One of the biggest battles in any gardening is getting rid of pests in a way that is safe for you and your family. Aquaponics is especially tricky because whatever you spray onto your plants will eventually make its way into the fish tank. Oil, detergent and poisons will kill your fish.
Sneaky green caterpillars hatching from eggs laid by white cabbage moths. If you check the back of leafy greens you will see the tiny yellow eggs. Squash them!! Failing the squash-em treatment, you can use a Yates product called Dipel (click here) now packaged as Natures Way. This is quite effective in breaking the cycle. It needs to be applied as per instructions on box and every 4-5 days while the Cabbage moths are about.
Those horrible fat brown caterpillars (I think they are called Cluster Caterpillars)need to be sort after and thrown to the fish. They are very cunning and can hide in the expanded clay.
White Fly , Aphids and Thrips-
White Fly love Kale and Broccoli and Cabbage.Black Aphids love Chives, Spring Onions and Garlic and Green Aphids love Pumpkin and Zucchini leaves and many other plants.
These pests will suck the goodness out of leaves and eventually kill the plant.
Get your garden hose out and annoy them by spraying with a powerful spray of water. Change their environment and they will fly away after a while. Do not let them infest a plant because if this happens you may have more luck just removing the plant. I use a 5 litre pressure sprayer. fill it with tank water and a capful of Seasol and spray the plants with bugs on them, with the strongest spray.
Garlic and chili sprays are also effective but replace detergent or oil in the recipe with Lemon Juice.
28 Spotted Ladybird
She is not a good bug. She will suck the goodness from your plants.The raked markings are typical of the damage. Usually a more orange colour and many more spots(I don’t think 28)
SLUGS, SNAILS and SLATERS
Beer traps or a yeast mixture tipped into a small dish will attract these nasties and they will drown. I find that the best time to put these traps out is late afternoon and collect in the morning. My recipe for a home made treatment( if you dont want to share your beer) is 6 teaspoons of powdered yeast, 10 teaspoons of white sugar disolved in a litre of water. It works very well and also attracts Slaters. An orange halved with the fruit removed, cupped and placed on the clay will attract them and you can just throw the skin away complete with slaters inside.
Flood your system and this will disturb ants to the point where they will nest elsewhere. Ants will often be found around Aphids. They will herd and protect Aphids as Aphids create a sweet dew that the ants love. Very interesting!
Encouraging GOOD BUGS to your garden will be very beneficial as they will attack the bugs you dont want around. Lacewings and Ladybirds are the ideal bugs to encourage. Plant Parsely, Dill and Fennel and let them go to flower. These flowers will encourage your Friends to your garden.
Keep your eye out in the garden and you will find lots of fascinating insects
I have more to add to this page but for now I shall leave it. Stay tuned!!