"Dear Jon, Just a note to say thanks for the extremely prompt bokashi bin delivery – ordered on Friday, received the following Tuesday (today). A word too of thanks for your great FAQs page which answered my bokashi-related questions. So often these are really composed of the questions a company wants to answer rather than the ones customer want to ask. Yours is different! Best wishes Lesley"

Search the site:

Green Gardener - the natural way to keep your garden looking good

Your questions answered - Have your questions about pest control answered by the Green Gardeners John (pictured left) and Jonathan. Email your questions to jon@greengardener.co.uk and each week we will publish the answers to as many questions as possible on this page.


Why not send us your questions through Facebook / Twitter - Use these links to post your question -  Facebook Page (you may need to be logged onto Facebook 1st) and Twitter


N.B. Remember we run a Helpline where you can contact us direct with any questions (we will also reply directly to as many email questions as possible) :-



01493 750061 or Email jon@greengardener.co.uk 

Your questions answered :-

This weeks answers :- 

 

 

Q. I have a large heated greenhouse in which I have citrus, peaches, apricots, etc and with which I have a constant battle with scale. Would your tree glue bands stop further generations from attacking the trees from below?

 

A. I have never heard of glue bands helping with scale. Adult scale insects are immobile and it is the young which move around the greenhouse i.e. the eggs are laid underneath the scale insects protective covering . The newly hatched nymphs move about the plant until a suitable feeding site is found where they start to feed before transforming into a immobile adults. The best solution is a combination of SB Invigorator – spray 2 or 3 times over a weekly period and then spray with scale nematodes 3 times at 7 day intervals. This will clear any scale already present and then SB invigorator can be used to control any new outbreaks.  Controlling Scale Insect

 

Q. I cannot find the link to more details about the candle to put in my greenhouse, I have had one from you before. Do I need to remove my orchids first I cannot remember?
 
A. There is no need to remove the any plants including orchids.
Garlic Greenhouse Candles.
 

Most popular previously asked questions       

        

Q. Can i use your green house garlic candle in our conservatory which contains a wide variety of plants like orchids, citrus trees and carnivorous as I have a major out break of woolly aphid?

 

A. It is more likely to be Mealy Bug in a conservatory at this time of year (the symptoms are very similar i.e. white wool and sticky residue) and the best treatment would be SB Invigorator Spray (safe for your plants except do not spray onto open flowers) followed by Cryptolaemus to give on-going control. A Garlic Candle will not be strong enough to control active Mealy Bug. Mealy Bug Control

 

Q. Just found white fly in my 4×8m conservatory, is it okay to use Encarsia in there as it's open to the lounge?

 

A. The Encarsia are tiny and only hang around the plants with whitefly present, so you are fine to use them in a conservatory, which is open to the lounge. Encarsia Whitefly Control

 

Q. Can you give me some advice about using Sulphur Rose and SB invigorator in conjunction with each other? If I spray with Sulphur Rose during the dormant season - is just once enough, or at regular intervals?  Would you recommend also using SB invigorator during the dormant season?  How long after the sulphur rose? or would that be overkill?

 

A. The idea is to use Sulphur Rose to deal with fungal diseases and then use SB Invigorator for insect pests. Use Sulphur Rose and now and then again in spring to clear any fungal diseases and then spray monthly throughout the growing season (if fungal diseases are bad). Sb Invigorator is then used if any insect pests appear - there is no need to spray if no pests are present. It is fine to use both sprays together if insect pests and fungal diseases are both present. SB Invigorator and Sulphur Rose 

 

Q. Any suggestions for controlling Box Caterpillar – we have a large number of box trees.

 

A. Spray with Nemasys Fruit and Vegetable Protection nematodes 3 times at 7 day intervals to control caterpillars. It is important to spray when the pest is present & the temperature is 12c Nemasys F&V for Box Caterpillar

  

Q. Do you have recommendations for controlling Clothes moths indoors and Thrips, specifically on herbs?

 

A. We don’t have anything for Clothes Moths indoors (sorry), but for Thrips use Nemasys Fruit and Vegetable Protection – Nemasys F and V

 

Q. I have aphids on my roses. Is it a good time now to buy Ladybirds or larvae? I live in the hills in Yorkshire?

 

A. If the aphids are there then it is time for the ladybirds. The earlier you can release the ladybirds the better i.e. before their numbers build up and we have both adult ladybirds and ladybird larvae available between May and August. Ladybirds

 

Q. I have a problem with ants under a brick path and door steps. They have dislodged so much sandy stuff that the path is starting to sink and the doorsteps is falling apart. Could you advise the best product to use?

 

A. The best solution will be the Diatomaceous Earth which you use just like ant powder i.e. dust it everywhere where the ants are present but it is chemical free and once it is stuck to the ants they will take it back to their nests. Diatomaceous Earth

  

Q. I have just placed an order for SB Invigorator, how long after using this product can I introduce Encarsia?  I haven't placed an order yet for these as I wasn't sure on the timescale.

 

A. The advantage of SB Invigorator is that you can introduce Encarsia as soon as the spray drys. If the Whitefly is bad, then aim to spray 2 times in a week and then introduce the Encarsia. Encarsia Whitefly Control

 

Q. I have problems with black spot on Roses, and David Austin Roses, suggested I use Rose Clear, or SB invigorator, Maxicrop or Uncle Tom's. You have Sulphur Rose, and wondered what you thought would be th most suitable organic product & when would be a good time to use it?

