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BANGKOK 22 March 2019 17:09
drtreelove

Insect pests, plant diseases and integrated pest management

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at last !! great stuff ! I'm in the process of uploading all my reference materials here jandtaa's farming related documents

have some good stuff on neem, bio-pesticides, mulching, permaculture and much more.Also see another thread called forest garden for some interesting ideas.

Jandtaa, Just when I thought I was catching up with my reading materials, you come up with all this good stuff to go through; thanks.

TPI, composting worms that are cultivated in worm bins and the larger earthworms that you find in fertile soil are two different critters. The "composting worms" are grown in very specific conditions and will not survive in open soil without the rich kitchen waste or manure medium with very wet conditions that they require. Their products of "compost tea" drained off the bottom of the bins, or the "worm castings" that they generate after digesting the organic material, are excellent sources of very rich organic matter and effective microorganisms. But dont expect the same worms to do their thing in your open garden. The garden earthworms are usually there unless the soil is imported from deep excavations, and you will be surprised how many will appear naturally when you add substantial organic matter to your soil, mulch it and keep it watered.

Smithson, organic pest control should be a thread on it's own, there is so much material available. The key is to first understand the concept of IPM (Integrated Pest Management), because there are more than a few ways to control those pesky critters, and there are so many factors that comprise an integral appproach.

Neem extract pesticide is tried and true, but you need some patience to let it work. It is not a "knock down" treatment, it works as repellent and reproductive disruptor. I just used some on a couple of young lamyai (longan) trees with lush new growth that was getting chewed up pretty bad overnight by some type of caterpillar. I was afraind they would chew the new flower stalks so I started weekly spray applications, and the chewing kept up for the first two weeks, but now it is almost stopped and new growth is free of holes and chewed leaf margins. Now that cessation of activity may be due to the neem, but it could also be the result of increased predator activity or a combination. Sometimes a pest will start out hot and heavy, but then the natural enemies will build up in population in response. That is what you want, natural controls. So one of the reasons not to use broad spectum pesticides is so that you don't kill off the good critters.

My father was a horticulturist and a gentle man, he almost never yelled at me, but I will never forget my first lesson in biological controls when I was six. I tried to swat a lacewing fly that had made it's way into our living room and was resting on our curtains. My father saw me and came unglued and severly scolded me for trying to kill a beneficial insect. The next day he took me out in the garden and showed me the lacewings feeding on aphids on his roses. So now I know. Don

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Any recommendations for organic pest control? Especially for the red ant. What about Neem oil?

Which red ant are you talking about? The nasty little ankle biters that live in your compost pile and swarm you when you walk in their garden? Or the big red tree dwellers that make nests by gluing together the leaves of the trees they live in.

As a veteran tree worker, I'm sure glad that we didn't have these in California or I may have changed careers. I thought "piss ants" were bad, they don't hurt much only smell bad.

I brought my saws, climbing belt and ropes for some tree work here in Thailand and got swarmed a few times in my large mango trees until I learned to study the tree real good first to spot the ants and where the nests are. With a long pole saw, I can sometimes reach the nests and pull them out of the tree the day before I want to work it. If I can't reach the nests, I call my Thai neighbor over who loves the ant eggs as a delicacy. He rolls up a newspaper and lights it on fire, then he climbs the tree scorching the ants as they come down to swarm him. He knocks the nest out of the tree, burns the adult ants out and takes it home for lunch. Now I don't know if that would be considered natural predation, bioligical control or what, but it works for me.

Now this is an organic farming thread so I can't talk too much about my occasional resorting to spot treatments with permethrin spray or the cypermethrin chalk sometimes. It's not organic, but it's low toxicity for mammals.

My daughter's boyfriend's father is an organic gardener in Mae Taeng, north of Chiang Mai city. He just gave me a recipe for a lemongrass (Ta-Kite) spray solution that he swears by for broad spectum knock down effectiveness. In 20 liters of water add 200 grams of lemongrass leaves and 100cc of white vinegar. He lets it steep for a day before straining the lemongrass and pouring the solution into his backpack sprayer. I haven't tried it, but if you do please let me know how it works for you. If it kills those nasty little red devil ankle biters I will be happy to know.

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Any recommendations for organic pest control? Especially for the red ant. What about Neem oil?

Probably the most popular and most effective "knock down" organic insecticide is pyrethrum, the natural chrysanthemum flower extract. http://www.livingwithbugs.com/permethr.html In a solution mixed with neem extract, you will have a good combination of knock down and residual effects. The permethrum will kill some beneficial insects too, but it breaks down in sunlight and has no residual, so the effect on beneficials is minimal, only those that are present during spraying.

I haven't tried to find it in Thailand, but I'm sure we can. I will ask at my chemical supplier for a trade name and Thai name the next time I go in. Not being strict on organic methods and tending toward the "least toxic" approach I prefer the synthetic pyrethroids for some cases because of increased effectiveness and residual effect. But I use those sparingly and for very specific spot treatments, it violates the strict organic code and would not be acceptible for organic farm certification, on the other hand Pyrethrum is acceptable.

