing holes)  

Bordeaux mixture (copper sulfate & slaked lime = fungicide) can repel adults and act as antifeedant. 

Neem oil – not for flowering plants (will leave smell/taste on buds) Neem Oil (Azadirachtin): mimics IGRs: primarily kills immature insects (they fail to complete molts). It also acts as an antifeedant & repellant. Neem is less effective on aphids & some grasshoppers. Neem also breaks down in water – don’t mix more than needed. It persists 4-8 days as foliar spray, and weeks if drenched. Neem does not harm foraging bees. 

Habitat enhancement: strip of alfalfa, corn, pea provide nutrition  

Avoid using pesticides: Neonicotinoids (imidacloprid), Organophosphates (acephate), Carbamates, (carbaryl). These materials are highly toxic to natural enemies and pollinators. 

Bio-Control 

Beauveria bassiana (for aphids, thrips, WF) 

68-86 °F >92% RH 

An entomopathogenic fungus wide host range, including soft-bodied beneficials 

Best for sap-sucking & chewing insects 

Spores germinte on insects – kill in 2-10 days 

Some strains have 3-7 day residual activity 

Weekly applications can prevent insect population explosions  

Application Rates: Application Rates may vary among different commercial products. Read labels carefully. 

½ to 2 qt per 100 gallons for liquid emulsion suspension products 

½ to 2 lbs per 100 gallons for wettable powder products 

Weekly applications can prevent insect population explosions  

Metarhizium anisopliae  

Fungal pathogen penetrates skin, enters spiracles 

Infected insects stop feeding and die in 4-10 days 

Works best against sap-sucking insects, like whiteflies and aphids (other strains for thrips, beetles) 

Best in high humidity and moderate temps: 75-82°F 

Application Rates: Application Rates may vary among different commercial products. Read labels carefully. 

40-80 oz per 100 gallons of water as a drench 

8–64 oz per 1 acre as a foliar spray 

Generalist Predators:  

Hippodamia convergens  

Ladybugs – will feed on eggs and immature stages both as adults and larvae.  

Often leave after released 

Application Rates: 1 beetle per sq ft.  

Reapply if necessary 

Chrysoperla rufilabris 

Green Lacewing – generalist 

Wingless predator for 2-3 weeks 

Will focus on eggs and immature stages, but can catch adults 

Application Rates: 1,000 eggs per 2,500 sq ft or 5,000-10,000 per acre 

Eggs on Cards: hang 1-2 units/bush, 1-5 units tree 

Pre-hatched Larvae: 20/bush, 100/tree 

Reapply every two weeks to suppress populations, monthly for maintenance 

Summary of Strategies 

Dust with DE/kaolin clay preventively 

Plant habitat to attract native beneficials (Like Orius) 

Ant Control 

Low risk “soft pesticides:” Insecticidal soap, Neem/Hort oil 

Beauveria bassiana 

Metarhizium 

Augment with beneficials: Green lacewing and Ladybugs 

Controlling Grasshoppers in our gardens

by Rincon-Vitova Insectary

Grasshoppers

Most grasshoppers are general feeders, but they prefer young green plants and some annual flowers. Chewing mouthparts make large, round, smooth holes in leaves. Heavy infestations can strip plants to stalks. During major outbreaks they feed on almost any green plant, and damage may occur over a considerably longer period.

Identification

Hind legs, have greatly enlarged femurs, are well adapted for jumping. 

Antennae are relatively short versus crickets and katydids, which have long antennae. 

Most are winged and are good fliers, although a few species are flightless.

Life Cycle

In late summer and in fall, adult females deposit eggs in soil in undisturbed areas: grassy foothills, ditch banks, etc. 

Eggs hatch in spring, and young nymphs begin to feed on nearby plants. 

Usually grasshoppers have only one generation a year. Adults can live two to three months.

Adults die out when food becomes scarce or when weather becomes too cold. 

Monitoring Excerpt from Manitoba Hemp: 

The probability of grasshopper pests is higher when production occurs near pasture or hay land. 

Grasshoppers can move into the field in the spring if conditions are favorable for an early hatch. 

Late season infestations can result in damaged seed heads and possibly reduced production.  

Economic thresholds are unknown at this time.

Cultural Practices

When numbers are low, they can be handpicked and squashed. 

Cones, screened boxes, floating row covers, and other covers provide some protection (Grasshoppers can eat through cloth or plastic row covers, try using metal window screening). 

Chickens and guinea hens are excellent predators but can cause damage to some plants.

Set up bird houses, baths, and feeders, to attract predators. 

Use companion plants to repel grasshoppers: cilantro, calendula (pot marigold), sweet clover, and horehound 

Keep a trap border of tall grass or lush green plants around the perimeter of the garden to divert insects 

Don’t mow this trap crop or let it dry out, or the grasshoppers will go straight into the garden

Use jar traps: sink glass jars into soil and fill half way with molasses mixture: 1 part molasses to 10 parts water.

Dust the leaves with thin layer of all purpose flour, which can cause starvation by gumming up their mouths.

Dust with Diatomaceous Earth: these jagged particles cut the insects and expose to desiccation & disease. It will need to be reapplied as it gets wet.