 

A. We supply both SB invigorator and Sulphur Rose (and I have never tried the others you mention) and of these 2 I would always use Sulphur Rose as it is specifically for blackspot and mildew. SB Invigorator is a natural pest spray which also has a mild natural fungicide in it, so it is not specific for blackspot. Sulphur rose is a brilliant plant tonic which is sprayed on and encourages healthy blemish-free growth - it is the natural enemy of blackspot & powdery mildew. Sulphur Rose 

 

Q. I have been using Nemaslug and it is really great. I have now ordered Nemasys for vine weevils but I have a question. I assume that I cannot use them at the same time. Should I apply them separately ,if so how long do I wait before doing so?

 

A. You can apply them at the same time, but as they are applied in different ways i.e. the vine weevil killer is concentrated around the rootballs of the plants the Nemaslug is applied to the entire surface I would apply them one after the other. Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer & Nemaslug Slug Killer 

Q. Can I put Nemaslug on my strawberry patch without fear of poisoning people eating the strawberries. If so, how do you suggest I apply it?  Presume should go underneath the strawberry plants somehow, now on the leaves or fruits?

 

A. Nemaslug is totally safe to use around strawberries and you should apply it around the base of the plants plus about 1m all the way around and where possible push the rose through the foliage as applying (it does not matter if it splashes on the leaves). Nemaslug Slug Killer 
      

Q. I'm an organic gardener and just found your website, while looking for a natural way to control scale insects. Could you tell me a bit more about what it is? What's in it? How does it work? That kind if thing.

 

A. We would use SB Invigorator and Scale Nematodes to control scale insects. Its always best to start with SB Invigorator which is a natural spray. It works by dehydrating the pest and blocking its spiracles. Depending on how bad the scale insects are, you would spray twice a week to get them under control and then use Scale Nematodes to clear them. Controlling Scale Insect

 

Q. I have found Vine Weevil in my greenhouse, so should I treat now?

 

A. We supply Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer all year round for use underglass, so if you have found grubs, go ahead and treat NOW. Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer

 

Q. I have loads of small black flies coming out of my houseplants and I have been told it is Sciarid Fly - can you confirm it is Sciarid Fly and how to treat it.

 

A. It sounds like Sciarid Fly (the flies live in the compost - they are also known as Compost Fly) and it is controlled by watering in our Sciarid Fly Nematodes. Sciarid Fly Nematodes

      
Q. My name is Matt and I moved in to a new home 2 years ago and last year we had a big problem with leatherjackets. I see that you have a treatment. Please can you give me some advice on what I need to do, when etc. and if that treatment will be successful.

 

A. Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer is the answer. Treat in April and September. If the infestation is bad then it will take a few years to clear it but it will get better with every application. Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer

  
Q. We have at least one fox that visits our garden every night and leaves poo, usually on the surface of the vegetable raised beds.Is there anything that can be done? We do not have a dog.

 

A. We do 2 very effective fox repellers – Foxwatch and NiteEyes, but if you have a dog I would recommend using NiteEyes. NiteEyes simulates a predators eyes which scares the fox off without hurting it. NiteEyes

 
Q. Recently Helen Yemm (Thorny Problems) answered a reader's quert in the Saturday Telegraph about scale insects on lemon trees & recommended nematodes from you. Can I use your nematode treatment before bringing my plants inside in this year & will that keep it clear for the winter?  Will it need repeat treatments, and will they work at indoor temperatures?

 

A. You do need a daytime temp of 12c (it does not matter if it drops below that at night), so it can be used outdoors in the summer or all year round underglass. The scale treatment consists of 3 applications at 21 day intervals, so you would do the 1st one outdoors before you move the plant inside and then the next 2 would need to be done inside as the temperatures are likely to have dropped. You only then need to re-apply as and when the scale re-appears. Scale Nematodes

      

Q. I recently had an email about Grazers. Can this product be used on edbile plants. A rabbit has taken to visiting my vegetable patch and is enjoying the fruits of my labours! Can you help plase?

 

A. It is safe to use on edible crops - they do recommend stopping treatment a week before harvest. Grazers.

 
Q. I have a miracle gro feeder attachment for my hosepipe how do I mix my vine weevil  solution in there please?

 

A. You can apply the Large Nemasys packs through a hose-end feeder (not the smaller pack). Click this link to find out more about using a Hose-end Feeder

 

Q. Wondering if there is anything I can apply to an outdoor potted Acer; its lime green leaves had started to brown (like windburn) but on closer inspection, I have found its main trunk and branches are covered in small oval brown sucker creatures - I pulled some off, they are sticky and have some resemblance to a small woodlice,like lots of legs? 

 

A. This is Scale Insect and it is a common pest on Acers. I would spray with SB Invigorator (our natural spray which is very effective against scale) twice at 7 days intervals and then repeat if necessary – Click this link to find out more about SB Invigorator. If that does not clear it up then we have Scale Nematodes which are sprayed on and will clear it up. The scale nematodes are sprayed onto the plant 3 times at 7 days intervals – Click this link to find out more about treating Scale 

   
Q. I've just found a huge infestation of scale on my apricot in the greenhouse.  From searching online I suspect it is Parthenolecanium corni. Do you have controls that would control these?

 

A. We use the Scale Nematodes (Steinernema Feltiae) to control scale. If the infestation is heavy then we would recommend spraying with SB Invigorator 1st and then using the nematodes. To find out more about both SB Invigorator and Scale Nematodes CLICK HERE.