Edited by soundman
Fixed formating.

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Farmers up in arms at herb listing

Chilli, turmeric, ginger branded 'hazardous'

By: KULTIDA SAMABUDDHI and APIRADEE TREERUTKUARKUL

Farmers and traditional medicine experts have reacted angrily to the listing of 13 widely used herbal plants as hazardous substances, suggesting there is a hidden agenda that favours chemical companies.

The Industry Ministry listed the 13 plants as hazardous substances to control production and commercialisation.

The plants are widely used among farmers as alternatives for expensive and toxic farm chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.

The announcement on listing the plants as "hazardous substances type 1" under the 1992 Hazardous Substances Act was approved by Industry Minister Charnchai Chairungruang last month. It took effect on Feb 3.

Story continued here.

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My daughter's boyfriend's father is an organic gardener in Mae Taeng, north of Chiang Mai city. He just gave me a recipe for a lemongrass (Ta-Kite) spray solution that he swears by for broad spectum knock down effectiveness. In 20 liters of water add 200 grams of lemongrass leaves and 100cc of white vinegar. He lets it steep for a day before straining the lemongrass and pouring the solution into his backpack sprayer.

Thanks for the advice and recipe, I'm guessing his using citronella lemongrass (Ta-kite Hom). I will give it a try. There are also recipes in both english and Thai here

We bought a bottle of Efficient Microorganism (EM) which came with recipes for fertilizers and an insect repellent using Lao Kow. This seems to work. EM is interesting stuff, I made some of the compost, I think it's called bokashi. Has anyone got experience with this?

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Smithson, you may remember last year my posts about mealy bugs and how the ants nuture them,

Our bamboo plantaition was home to incredible armies of all different coulered ants in the ground and in the twisted leaf red ant nests, a friendly thai farmer had given me 20ltrs sugar cane mollasses,available free from some sugar plants i understand,

Anyway, i added a cup full to 10ltr watercan and went round the whole plantation, i went back 3 hours later hoping they had all died in the sticky mess, but the whole place was swarming with them, after the sugary substance,

Not know much or anything about organic insecticides i bought some chorlphos {something like that} mixed it put it in the power pack back pack and first sprayed the ground and roots, then ajusted it to a jet and was knocking red ant nests out of the trees, After the smell had gone it was really nice to sit in there again with no ants crawling over me or up my legs!!!! and after a rainy days, fungi was growing really well, [didnt eat it} and worms were apearing, i put this down to the insecticide, i got a bucket of water threw them in washed them and put them on my newly formed muckheaps, which are still eveident when i have wet and turned the heaps this year,,

When we were kids, we would through washing up water on the lawn at dusk when the worms would be near the surface cos the birds had gone to bed, wait a few minutes, and with a torch catch them and use for next days fishing, {uk} i havent tried it here but it might work, but im not going to our farm at dusk with a torch!!

Yes Drtreelove, after ive picked the afternoons tamarind i have an ant happy half hour, whereas i check the next days trees, thrash out the nests and burn them with dead banana leaves, or an atomiser with red diesel in it, yes, once bitten twice shy!!

Some great reading links on here now gents, thanks, Lickey..

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I've been brewing bio-indigenous micro-organisms for a couple of years now. its a homemade version of EM and use it as a base for a number of potions including my knock-em all down insecticide which includes chilli, galangal, lemongrass and garlic. effective against aphids, cucumber beetle and caterpillars so far but I do use it as a last resort as it also harms beneficial insects. this year I've let some dill (pak chee lao) and coriander (pak chee) go to seed as the umbillifiers attract predatory insects such as hover flies and parisitic wasps thev'e also attracted a nice little colony of ladybirds and I haven't had to spray yet this year. I've a good collection of organic potion recipes (well I am a chef by trade) which I will sort out and post when I have alittle more time 

   

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Farmers up in arms at herb listing

Chilli, turmeric, ginger branded 'hazardous'

By: KULTIDA SAMABUDDHI and APIRADEE TREERUTKUARKUL

Farmers and traditional medicine experts have reacted angrily to the listing of 13 widely used herbal plants as hazardous substances, suggesting there is a hidden agenda that favours chemical companies.

The Industry Ministry listed the 13 plants as hazardous substances to control production and commercialisation.

The plants are widely used among farmers as alternatives for expensive and toxic farm chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.

The announcement on listing the plants as "hazardous substances type 1" under the 1992 Hazardous Substances Act was approved by Industry Minister Charnchai Chairungruang last month. It took effect on Feb 3.

Story continued here.

Avery good post Soundman, nearly all these herbs [some we grow] are available on the local market, plus garlic low cal ect,

Ive just got my holding tank back in action, just to explain, the borehole pumps into a clay urn pot of 2300 ltrs, the booster pump is controlled by a float valve in the urn, 20 min cycles, fill, pump,fill pump ect, so ive been thinking, if i filled a 2 kilo cotton bag with chilles,garlic,onion,lemongrass and others, crushed it down and put it in the tank and sprayed for a day or night [prefably] it would clear up the ahpids we have in the 1600 banana plants just now, and in the makua, perhaps even the 1st farmers [ants] would get pissed off with this and move on,

If i did this, do you think i would upset the natrual predators too? thanks for your views, Lickey..