Neem oil – not for flowering plants (will leave smell/taste on buds)

Neem Oil (Azadirachtin): mimics IGRs: primarily kills immature insects (they fail to complete molts). It also acts as an antifeedant & repellant. Neem is less effective on aphids & some grasshoppers. Neem also breaks down in water – don’t mix more than needed. It persists 4-8 days as foliar spray, and weeks if drenched. Neem does not harm foraging bees.

Garlic Barrier spray: excellent repellent. Mix 2 oz Garlic Barrier, 1 Qt Fish Emulsion, and 5 Gal Water. Spray. 

Homemade garlic spray, blend two bulbs of garlic with 10 cups of water and heat up the mixture until it starts to boil. Let the mixture sit overnight. To use, fill a spray bottle with one part garlic solution and three parts water.

Garlic Spray: garlic odor diminishes in about 30 minutes as the plants absorb it. Garlic Barrier travels through the plant systemically, protecting roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruit. 

Does not change the taste or smell for human, insects can’t stand the natural sulfurs absorbed from the garlic

Grasshoppers

Avoid using pesticides: Carbamates (carbaryl), Pyrethroids (bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, fluvalinate, and permethrin). These materials are highly toxic to natural enemies and pollinators.

Bio-Control

Nosema locustae baits containing the protozoan kill nymphs of migrating grasshopper nymphs early in the season. 

Nosema baits are slow-acting and not intended for stopping sudden outbreaks.

Application Rates: Application Rates may vary among different commercial products. Read labels carefully.

25 bran flakes per sq ft

Beauveria bassiana (for aphids, thrips, WF)

68-86 °F    >92% RH

An entomopathogenic fungus wide host range, including soft-bodied beneficials

Best for sap-sucking & chewing insects

Spores germinte on insects – kill in 2-10 days

Some strains have 3-7 day residual activity

Weekly applications can prevent insect population explosions 

Application Rates: Application Rates may vary among different commercial products. Read labels carefully.

½ to 2 qt per 100 gallons for liquid emulsion suspension products

½ to 2 lbs per 100 gallons for wettable powder products

Weekly applications can prevent insect population explosions 

Summary of Strategies

Hand picking

Row Covers

Trap grasses 

Companion plants to repel

Garlic Sprays to repel 

Flour dusting

Molasses bait traps

Nosema bait early

Beauveria bassiana early

How to control Fungus Gnats in your garden.

by Rincon-Vitova Insectary

Fungus Gnats 

Fungus gnats are common pest of indoor plants in wet environments where algae and fungus grow. Infested plants lose vigor, color, and pesky flies are seen emerging from the soil, especially during watering. Larval stage feeds on tender roots/root hairs and often transmits the soil-borne fungi which cause root rots: Pythium spp., and Fusarium spp, Phytopthera spp. 

Identification 

Fungus gnats are often confused with shore flies, but can be distinguished by their long, beadlike antennae, their long legs, and their wings which have a prominent “Y”-shaped vein. 

Fungus gnats are poor flyers, and tend to run along the soil surface when disturbed. 

Larvae are maggots, which have no legs, but a distinctive black head capsule. 

Life Cycle 

The life cycle of fungus gnats may extend over five weeks.  

Eggs are laid near the soil surface (females can lay 100-200 eggs) and hatch in 4-6 days.  

Larvae feed 2-3 wks on decaying plant material, algae, soil fungi (fine roots /root hairs &tender lower stems)  

Monitoring 

Yellow sticky card placed at plant and soil levels are used to monitor flying adults.  

Horizontal placement of cards just above soil surface is more effective than vertical placement above canopy 

Replace cards every 3-4 weeks, particularly in warm weather. 

Approx one sticky trap per 500 sq ft 

Increase density of traps in propagation areas to trap out adults 

If trap counts > 20 gnats/trap/week, or are increasing, do not rely on preventive bio-control agents 

Cultural Practices 

Quarantine incoming plants to inspect for fungus gnat populations. 

Sterilize soil.  

Improve drainage and water management to eliminate wet spots. 

Cover floors with ground-cover fabric to eliminate breeding sites. 

Treat soil with hydrated lime; (1.5 lb./gal), applied to soil surface as a slurry. 1 month residual. 

Copper sulfate can be applied to soil at a rate of 1 lb per gallon. 3 month residual. 

Use eggplant as a trap crop. 

Plant cover crops to control dust. 

Avoid using pesticides: Pyrethroids: (bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, fluvalinate, and permethrin). These materials are highly toxic to natural enemies and pollinators. 

Biological Control 

Bacillus thurengiensis israelensis: Applied through the watering system, spores of this bacterium are ingested and kill the larval stages of fungus gnats. There is little residue in the soil. B.t.i is effective in lowering high populations of fungus gnats, and should also be compatible with subsequent applications of Stratiolaelaps to maintain low population levels. 

Gnatrol is a Biological Insecticide for fungus gnat larva control (only larva: time applications correctly). 

OMRI-listed 

Apply with adequate water as a soil drench  

Application Rates: Application rates may vary among different commercial products. Read labels carefully. 