  

Q. I have ordered regularly from green gardener and on my last order noticed the discount code! I'm confused, how and where do you get a discount code from you? I just query if you have to spend a large lump sum, or do my regular small purchases not count.

 

A. We do run discounts during the year i.e. the last one was 10% off winter wash last autumn (nothing yet this year) and they are always announced through the newsletter and are available to everyone no matter how much you spend. Keep reading the newsletter and I am sure there will be a discount code soon. Click this link to subscribe to the newsletter 

 

Q. I have a honeysuckle which looks fantastic however when the white fly arrive they devastate it. I have tried a pyrethrum based spray called Insect Killer spray, but my honeysuckle really doesn't respond well to it. Please can you tell me if ladybirds or ladybird lavae would help get rid of the white fly on my honeysuckle?

 

A. Ladybirds will help, but if the whitefly are just starting then larvae on their own will be fine but if the whitefly numbers are building up then it is best to spray 1st with a natural spray. We have a natural spray called SB Invigorator which is very effective on Whitefly (plus other soft bodied pests) and being natural you can then release ladybirds directly afterwards. SB Invigorator

  
Q. I've been 'negligent' with my strawberries in the polytunnel. The plants were showing great potential  recently with lots of blossom, but I've now noticed a gradual decline with some plants dying. On pulling one or two up I've noticed the white larvae. What is your best suggestion.
 
A. That's Vine Weevil – they love strawberries and they love the warmth of a polytunnel. Treat with Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer NOW and then again in August and late September. Our Extended Programme will give you the 3 introductions you need and save money.
Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer.

Q. I have an aphid problem with several of my chilli plants, which are all indoors and will be for the rest of the season. Are ladybird larvae would be suitable for indoor use. I'm assuming that they will grow fairly rapidly and want to fly off, but are there any other issues with indoor use? Alternatively, can you recommend any other treatment if larvae will not be suitable?

 

A. Ladybirds will not work indoors – we are not sure why but they never survive (even in greenhouses). A natural spray like SB Invigorator will control aphids successfully and then you can introduce Aphidius (an aphid predator) if necessary. Both SB Invigorator and Aphidius are safe to use on chilli plants. Click this link to find out more about SB Invigorator and Click this link to find out more about Aphidius

 

Q. Can you advise on a treatment to control whatever might be attacking shrubs in my garden.  I have attached photos of the eaten leaves of azalea, skimmia and a hedging plant (I don't know its name).  So far, the flowers appear not to be prone to attack?

 

A. This is classic vine weevil damage i.e. the adults take “notches” out of the sides of the leaves. You should look to treating at the base of infected plants with Nemasys Vine Weevil killer NOW and again in September to target the grubs. Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer.

         
Q. I was wondering if you can give me any advice on how to keep cats out of my garden. We have a 6 month old Rough Collie and constantly have cats in our front and back gardens.

A.
CatWatch is the most effective way of keeping cats out of the garden (it is recommended by the RSPB), but we do also do sprays etc.
Catwatch (and repelling cats)
  

Q. A query about slug gone wool pellets - It appears as though they 'sit'  on top of the soil, but how  susceptible would they be to wind as I live in an extremely windy spot?

 

A. Slug Gone Wool Pellets do sit on the surface but as soon as the pellets are watered (or it rains), the pellets expand and form a mat, which will not blow or wash away. Slug Gone Wool Pellets.
 

Q. I am sure I bought nematodes from you previously to rid my plants of tiny thread like worms which I believe are sciarid fly larvae (turn into nasty little flies and are particular horrid in my overwintering fuscias and pelargoniums which are potted in the greenhouse)?

 

A. It is Sciarid Fly nematodes you are after. It contains Steinernema Feltiae nematode which are very effective at controlling Sciarid Fly – Sciarid Fly Nematodes.
   
Q. I am having trouble with my grass. The birds, magpies etc are shredding it already. Is there anything that can be done now? At this rate there will be none left to cut!

 

A. With the weather being so wet and the temperatures quite mild, the pests (either leatherjackets / chafer grubs) are appearing at the surface and therefore the birds are still feeding on them. As soon as we get some cold weather the pests should go deep and then the problem will stop until we are able to treat i.e. you can treat leatherjackets in April and chafer grubs in August. In the meantime, make sure you give the lawn a good feed, so the grass that is left survives and thrives – we do a very good organic lawn fertiliser which only needs 2 applications. Organic Lawn Fertiliser.

    
Q. I am a great fan of NemaSlug, but could you advise if it has any effect on Earthworms.
 
A. Nemaslug will not affect earthworms.
Nemaslug Slug Killer 


Q. I keep hearing about Mycorrhizal Fungi (Monty Don was using them on Gardeners World) but how do it use them?
 
A. Adding Mycorrhizal Fungi when planting new shrubs, roses and trees will cause a huge secondary root system to develop along side the plant's own roots, which will supply nutrients and water to the plant ensuring rapid plant establishment. Simply dig the planting hole and sprinkle 20g of Vaminox in the bottom. Place the plant in the hole directly on top of the granules and backfill as normal. Mycorrhizal Fungi act like a permanent fertiliser & ensure rapid plant establishment.
Mycorrhizal Fungi.
    
