TheGardenLady received this question about a Peace Lily from Janet.
I just moved my Peace Lilly to a room with better light toÂ discover why my leaves wereÂ turning brown on the tips then turning black. What I discovered were little white worm-looking bugs crawling in the soil. I have not found any help on the Internet and am praying for any help you can give me. Please any help will be greatly appreciated.
Not seeing the white worms in your Peace Lily plant soil it is impossible to be 100% sure of the pest you are describing. That being said, hopefully we can still save your plant if it is not too sick. I hope that I can answer your prayers, but sometimes plants cannot be ressurected.
Peace lilies are strong hardy plants, but like every living thing, it does have pests that attack it. Here is a professional website that talks about diseases and pests that harm Peace Lilies.
Sometimes people buy plants that are infested with some pest but do not see it when they bring the plant home and the pest multiplies. Sometimes a healthy plant gets insects or diseases or pests from a nearby plant.
Whatever happened to your plant we will try to help it.
There are, of course, some insect pests that NO one wants. One of those insects is the Japanese beetle. Japanese beetles like over 275 plant species. For TheGardenLady Japanese beetles are especially awful on the roses.
To get rid of Japanese beetles, one should start early in their life cycle when Japanese beetles are in their grub stage living in the soil of your lawn or garden. Milky spore is considered safe to use. For answers to questions about milky spore read this.
Milky Spore’s effectiveness can be enhanced by the use of beneficial nematodes – specifically NemaSeek. Read package instructions for best time to apply in your area.
If you did not kill all the grubs in your soil with the milky spore or if some fly in from your neighbors yard, there are some other organic remedies that one can use.
So what should a gardener do if there are insect pests in the garden?
There are too many suggestions to write just one short article about how to prevent or get rid of insect pests, but TheGardenLady will give some suggestions in this brief post.
This garden site is for the person who is a garden hobbyist, not a person making a living from the garden: but even farmers might find some good ideas on how to get rid of garden insect pests- or recommend some great ideas to the readers of this blog.
Here are just a few of TheGardenLady’s suggestions:
First of all don’t be so stressed over your garden. Expect insects to feed off your garden just as you feed off its beauty. The garden should be fun and help you relax and get rid of your stress, not cause more stress. Perfection isn’t the name of the gardening game. Remember that Nature or God made it so that all can live together: man, beast and insect.
Today more and more gardeners are going organic. It is no longer a fad or something just hippies are doing. Even the government is recommending less use of toxic chemicals and have even banned many. Going organic means using no toxic chemicals on plants. But if you feel that you can not go all the way to organic then there is a strategy called IPM or Integrated Pest Management that tolerates a little use of insecticides. IPM encourages the use of the minimum amount of pesticides after having used all the other strategies to get rid of insects- those other strategies are organic. If you are organic or using IPM, you will tolerate some insect damage in your garden. (see here)
Plant plants that attract beneficial insects that will kill insect pests. Or you can even buy some beneficial insects like lady bugs for your garden. For photos of 10 beneficial insects read this.
This post is the fourth in a series of posts on the control of pests.
When it comes to pests, the last question you should ask yourself is, “Are insecticides the best overall management tactic?”
Insecticides have strong and sometimes dangerous chemicals in them. After all they are designed to kill. Some of these chemicals not only kill insects but are toxic to humans and animals. Some of the chemicals get into our skin, nose and mouth. Some of those chemicals get into the soil and water and last for generations if not hundreds of years.
This post is the third in a series of posts on the control of pests.
The third question a gardener has to ask is “Will the pests spread to other plants?”
Knowing about Â the pest that is affecting your plant is important so that you can know enough to outsmart the insect with the minimum amount of force or effort. Some insect pests love many crops while others insect prefer only one family of plants.
The insects that eat only one family of plants are easiest to eradicate. By getting rid of the family of plants, you eliminate that insect population. Sadly, that is what is happening to the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch butterfly’s caterpillar can only feed on the asclepias or milkweed plants – no other plant family. Milkweed is a weed pest on farms and are destroyed when builders build houses with gorgeous lawns. So the Monarch butterfly is dying out. Continue reading “How To Control Pests – Part III”
This post is the second in a series of posts on the control of pests.
The second question a gardener has to ask when seeing pests or pest damage in the garden is: “Are the pests still actively damaging the plants or have they long since left or matured?”
