Managing Summer Pests

There’s a few garden pests that love the warmer weather and you will notice their presence on certain plants. The chewers will include beetles, weevils, caterpillars, leaf miners, and the sap suckers are aphids, scale, azalea lace bugs, green vegetable bug, olive lace bug and the Crusader bug.

Crusader bugs are part of the squash bug family and are easily identified by the cross on their back. They feed on the new growth of plants and suck the sap. They are difficult to control but if you wear gloves and drop them in a bucket of soapy water it will cull the numbers. Using Neem oil when the bugs are juveniles can be effective.

Many of these pests will have natural predators so if you don’t use insecticides the good guys will do all the work for you. However, sometimes pests can reach plague proportions and intervention may be required. Try to err on the side of less harmful sprays though so you don’t wipe out the good with the bad.

Garden weevils can attack vegetables, fruit trees, and other ornamental plants. The adult weevils are grey/brown in colour and around 7mm long, coming out at night to do all the feeding. They have a bulbous abdomen with a paler brown V shape stripe. The larvae is pale yellow with a brown head and legless, they harbour around the root system and feed on that until they can emerge as beetles.

Chickens, ducks and Guinea fowl are great control agents for beetles and weevils but if you don’t have any  feathered friends you can use sticky bands or wadding wrapped around the trunks of trees to trap them.

Caterpillars are the larvae of moths and butterflies and are usually found on the underside of leaves. Hand picking them is effective if you are persistent every morning. However, many things love to eat juicy caterpillars, so you need to leave some to feed the birds.

If you, or prior landholders, have used insecticides and herbicides in the past, applying Grow Safe Spreadable Microbes will help kick start the micro flora back into the soil.

Christmas Closure

Seasons greetings from the team at Grow Safe® – Australian Mineral Fertilisers will be closed from midday the 22nd of December 2023 till the 8th of January 2024. Any enquires or online purchases during this period will be processed in the new year.