Q. Yesterday I phoned Which Gardening who were unable to help and referred me to Disease Control firm in Bristol but my email was returned.  My problem is rust spots on the leaves of my pear tree - mid summer one spot appeared on most of the leaves now there are three or four and my wife has been leaning on me to do something about the problem. I will be grateful for your help.
 
A. I suspect the Bristol company was Garlic Wonder as they do a very goof garlic fruit tree spray called Garlic Wonder, which controls pests and fungal diseases i.e. rust on fruit trees. We supply this spray as it is very effective ORGANIC solution.
Garlic Wonder.
  
Q. Can you advise how long phytoseiulus lasts and how often it should be repeated to keep red spider mite under control?

 

A. Phytoseiulus will last as long as the temperature is above 16c and there are Red Spider Mites for them to eat. Once they have cleared the infestation, you will then need to re-introduce if the Red Spider Mite re-appear. If the infestation is heavy you may need to introduce Phyto a number of times (at 2 week intervals) to get on top of the initial problem, but normally 1 or 2 introductions is enough. Phytoseiulus.

 
Q. I have a sprayer that's used for liquid soap spraying. Would using Clearway be alright to use in the same sprayer? One might even clean it first?
 
A. You are fine to use Clearway in a sprayer used for natural sprays – just rinse it out afterwards remembering to flush some through the nossle.
    
 

Q. Could you advise if I can use the slug killer and vine weevil killer in the same areas please. And when are they both available again as the bugs are having a ball in my garden at the moment!

 

A. You can use them both in the same area although the slug killer should be applied to the whole surface of the soil where as the Nemasys should be concentrated around the rootball of the plants. They both need a soil temp of 5c, so apply as soon as ther soil is warm enough i.e. March. Click this link to find out more about Nemaslug Slug Killer and click this link to find out more about Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer. 

   

Q. Most of my gardening happens in containers but this is the first time I've had vine weevils. I panicked and used Provado vw killer, but this September I'd like to give a round of nematodes to all plants, especially the edible ones which I left untreated. Will the nematodes die if I use them on containers which had Provado in June? Also, will fertiliser affect the nematodes?

 

A. Provado will not affect the nematodes, so you are safe to treat the containers with Nemasys that you had previously treated with Provado. Fertilisers will also not affect Nemasys so you can go ahead and treat with Nemasys in April (this is when we recommend treating in the Spring) and add fertiliser as and when. Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer. 

  

Q. Something is digging up our lawn and my neighbour suggested I treat for Chafer Grubs and Leatherjackets - are the treatments the same and when should I do it?

 

A. Birds pecking at the lawn tends to be Leatherjackets and large birds, foxes and badgers digging up the lawn tends to be chafer grubs. The treatmets are different i.e. Nemasys Chafer Grub Killer for treating chafer grubs (CLICK HERE to find out more) and Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer for treating leatherjackets (CLICK HERE to find out more).

 

Q. Do you have anything to help rose cultivation, and especially to act against black spot?

 

A. we have Sulphur Rose for controlling Blackspot naturally - CLICK HERE to find out more. We also have organic rose food – CLICK HERE to find out more.
  
  

Q. I have a 10 x 8 cedar greenhouse and I do not like using sprays to get rid of greenfly on Fuschia's etc, is this a suitable setting for ladybirds or the or larva?

A. You can use ladybird larvae as a one off emergency clean up  of the aphids if they are bad (
CLICK HERE to find out more) or if the aphids have just started then use Aphidius to give on-going control  - CLICK HERE to find out more.
 
 

Q. I have badgers digging up my lawn and I have been told they are probably after chafer grubs, so 2 questions - how do I stop badgers digging and how do I get rid of the grubs?
 
A. I am getting lots of calls about badgers so I suspect it was a bad year for chafer grubs and there are lots about and the badgers are digging up the lawn after them. We have a nematode treatment call Nemasys Chafer Grub Killer to cure your lawn of chafer grubs, but that cannot be applied to August (CLICK HERE to find out more about Chafer Grub Killer). In the meantime, it is best to use NiteEyes to keep the badgers away from the lawn until you can treat -
CLICK HERE to find out more about NiteEyes.

  

Q. I have an infestation of whitefly in the greenhouse. I grow lettuce and parsley in it. Would there be any point in releasing ladybirds to get rid of the whitefly.

 

A. The best solution to Whitefly in a greenhouse is Encarsia. Encarsia

 

Q. I’m looking for a natural product to help with leaf curl aphids on my plum and cherry trees. Is your Winter Wash the best product for this.

 

A. As you suspected you should use Winter Wash now to clear any over-wintering pests (CLICK HERE to find out more)  and then if the aphids appear in the spring / summer, release ladybird larvae to stop them getting out of control – CLICK HERE to find out more about ladybird larvae. 

 

Q. Doubtless you will be aware of the news about Spanish Slugs - therefore can you advise me as a customer of yours whether the nematodes you supply will be effective against these and how much would I need to treat a 180meters square garden? I have many rare flowers in my garden grown from seed over the years and would hate to lose them.

A. We are aware of these Spanish slugs (Arion vulgaris) and Nemaslug will work against them, but it is more effective when the slugs are young. The bigger the slug the harder it is for Nemaslug to affect them, so it is important to apply Nemaslug AS SOON as the soil temp is 5c. A Large pack will treat 100 sqm and it kills slugs for 6 weeks once applied, so you would need 2 to treat 180 sqm and each large pack costs £24.25, BUT you only need to treat borders, veg gardens etc - you do not need to treat lawns, patios etc. Nemaslug Slug Killer.  

