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View Diary: Bees Colony Collapse Disorder. Solved. (274 comments)

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  •  Political mutt- you can avoid poison (5+ / 0-)

    fruit tree spray by using a combo of dormant oil and a great product called Surround. This is kaolin clay mixed with an oily sticking agent that presents a physical barrior to the sucking insects that destroy your fruit. It is fully safe and used by organic growers.
    A great resource is the book by Michael Phillips, 'The Apple Grower'.

    As far as putting systemic poison on your pets, i would never do it.
    My dog and i get a tick check at the end of the day- i believe that any animal, including human, that has been assaulted with poisons, whether applied by loving owners or encountered in fields of crops will have a weakened immune system and will be so much more vulnerable to cancers and auto-immune disorders.
    Your dog will show you where the ticks are crawling- we can feel even the tiny nymph stage deer ticks, at least i can, and a hairier person would have even less trouble feeling their journey.

    •  I will check out the Surround (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, aitchdee

      I have used other "organic" preparations without success.

      I still worry more about tick-borne diseases than effects of the Frontline and amitraz.  But we also landscape to prevent pests and have guineas and chickens--chemical-free pest control.

      •  Free range guineas (5+ / 0-)

        should absolutely do the trick for you.
        I have a friend whose guineas cover a few acres around the house on her 100 acre property and there are no ticks to be found anywhere within their range.

        The downside to free range is that she loses a few throughout the summer but the remaining fowl raise new broods to replace the missing.

        Pears- Seckel and Summercrisp are favorites- are practically immune to burrowing pests- the early flesh is extremely dense and russeted varieties of apples- Roxbury Russet, Golden Russet are must have varieties- are resistant .

        Try walking down the outdoor lawn poison aisle at your local HD without gasping for breath- it feels dangerous.

        Surround coats your trees with a white barrier- looks like snow and, while not 100 percent, is better than the alternative.

        •  Guineas get grasshoppers, too. (5+ / 0-)

          But you have to be able to tolerate their noise. It never bothered me, tho.

          My experience with free-range guineas is that if you have only one female, she will raise a brood of chicks, but if you have multiple females, they start laying in each others nests, and no chicks are raised.

          I figured out a way for sexing them. Get all your guineas in a pen and get in there with them. Female guineas make a sound that the males never do -- a two-syllable sort of squeek-squawk. When one does that, grab it and throw it out of the cage. Soon you'll be left with nothing but males.

          GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

          by gzodik on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 04:29:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is funny! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            flowerfarmer, gzodik, aitchdee

            We are down to two guineas, and my husband won't let me get more because he thinks they're ugly.  OK, when there are a lot of them they interfere with the dog training because you can't chase them away--they just move a little to get out of range.  And you can't get the dogs to chase them away because all of the dogs have learned that guineas will put in just enough effort to get out of their way, and they'll never catch them.

            Of course if the dogs ignore them, maybe we could just train with them there.  Really, my husband's problem is that he thinks they're ugly...so we miss out on great tick control.

        •  I have found (0+ / 0-)

          that I don't have to spray nearly as much as the label on the fruit tree spray suggests.  Once before the buds open, then there is a long wait until the blossoms drop as we have a bunch of varieties of peaches, pears, apples, cherries, and almonds.  A couple of times after.

          If the tent caterpillars from the wild cherry trees get on them I use bt.

          We have a Kieffer pear that is pest resistant.  Last year we had a late frost so no peaches, and I didn't spray at all.  The Kieffers were fine.  The Golden Delicious apples weren't.

          Tell me about dormant oil.  It doesn't sound like something that will mix with water based preparations.  Is there a way to mix it in my backpack sprayer?

          •  The oil and the detergent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            political mutt

            form an emulsion which will mix with water to form a suspension- just shake your sprayer occasionally.

            This will kill any overwintering insect larvae languishing under the bark- it suffocates them- but does not have any effect on later arrivals, such as bag worms.

            I accidentally found that strong black coffee kills lily leaf beetle larval forms, but not the adults, and young bag worms- my guess is that the caffeine shorts out their neurological system.

            If you are willing to volunteer a pot of coffee to the cause, i would love to hear your feedback- just arm your sprayer and go for it.

            •  bt is great on bag worms (0+ / 0-)

              Are you familiar with it?  It is a bacillus that infects caterpillars.   You can kill just about any kind of caterpillar with it.  It's a powder.  You just dust it on.

              Coffee sounds laborious!  But if I have a problem and I identify lily leaf beetles as the cause, I'll think about it.

    •  I would make an exception (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gzodik, KenBee

      when it comes to a bad case of sarcoptic mange, because it is so hard to get rid of otherwise.

      "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

      by northsylvania on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 03:12:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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