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"Not know much or anything about organic insecticides i bought some chorlphos {something like that} mixed it put it in the power pack back pack and first sprayed the ground and roots, then ajusted it to a jet and was knocking red ant nests out of the trees, After the smell had gone it was"

Lickey, chlorpyrifos is Dursban, a organophosphate pesticide. Please read from this link and be careful not to expose yourself to this stuff, especially on a repeated basis. http://bhopal.net/delhi-marchers/factsheets/Dursban.pdf

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Speaking to someone on the weekend about organic insect repellents, they mentioned that most recipes are effective and the trick is to not use the same one all the time, because the insects adapt. He also said that a very good recipe is the herbs used in 'gang phet' (something like ginger, chilli, garlic etc.). These are sold in bundles in the markets.

Another point was mixing flowers through the garden to attract bees and other beneficial insects, looks nice too!

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Thanks for that info Smithson, i have the possibbility of dangling all sorts of concocktions in the holding tank, the best soap ive used so far is dishwasher soap, it doesnt froth so much as ordinary detergants or liquids,

We have 3 bees nests on the farm, and ive been through the internet trying to find out if ants will keep these natural polinators away from the flowers, anybody who does know, please post,

Pics are of flowers/weeds with flowers that grow on the farm, got a lot this year which of course im very happy about, they are a creeper and will go to the top of a 30ft mango tree, Mrs says name is Nam syy, or words that sound like that,,

Cheers, lickey.

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I have posed this question a few times on the forum but never had an answer,ive searched the Net with many different words and till cant find the answer, basically its about ants, and the question is

Are ants bad for fruit trees and do they keep natural polinaters away?

Thanks for any links and advice, Cheers, Lickey..

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I have posed this question a few times on the forum but never had an answer,ive searched the Net with many different words and till cant find the answer, basically its about ants, and the question is

Are ants bad for fruit trees and do they keep natural polinaters away?

Thanks for any links and advice, Cheers, Lickey..

Hi Lickey

friend or foe indeed ??

just googled "weaver ant" and there appears to be both pros and cons to having their colonies in your orchards !! Indeed it would appear they have been used as a biological control in Asia for some considerable time although one downside is that they actively farm scale and aphids for their honeydew .Too many links to sort through and post here (sorry I'm a little pushed for time). Hope this is of help, happy "googling" and if you come across any gems please post the links

cheers Jandtaa 

Edited by jandtaa

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Hi loong

glad your finding the thread useful, yeah there's a lot to take in. This is partly because I've been researching organic growing in the tropics for the last 5 years so have accumulated a hel_l of a lot of material which I've only just started posting so it will slow down fairly soon and we can probably discuss all the seperate topics in more depth over time . Also trying to get this made a subforum so that the subjects can be seperated into seperate threads which should help !! Ha what a coincidence you mention charcoal we're currently discussing it here shredded corn cobs thread 

so be prepared for something on here when I get my notes in order !!

Ants yeah can be a real pain you could try borax (organic !!) which you can use as a bait make a solution and add some honey then dip cotton wool balls and place where you have an ant problem. The ants will carry the food source back to their nest where it will poison the colony.Not sure about your pest could be whitefly or possibly scale, a couple of pests I've experienced out here although never had scale on my toms just the bananas. Could you give us some more detail ?? Using decoy plants is an excellent strategy I use them in the U.K. to keep flea beetle off my japanese salad greens and other brassicas. the flea beetle prefer the tenderest leaves so I sow a sacrificial crop of greens and when the flea beetles attack I can dust them with pyretheum preventig them reaching the larvael stage of the life cycle and thus controling their numbers. Really its a case of using integrated pest management (more on this in the near future ) and letting nature achieve a balance between pests and predators. I have aphids on some of my peppers at the moment which the ants are farming but I also have lady birds feeding on the aphid larvae and some tiny birds (not seen them before this year) eating the ants.Peppers still producing nicely so I'm not gonna spray(organic pesticide) unless things get out of balance.

hope this is of some help and try not to get overwhelmed by the amount of info !! always happy to answer any questions and please ask if you want anything clarifying.

happy organic pottering Jandtaa 

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Thanks for the reply.

Do you know the Thai for Borax and where might one buy it?

I will take a look at the shredded corn cob thread.

Re the white pest, my eyes are not so great, but they seem to like zinnia, toms and marigold in that order. Maybe I will try to get a photo and enlarge it.

I enjoy the garden, but I'm not very knowledgeable, so I'm sure I make many mistakes. I just find it fascinating that seeds can grow into so many different things, using the same basic ingredients.

Funny that you mention birds - in the last 2 days I've seen 2 types of bird that I've never seen before, both very small, one with a beak like a humming bird

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