Tag Archives: natural pesticides

Beneficial Bugs: Predatory Mites vs Spider Mites.

miteswestern_predatoryOrder: Acarina. Family: Phytoseiidae

There are good mites and bad mites, they are both the same minute size (almost undetectable with the naked eye) and they can change color in response to their prey, so it is next to impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys. About the only way to tell is if you observe mite webs on your plants and your plants look like the leaves have been sucked dry of their juices, you have the bad mites. Spray those with a garlic spray to get rid of them.

Predatory mites are happiest in humid conditions, so you won’t see them in the Southwest much. They are often smaller than the prey they eat, but you can attract them with pollen-rich plants.

SpiderMiteWebsAs we mentioned above, there are good mites and bad and you can really only tell them apart by the damage they do to your plants. (Read above.) Spider mites will also create web-like threads all over your plant leaves which will start to look speckled like the mites are sucking the juices from the leaves, which is exactly what they are doing.

Spray the front and back of all leaves with a garlic spray. Neem oil sprays work as well. Take the plant outside if it is a potted plant, wash the leaves and mites off with a powerful blast of water, relocate the plant so the mites don’t just crawl back on it after hosing them off, then spray it well with the garlic or neem oil.

Let it sit outside for a couple days for the mites to get discouraged by the spray and move their operations elsewhere.

For more on Garden Circkles, check out our main website.

Beneficial Insects: Rove Beetles.

rove_beetleOrder: Coleoptera. Family: Staphylindae
Average Size: 1/16 to 3/4 inch.

Very similar to earwigs, but the Rove beetle has pinchers in the front jaws where earwigs have their pinchers as their tails.

Usually black or brown in color, rove beetles eat insects, where earwigs eat plants. Rove beetle larvae dine on aphids, fly eggs, maggots, mites, nematodes and springtails.

Rove beetles are usually found under refuse such as leaves, grass or bark and can be found on fungi or flowers and are common in compost piles. To keep them around, maintain a permanent bed of mulch or a stone path they can hide in.

See our main gardening page, Garden Circkles, for much more information than what is posted on this blog, including full articles on greenhouse growing, sustainable and organic tips, beneficial bugs, the latest techniques such as aquaponics and vertical growing and much more.

Researcher’s Recipe for Garlic Spray.

Natural Insect and Disease Control:

Researcher’s Recipe for Garlic Spray: Here’s the basic recipe the European researchers used as we mentioned in the article to the right called: “Grow Your Own Bug Potions.” It can be used for many infestations and diseases as per the article.

3 oz. of chopped garlic bulbs soaked in 2 teaspoons of mineral oil for 24 hours.

Then slowly add a pint of water to which 1/4 oz. of soap has been dissolved (not detergent) – see our article on natural cleaners for an explanation of the difference. Stir well and strain through a fine cheesecloth or coffee filter and store in a glass container since it will react to metals.

To use as a spray, mix 1 part of this oil solution with 20 parts water. Shake up well before spraying.

For tree caterpillars: Dissolve a half cake of Octagon soap (which you can still by through Amazon.com surprisingly) in one gallon of hot water, add 2 mashed garlic bulbs and add 4 teaspoons of cayenne pepper.