Battle Begins

June 11, 2008

In my haste to rid my garden of the evil Striped Cucumber Beetle, I bought two different kinds of insecticidal dust containing Rotenone from a local hardware store. I never used it, especially after calling my favourite organic gardening centre and finding out that they don’t carry products with Rotenone as it’s been linked to Alzheimer’s. Yikes! They suggested a couple of different products so I headed out there after work last night.

I was all ready to buy Safer’s Trounce until the horticulturalist told me about End-All II, a concentrated product by the same company that is a miticide/insecticide/acaricide. It controls all stages of aphids, whitefly, scale, spider mites, and mealybugs on houseplants; and aphids, caterpillars, beetles and other listed insects on fruit trees, landscape trees, ornamentals, flowers, shrubs and vegetables. It’s a better product than Trounce as it contains an oil that is more effective against pests. It also said I could reapply it again in 10 – 14 days if the pests return, it could be used up until the day before harvest and I should wash my vegetables before consumption. I felt pretty confident about the product so I bought it, even though it was a bit pricey and way more than I needed:

I mixed it with water in a sprayer and headed out side.

Apparently striped cucumber beetles are more active during the evening and early morning, hiding out in cracks and crevasses in the soil during the heat of mid-day. So I was waging war at a good time. I sprayed the crap out of each damaged leaf in my garden, on top and underneath, all the way down to the stem as well as the newly germinated tray of replacement cucurbits that I thought I had tucked safely away in the house (I had found two beetles inside my house and immediately smooshed them).

I checked the leaves this morning and didn’t see any sign of any beetles. The day before I had seen about 4 or 5, but none this morning. Success!

Then I took the spray bottle and sprayed my Asiatic lilies (infested with red lily beetles) and gifted brugmansia (infested with spider mites) for good measure.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping it works!


8 Responses to “Battle Begins”

  1. Amy Says:

    It’s a never ending battle, isn’t it? I’m crossing my fingers and hoping I can harvest *something* this year. Last year everything seemed to go wrong!

  2. Raceytay Says:

    I’m crossing my fingers for you, too.

  3. Nancy Bond Says:

    Wow, what a great product find! I’ll keep this in mind, too. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing and I hope it works!

  4. Kathy Says:

    Thanks guys, it seems to have had positive effects so far. I’m just waiting for those damn larvae to pupate and I’ll blast them with my sprayer in 40 – 60 days. I’ll post updates as it goes.

  5. Gillian Says:

    Kathy, what’s in them that kills the bugs??? If your organic gardening centre suggested it – does that make it not a pesticide? Or is it a “Safer” kind of pesticide – ha ha!

  6. Kathy Says:

    Hi Gillian! The label says there is 20% of potassium salts of fatty acids and 0.2% of pyrethrins, an extract of chrysanthemum flowers.

    I was able to find this PDF which explains pyrethins better. According to the 1994 Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium of Pesticides, pyrethins are low in toxicity to humans.

    Also, here’s another PDF on potassium salts of fatty acids. Apparently it’s a significant part of the normal daily diet of mammals, birds and fish.

    Potassium salts of fatty acids penetrates an insect’s body covering and disrupts the cell membranes, causing the contents to leak out and the insect to dehydrate and die.

    Pyrethins affect the nerve cell membranes of insects.

    So, I’m willing to allow a pesticide into my garden that has a low-toxicity to humans. I’m sure there’s worse things that I’m exposed to on a daily basis.

  7. Gillian Says:

    Thanks so much for looking that up!! πŸ™‚

  8. Amanda Says:

    Hi there!
    I thought you might be interested in this:

    I have my fingers crossed! although my battle seems to be earwigs right now 😦

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