Q. I read with much interest about the use of ladybirds to control aphids, which plagued my cherry tree last year. I also have an ant problem, which farm the aphids for the honeydew. Due to the presence of ants does this mean that the use of ladybirds would be ineffective.

 

A. One of the new products for this year is hessian release bags for releasing ladybird larvae into trees to combat aphids in trees. The ants are attracted to the honeydew that the aphids produce, so you need to place a glue band around the tree BEFORE the ants start producing honeydew to block their access and then release ladybird larvae in the spring. I will be adding the new ladybird larvae and release sacks to the website in the next couple of weeks, so please take a look. Glue Bands
 

Q. I have a red spider mite problem with my lemon tree. I just wanted to check if it is a suitable time of year to use Phytoseiulus. It lives indoors over winter, which means that it's kept nice and warm (probably too warm) due to the central heating. Does that mean that I can use the Phytoseiulus now?

 

A. Phyto needs a daytime temp of 16c, so it can be used all year round indoors i.e. you will be fine to introduce it now. Phytoseiulus.

 

Q. Please could you advise me on whether the garlic candle will work against powdery mildew.

 

A. Biofume is more for insect pests, so it will not work against powdery mildew. The answer is to spray your plants with PM Powdery Mildew Treatment. PM Powdery Mildew Spray.

 

Q. I've got some of your Citrox disinfectant and I'd love to know if it suitable to use on my plastic hen house (prior to it being inhabited and afterwards).

 

A. Citrox natural disinfectant is ideal for cleaning a plastic hen house and is totally safe for chickens - the RSPB even recommend it for cleaning bird feeders. Citrox natural disinfectant.

 

Q. I am currently looking after a large greenhouse and I have an infestation of both spider mite and powdery mildew. I have the SB invigorator and PM clockwork powdery mildew treatment that you sell, but want to introduce the phytoseiulus mites to control the SM. My questions to you is can I continue to spray the powdery mildew if the predatory mites are there or will it kill them?

 

A. You are fine to continue spraying with the PM Clockwork Mildew Treatment once you have introduced the Phyto. You can spray with SB Invigorator up until you introduce the phyto but stop this one once the Phyto are released. As it is a large greenhouse, you should introduce as many phyto as possible to get on top of the problem as quickly as possible. Phytoseiulus.

 

Q. Would you please tell me whether your garlic greenhouse candle will kill the fungal spores of tomato blight which decimated my tomatoes in the greenhouse this year ?

 

A. Garlic Candles are more for insect pests, so it will not cure tomato blight. The answer is to remove the plants and destroy them and then disinfect the greenhouse with Citrox (our natural disinfectant). Citrox.

 

Q. Do you have any solutions to badgers, Not the usual pest in a garden I know, but they seem to be invading the vegetable plots!

 

A. We do 2 products to repel badgers - The Pestclear Outdoors and Niteyes. Click this link to find out more about Repelling Badgers


Q. I have just ordered 2 of the garlic candles to try in my greenhouses. Have I read it right that plants can be in them when the candles are lit? I have used sulphur candles before and I know everything has to be out.

 

A. One of the advantages with the Garlic Candles is that you do NOT need to remove the plants, so you are safe to go ahead – just give the plants a good water as per the instructions. Garlic candles.

 

Q. We have introduced Phytoseilus to control red spider mite, but now the aphids are getting out of control.  Are the any pesticides that can be used that won’t kill of the Phytoseilus?

 

A. Any pesticide will affect the phyto, so you can either spray with a natural spray (we recommend Sb Invigorator) - just spray the tips where the aphids are and it will not affect the phyto or the other option is to introduce an aphid predator i.e. aphidius and / or aphidoletes. Aphidius
 
Q. We've had a real problem this year with wireworm in our potatoes.  I've dug them all up now (more than half were useless) and am wondering whether to buy and apply your nematodes for wireworm now (too late for this year's crop obviously) or wait until May, soon after we've planted next season's potatoes.

 

A. Due to the extended lifecycle of wireworms they are not the easiest pest to clear, so you should apply the wirworm nematodes whenever you spot them and the soil is warm enough, so if they are there now, I would treat now and kill as many as you can before the winter. Then as soon as they appear again in the spring and the soil is warm enough i.e. in May as you suggest treat again. Wireworm Nematodes

     

Q. You supply the phyto predator mite to control Red Spider Mite but I want to kill poultry red mite. Do you know if they will work?

 

A. I do not have any experience of using our Phytoseiulus to control poultry mite myself, but I know some of our customers do use it successfully, so please have a go and let m eknow how you get on. Phytoseiulus. 

   

Q. I’m looking for the most effective way to control ant nests in our lawn.  They are red, orange and back ants and I have noticed with the wet weather our lawn is getting a number of bald patches. Is there anything that is safe, actually works and will not harm children, pets or chickens at the same time?

 

A. We supply Nemasys No Ants to control ants of all colours in lawns and borders and it is totally safe for children, pets, wildlife and chickens. Nemasys No Ants 

     

Q. I am interested in purchasing some of your Biodegradable Weedkiller but can you let me know if it is safe for birds to feed from around the areas I have treated?