Light Infestations: 3.2 to 6.4 oz/100 gallons 

Heavy infestations: 13 to 26 oz/100 gallons 

When all life stages are present, make weekly applications for 3 weeks at the “heavy” rate. 

Fungus Gnats 

Stratiolaelaps scimitus 

These mites reproduce rapidly and move well across the soil, feeding on larval stages of fungus gnats.  

Stratiolaelaps keep fungus gnat levels low, (below 10/trap/week). 

These mites are not effective to reduce or eliminate high populations. 

They also provide supplemental control for thrips (in the pupal stage) as well as springtails. 

The mites adapt well to the various growth media, but do not survive freezing or flooding conditions.  

Application Rates:  

1 liter of 25,000 mites per 1,000 sq ft, applying approximately 1-2 tablespoons to each pot surface/rockwool cube 

DO NOT mix into soil/media. 

Reapply in 2-3 weeks 

Steinernema feltiae:  

Beneficial nematodes actively seek out insect hosts and destroy larval stages of insects by entering the insect and releasing bacteria which kill the insect. The bacteria break down the insect for the nematode. 

They can be applied to the soil through conventional sprayers or through the irrigation system.  

Steinernema feltiae nematodes are effective at lowering high populations, can be used therapeutically before introducing Stratiolaelaps mites.  

The nematodes have no difficulty in moving through rockwool or soil growing media. 

Application Rates: Application rates may vary depending on the producer. 

1 million per 50 sq ft. or 1 billion per acre will gain suppression in 3-4 weeks. 

Halve the application rate for suppression in twice as long; 6-8 weeks. 

Persistent infestations may require repeated applications (3 applications: 1.0 billion nematodes/acre, 7-10 days apart). 

Summary of Strategies 

Quarantine new plants 

Sterilize soils 

Eliminate wet spots 

Yellow sticky cards  

Beware of root rot problems  

Hydrated lime  

Bacillus thurengiensis israelensis

Apply Stratiolaelaps as preventive treatment. 

Apply Nematodes to reduce high populations. 

IMGS Ep.129: A windy weekend camping at the lake and spider mite IPM.

https://inmygrowshow.libsyn.com/ep-129-a-windy-camping-weekend-and-spider-mite-ipm

Support the show – Go to Patreon.com/inmygrow and donate $1.00 to help keep the show going.   

Show Notes: Welcome to Ep. 129.  I was out at Lake Casitas and recorded this episode while I was there.  Sorry about the wind noise, the rain rolled in. 

 I hope everyone had a good Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.  The election, which states got legal cannabis.  And an IPM question.  Product review “Peach Ring” batter, thanks to Sespe Creek Collective in Ojai for sending that over.  A word about dab straws/ nectar collectors, sticky teeth.  Congrats to Justin Benton for his new podcast The Miracle Plant.  Yellow sticky traps and cotton balls.

Strain of the Week:  Gorilla Snacks – the internet says it’s a cross of of GG4 and Guinness, a Scooby Snacks F3 backcross.  23% THC  It has a strong aroma with pungent notes of pine, spicy musk and some sweetness at the end.  It was a fun, happy, chatty, high, no racy feeling.  It was a bit distracting   

Social Media:   IPM Spider Mites (SM) during flowering @lonestar_grows.  They’re a common pest that is easy to miss because they don’t fly so yellow sticky cards don’t give you a clear picture of SM pest pressure.  Regular bush bean plants do very well at attracting mites and help me monitor them better.  Keep bean plants in a small pot or cup that can be removed for the grow space. I also go for predator, ladybug common but seasonal.  I use Green Lacewing eggs/larvae because they’re available to me from RinconVitova.  Predatory mites like Phytoseiulus persimilis and Amblyseius californicus, and a predatory midge called Feltiella acarisuga can be put out as soon as you see spider mites on the bean plants.  I don’t spray anything on my flower plants, doesn’t matter how many weeks of flower are in.  The moisture could help certain molds and fungus take hold and ruin the bud.  It could also change the taste of the bud.  A buddy of mine swears by pyrethrum foggers but no later than week two of flower because it could leave a taste.  The most important thing to do is break down and clean the grow space.  Figure out how they got in and what helped them thrive.  Start your IPM with correcting that and build from there.  

Yellow sticky traps  –  mimic a dying weak leaf or mimic a yellow flower.  

  • Cinnamon Oil – thrips, leafminers, Japanese beetles
  • Melissa Oil – fungus gnats, thrips, horse flies, deer flies
  • Lemon Oil – fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale, thrips, Japanese beetles
  • Peppermint Oil – Cucumber beetle

Report from the cannabis front line: 

8,000 Lbs a day https://www.ganjapreneur.com/dea-seeking-contractor-who-can-incinerate-8000-pounds-of-cannabis-per-day/?mc_cid=06fffe2aed&mc_eid=cdb017092f 

Millions of Americans 

Older Adults and cannabis https://hightimes.com/news/study-finds-seniors-use-cannabis-treat-symptoms-aging/?mc_cid=06fffe2aed&mc_eid=cdb017092f 

The Election Results:  

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