Re: Neps and scale insects...

Brett Lymn (
Mon, 13 Feb 1995 19:27:23 +1030 (CST)

According to John Phillips:
>I've had great success w/ Safers insecticidal soap against aphids, thrips,
>mealy bugs and scale. I buy the weaker concentration they sell for use on
>fruits and vegetables. This stuff is not only much safer for the grower, but
>I would also like to point out that our concern for the environment and the
>endangered cp species we all love should not end with the plants.

I agree with you - I have tried all sorts of things to get rid of some
bugs but there comes a time where I have to choose between something
more toxic and losing my plant. Me, being biassed towards the plant,
chooses to not sacrifice a plant. When I have an alternative I always
choose the least toxic one - using poisons is a real hassle and I hate
the rigmorole involved with them.

Also the poisons I use, I believe, breakdown quickly and are in a
closed system so the possibility of them getting where I don't want
them is small - I also favour systemic rather than sprays as I can
control the systemic application to where I want it.

> Polluting
>this beautiful yet finite planet with horribly toxic chemicals that endanger
>ourselves and other organisms is a facet of the same consciousness that sees
>no consequences in filling in wetlands, pirating stands of endangered cp's,
>or the logging and burning of tropical rainforests from Kalimantan to Brazil
>to Madagascar.

Ummm I can see what you are saying but you need to be careful - some
people may not.

> The Earth has a way of regaining its equilibrium when
>disturbed. But if we disturb the current equilibrium too greatly, we won't
>be part of the overall equation when equilibrium is restored.

Something along the lines of "You throw Mother Nature out the window
and she comes back through the door with a pitchfork" - I cannot
remember who said this but it is very true.

> Our plants suffer and die from insect infestation when they are already
>weakened from growing in less than ideal situations. First we should strive
>to provide the plants with a home where they can thrive.

My plants are already stressed - they live in plastic pots rather than
the ground. From my experience with all sorts of plants there is
really no substitute for real soil under their roots. They may do
fine in a pot but it's not the same.

> If they need
>defending from some kind of infestation, we should seek the least toxic
>solution. Every organism on the planet would benefit if we ALL approached
>life here from this perspective.

I agree wholeheartedly. I use poison only as the last resort not my
first defence but you must remember that in most regions they plants
are not native and the predators that control the bugs are not
present so there is nothing to control their population.

>My 2 cents worth...Happy growing!

My AUS$0.027 worth reply :-)

>PS. I should also add that my truly mercenary brother has found this same
>approach to work with great success in his gardening and landscaping
>business on the Big Island in Hawaii, where he swears there is an invasion
>of some newly introduced "pest" at least every 2 months.

We got a chicken and a duck to cope with the garden pests - they do
the job very well.

-- Brett Lymn, Computer Systems Administrator, AWA Defence Industries
"Also, it takes a lot longer to get up North ..... The slow way"
- "Clever Trevor" Ian Drury