 

A. It is safe to use Biodegradable weedkiller in areas that birds feed. Rain does not re-activate it, so even if it rains it is still safe - this type of weedkiller is taken up by the weed and works from the inside out. Biodegradable Weedkiller
      
Q. Do I need a certain type of worms to re-start a wormery I have just been given.

 

A. 250g of our standard composting worms are ideal for re-starting a wormery. Composting Worms

   
Q. Have just found Vine weavil in compost of a large 5ft bowl and it has attacked my heuchera collection. I propose to repot plants and keep them safe from further damage. Do you still have VW nematodes available and if I drench the infested compost may I replant in it or should I dispose of compost and replace entirely with fresh? I have never had VW before.

 

A. We have Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer available all year round as vine weevil grubs can be discovered at anytime especially in south facing / sheltered gardens. If you treat the compost then you are safe to use it again, but you should treat again in April just in case any eggs have survived the winter. Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer.

 

Q. Where should I apply Nemaslug?  Beds? Lawns? Woodland garden?  I have over half-an-acre of garden in all, and can't apply it everywhere, but I do have a big problem with slugs.

 

A. You need to treat the soil (not lawn, patio etc) where the plants you want to protect are growing. You can even just protect patches of border where vulnerable plants are growing i.e. protect a patch of hostas by watering all around them creating an exclusion zone. Nemaslug Slug Killer. 

    

Q. I have just spotted that the bougainvillea in our conservatory has lots of greenfly. I have a heater in there that keeps the conservatory frost free, but its far from warm! Ive never had them at this time of year before. Is there anything I can introduce to get rid of them that could cope with such conditions?

 

A. You can introduce Aphidius (our natural aphid predator) as soon as the daytime temp reaches 10c / 50f. If it is not warm enough then use SB Invigorator spray to stop the aphids getting out of control until it is. Do you know what the daytime temperature is in the conservatory (night time temp is less important)? Aphidius Aphid Control. 

  
Q. I bought a ladybird house last year and some ladybirds and they have been brilliant.  I'm now looking at buying the butterfly house and the butterfly pavilion to go with it, so we can release some butterflies in the garden.  I would like to plant some flowers to attract the butterflies and bees, but my husband doesn’t want me to plant flowers in the garden, so has suggested we have hanging baskets either side of the butterfly house.  My query is would it be ok to plant the seeds in one of your hanging flower bags?

 

A. As you suspect, hanging bags and baskets really need to be planted with plug plants and are not suitable for growing seeds in - sorry. Hanging bags or baskets planted with butterfly friendly plants is a great idea but I would buy plug plants of species like sage, marjoram, violets, asters, verbena, dianthus and pincushion and use these as they are well know to attract butterflies. Butterflies also love herbs PLUS if you grow these in your bags/ baskets you can use them in your cooking as well. Please let me know how you get on and if you decide to try and plant some up for butterflies, please send us some pictures.

 
Q. Can you please advise on a current problem, namely fungus gnats?  There was an infestation in the summer and I hadn't realised until the damned things had killed some of my plants.  I have never come across these things before, and had no idea how destructive they could be. I need to be able to use a killer on my herb seedlings as well as pot plants.

 

A. Sciarid Fly is a very destructive pest but we do have a nematode treatment which is safe to use on herbs. Sciarid Fly Nematodes.

 

Q. I have an infestation of whitefly in the greenhouse. I grow lettuce and parsley in it. Would there be any point in releasing ladybirds to get rid of the whitefly and if so when will they be available?

 

A. The best solution to Whitefly in a greenhouse is Encarsia. Ladybirds should be released to control outdoor pests and are available from mid May onwards.

 

Q. Can you tell me if the Nematodes would still work if the containers have previously been treated with insecticide (Provado)?  I have a site that is having problems with Sciarid flies and the client is demanding we use insecticide now rather than wait a few more days for the Nematodes to arrive.  Will that be a problem?

 

A. Provado will NOT affect the nematodes, so you are free to go ahead and treat with them first. 

  
Q. I reading the latest newsletter and wondered whether the Winter wash for fruit trees would help with a problem I have on my crab apple tree which gets infested each year with ants. What do you think please?

 

A. Ants in fruit trees is a common problem, but the ants are not attacking the tree - they are after the honeydew produced by aphids. The ants are an indication that you have a aphid problem in your fruit tree, so spray with a winter wash now to kill any over-wintering aphids and then keep an eye out for aphids later in the year.  You should also wrap a glue band around the trunk of the tree to stop the ants as well - this is a very old and very effective way of controlling pests which crawl up the tree including ants. Click this link to find out more about Winter Wash and click this link to find out more about Glue Bands.

       

Q. I often get frogs in my greenhouse and do not want to harm them in any way, so can you tell me if the Garlic candle is suitable to use in my greenhouse?

 

A. Garlic Candles will not harm frogs, so you are safe to go ahead and use them. Garlic candles. 

 

Q. My bay trees are riddled with what I believe are Vine Weevil. The bay trees are in pots and I have been treating the soil with a a chemical designed for getting rid of these pests, the chemical is a thick white liquid that is diluted with water. The issue has been on-going with the bay trees for two years and I now see first signs of damage on a few leaves of some other plants. Do you think that by treating the leaves as opposed to the soil I may cure the problem?

 

A. You need to kill the grubs in the soil rather than treat the leaves. I have other customers that have successfully treated vine weevils in bay trees with our Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer - CLICK HERE to see a testimonial about treating bay trees. If you are going to try our treatment you need to be doing it sooner rather than later. 

     

Q. I have hundreds of wasps attacking the plums on my trees and I have heard of the Waspinator - is this the answer to my prayers.

 

A. The Waspinator will repel wasps around garden tables, barbacues, in loft spaces etc, but it will NOT stop wasps attacking your trees. It is best to trap the wasps in a Wasp Bane Wasp Trap. You must capture 100% of the wasps, otherwise they will return with re-inforcements. We recommend the Waspbane Wasp Trap. Waspbane Wasp Trap.

   

Q. Can I use Nemasys No Ants in the vegetable/ strawberry beds?

 

A. No Ants is totally safe to use in vegetable / strawberry beds. Nemasys No Ants.

   

Q. We have a problem with ants in our front garden - it's most noticeable in the block paving, as they leave little piles of sand, but they are also in the borders and the lawns. I see that Nemasys no ants can be used on lawns and borders, but it doesn't mention block paving.

 

A. Ant nematodes need to be watered into the soil where the ant nests are. If they are nesting in the cracks in the block paving then I would recommend using Diatomaceous Earth (a natural ant powder) which is ideal for using on hard surfaces as it can be "squirted" into the cracks etc. Diatomaceous Earth

   

Q. I have a problem with ants in the greenhouse building their nests through the roots of my pepper plants. I notice that you sell Nemasys ant killer. Would this this be suitable and safe for use on vegetables especially peppers.
 
A. Nemasys No Ants would work well as long as the ants are nesting around the roots of your peppers as the nematodes do need to be watered into the nests. Nemasys No Ants is totally safe to use around peppers PLUS ALL fruit and veg.
Nemasys No Ants.
   
   

Q. I have been using Sulphur Rose since the dormant season and the roses are looking really healthy.  Please can you tell me will Sulphur Rose also treat any greenfly I might get later on or do I need something else?

 

A. Sulphur Rose controls blackspot, mildew etc, but not aphids i.e. greenfly. To control greenfly introduce ladybirds or spray them with our natural spray SB Invigorator. Click this link to find out more about  Ladybirds. Click this link to find out more about SB Invigorator.
 
Q. I have saw fly on gooseberries every year and it has started already. I am outside every morning clearing the little green caterpillars off and then again at night time.  I need the control immediately, but your website says that you will not send it out until May. Is there anyway that I can order this product and have it sent know.

A. If the caterpillars are already present then you should start treating ASAP. It is normally mid May when they start, but I suspect the warm weather has brought them out early. Please go ahead and order, and then email me the order number on the confirmation email (GG??????????) and request delivery ASAP and I will send it straight away.
Gooseberry Sawfly.

Q. My scented geraniums and begonias in the conservatory are suffering from aphids already.  I see that ladybirds are available from May onwards and also there is only mention of using them outdoors. What would you recommend for this problem in the conservatory?

 

A. Ladybirds will not work underglass, so we use Aphidius and / or Aphidoletes to control aphids underglass. There are lots of aphids around already due to the warm weather we have been having, so if you have already spotted them, introduce the aphidius and / or aphidoletes as soon as possible. Click this link to find out more about controlling aphids underglass.

    

Q. I'm interested in your copper-based products to protect our raised bed against its annual infestation of snails. My original idea was to put tape along the top edge of the wooden sides but the beasties might get in from underneath or through nooks and crannies. If so, should I use the rings/bands around individual plants?

 

A. Snails are unlikely to come up through the bottom - they will normally crawl up the sides, so I think your original idea of snail tape around the bed is the best and I do know a number of customers have protected raised beds successfully using this method. If there are lots of gaps for them to access the bed then the rings/bands will be more effective. Copper Snail Tape.

  
Q. Every february/march, we have an onslaught of ants which drives me crazy. I have tried everything, including a type of chalk available in south africa which is poisonous and the ants are not meant to cross....perhaps they are smarter in s. africa? they cross in london. I have read about diatomaceous earth. sounds best so far. We need to do 2 areas (front and back), driveway and terrace. area, so which size to go for? 2 x 100g bottles or the 1 kg size?

 

A. DE is the answer - it is used in the same way as ant powder but being natural it is chemical free. You will need the 1KG to treat that area and leave you enough to re-apply as needed to keep them at bay. Diatomaceous Earth.

  

Q. We have a 3 foot lime tree and 4 foot orange tree in our conservatory and both trees have brown scales on the backs of their leaves. Many of the leaves of both trees are sticky, the sticky substance has gone mouldy on some of the leaves. The garden is totally organic but we didn't know what to do with the trees so I'm sorry to say we took the orange tree outside and gave it a good spray with an insecticide. It didn't make any difference and I would be very grateful for your advice.

 

A. The pest your trees are suffering from is scale. It is very insecticidal resistant which is why your spray has not worked. We supply both a natural spray (SB Invigorator) and a nematode treatment which are very effective at controlling scale. With a heavy infestation like yours, I would suggest spraying first with SB Invigorator and then treating with the nematodes. Scale Nematodes.
 
  

Q. I bought two Garlic Candles and it's clear from the instructions that the fumes treat the plants, but will the treatment get rid of lingering pests in the greenhouse. Is this wrong?   I have just cleared the greenhouse ready to sow salads etc for the autumn/winter.  Is there any point in using the biofume now or should I just hang onto them until next year? 

 

A. The garlic candles are for treating the greenhouse to clear any pests but unlike nasty sulphur candles the plants do not need to be removed before treatment. They are ideal for using now i.e. before the winter and in the spring to clear out the pests before the spring, so go ahead and use them to clear any pests present form the summer i.e. red spider mite, aphids etc. Garlic candles.

  

Q. My friend lives in Kendal and the rabbits keep eating all her garden plants.  Is there anything she can do to stop them or certain type of plants that they do not like.This is proving to be very expensive.

 

A. There are no rabbitproof plants, but there is natural treatment called Grazers which you spray on and it stops grazing animals (including rabbits) from ruining the plants.

  

Q. I am plagued by earwigs this year and eating everything in sight. Any remedies for getting rid of them will be gratefully received.

 

A. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) will control earwigs. Diatomaceous Earth.

 

Q. I’ve just ordered this (organic lawn food) and would welcome your advice. Surrounding our pond is lawn, and I am always nervous about feeding my lawn, in case it damages the fish. I would welcome any advice on any feed for the lawn without causing any damage to the pond.

 

A. Our natural lawn feed will have no adverse on aquatic life, but as good practise we always recommend leaving a 1m exclusion zone around the pond to be on the safe side. Organic Lawn Food.

Q. Our first use of Nemaslug had excellent results - no slugs on strawberries or cabbages.  Am thinking of using your 'planned programme', but have now thoroughly  strawed up the strawberries. For Nemaslug to be effective, do I have to remove/move aside the straw when applying?

 

A. The straw is course enough that it will not filter out the nemaslug, so you can water through it. Water first, apply the nematodes and then wash the nematodes through the straw with fresh water. Nemaslug Slug Killer.

  

Q. I saw a slug product a couple of years ago that was safe for hedgehogs etc, but it could not be used on food plants. Is your product safe to use on food plants?

 

A. Nemaslug is totally safe for children, pets and wildlife and is totally safe to use on food crops. Nemaslug Slug Killer.

    

Q. I have a Virginia creeper growing on a trellis but alot of ants have colonized it. What is going on?

A. The ants are probably milking aphids, so try checking the creeper for aphids i.e. check the growing tips. If you find aphids then treat them by releasing ladybirds and that should stop the ants. Ladybirds.

 

Q. I've ordered the full course of encarsia and had a delivery today. Should I use ALL the cards in the pack and expect further postal deliveries over the next weeks, or do I keep cards back myself for a further 'delivery' in 2 weeks time? 

 

A. You will get 4 separate deliveries (at 7 day intervals) and you use ALL the cards each time. You will find 5 cards in each delivery and these should be hung in the lower leaves of the plants at regular intervals. Encarsia Whitefly Control.

Q. Are your ladybirds British and not the Harlequin variety? I should like to be certain before I recommend you!

A. We only supply native British 2 spot ladybirds.

  

Q. Hi Jonathan, could you tell me if the nemaslug will also rid me of my snail problem?

A. We supply Nemaslug as a Slug control, BUT alot of gardeners who use it regularly say it reduces snail numbers aswell but it does take a while. If you want a sure fire way of controlling snails you must use the physical trap methods or you can repel snails from pots using snail tape. Nemaslug Slug Killer.

 

Q. With reference to Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can you please confirm that it is safe to use around food crops and where children may be playing.

 

A. DE is safe to use around a veg and where children will be playing. Diatomaceous Earth.

 

Q. Could you tell me whether Clarity Pro is safe to use in a pond used by ducks and from which chickens drink?

 

A. Clarity Pro is a natural product, so it is safe for ducks and chickens. Clarity Pro.

 

Q. Can you expand on the food eaten by the worms in a wormery i.e. what cannot go in and do you have to have enough waste put aside to fill the tray at least one third to get started then add worms or or do you fill a whole layer and then add worms.


A. The worms will eat most cooked and uncooked food leftovers including veg peelings, rice, pasta, bread, pizza etc, but avoid citrus, onions and banana skins. You can also add kitchen roll, vacuum cleaner dust, toilet roll inners, dog hair etc. You only need a couple of days worth of kitchen waste in the first tray to start. Click this link to find out more about wormeries.

  

Q. We appear to have the roots of some of our plants being eaten, by what seem to be chafer grubs.  Do you have a nematodes that will deal with them?

 

A. We do nematodes for Chafer Grubs, but Chafer Grubs are normally a lawn pest. If these grubs are in the roots of plants then they are more likely to be vine weevils. Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer. 

  

Q. I have 2 taxus bacatta trees and there are white type maggots around the roots under the soil. It looks like its on its last legs - is there any hope or is it too far gone once they take hold?

 

A. It all depends on how much of the root system the vine weevil grubs have eaten -  In really bad cases plants can topple over! As this has only happened recently I suspect they will be OK, but you need to treat with Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer now and again in September to kill the vine weevil grubs and then feed the plants well throughout the summer to compensate the plant for any root system lost. Fingers crossed they will then recover. Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer. 

 

Q. Will Sulphur Rose treat mildew on roses and honeysuckle?

 

A. Sulphur Rose will treat mildew on both - use at a rate of 10g per 4.5 litres of water for other plants. CLICK HERE to find out more.

      

Q. I am interested in the worm works.  Kitchen waste – is that all food stuffs (no meat I am vegan!), or is it the sort of thing I put in my composter – i.e: veg peelings etc?


A. The wormery will take all the kitchen waste not just veg peelings i.e. coffee grinds, kitchen roll, egg shells, egg cartons, veg peelings, tea bags, left over cooked food i.e. rice, pasta bread etc. The worms will then convert this into compost and liquid feed.