Many pests have a brief lifespan. They do their damage and in a few weeks of damage their eating-part of their life cycle is finished. In that brief period when they are eating the plants they may do what seems like a lot of damage because they eat a large number of plants including flowers and herbs. Their damage is ugly. Then when the move on to another phase of their life cycle, they might not need to feed on the plant leaves or stems.
This spring the the four-lined plant bug did a job on my mint and my Russian sage. Almost all the leaves were eaten and affected. But I knew that when it was time for the flowers to emerge, they would not be eating and the flowers would look fine. My flowers and plants recovered. But I am not a farmer, so I can be tolerant. And in my garden the plants they ate were mostly weeds, so I did not have to be concerned.
Get to know the insects in your garden. By knowing about the the four-lined plant bug, I knew that in my garden I did not have to do anything drastic like use any strong pesticides (see here).
If you want to ID the insect and learn about it but cannot find the information online, take the insect in a closed jar to your local Master Gardener office or agriculture extension office. Do NOT squish the insect. To kill it put the closed jar into your freezer overnight.
One of the challenges of gardening is how to control the pests that like your garden as much if not more than you, the gardener. Some of these pests’ lives depend on your garden for their livelihood- literally eating to remain alive to repeat their own life cycle. So when you have insects on your plants you have to decide “How important is the damage to the overall appearance of the flower in my garden?”
Some insects that eat plants in the garden are good and helpful insects. We all know that bees are beneficial insects. Yes, they might sting us, but basically they are helping to pollinate the flowers or to get nectar to make honey. Without bees we wouldn’t have most plants. So we allow the bees to remain in our garden and don’t use insecticides to kill them.
But there are other equally good or beneficial insects that come to our plants that even do damage to the plants. But because we like these insects, we don’t want to kill them. For example, everyone seems to love butterflies and no one wants to kill them or eliminate butterflies from their gardens. But before they become the butterfly that we love, they were caterpillars that had to eat plants so that they could become (metamorphosis) that beautiful insect fluttering in our garden. Caterpillars need some of the plants that we grow and can become a pest especially if you are a farmer whose livelihood depends on your crops. For example, among the plants butterfly caterpillars need, depending on the type of butterfly, are parsley, or dill or fennel or even carrots or black-eyed-Susans.
Most of us are gardeners who do not rely on our crops for a living, so do we really care if caterpillars eat these plants in our gardens? To rephrase my original question: How much damage is being done by the insects in your garden and are you willing to live with that damage?
The Importance of Organic Wasp Killers for Backyards
Wasps can be very beneficial.
However, wasps elicit fear in many people, especially those who are severely allergic to them. Painful to humans, a waspâ€™s sting can vary greatly in toxicity.
For those without an allergy to wasp stings, they will experience varying degrees of burning, itching, redness, tenderness, and swelling that may last up to a week. These reactions can be treated easily with ice, meat tenderizer, or other commercial topical ointments.
Others may have an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction can include a rash, hives, headache, minor respiratory symptoms, and upset stomach. These reactions can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine.
For those rare individuals, a wasp sting can cause anaphylactic shock (fainting, difficulty breathing, swelling, and blockage in the throat) within minutes of being stung. These systemic allergic reactions may cause a person to die unless treated immediately with an epinephrine injection and a subsequent visit to the hospital. For individuals with allergies, a wasp killer becomes an important line of defense whenever spending time outdoors.
I believe my snake plant is underwatered. The leaves are folding in half length-wise. I have probably underwatered in fear of overwatering. Any suggestions for bringing my snake plant back without overwatering it?
Snake plant or Sansevieria is a tough plant that has few pests. But it does have some pests. My guess, and it can only be a guess because I cannot examine your plant, is that you are not under watering your plant but that your plant may have some pests.
When you have plants indoors, the environment is not what the plant is used to; so a plant can be stressed much more than it would be if it were growing outside in its natural environment. The stress might be from your not giving the plant the minimum amount of water that it needs. I water myÂ Sansevieria plants just a few times when it is indoors during cold weather and they are perfectly healthy. However, if I felt the plant were under watered, I would give it a drink- which I hope you have done for your plants.Â Whatever is stressing your plant and whenever your plant gets stressed, it becomes less resistant to problems. Therefore your plant might become vulnerable to some insects pests. The three main insect pests of the Sansevieria plant are 1) the Vine Weevil grub, 2) mealy bugs or 3) spider mites.
One of the major problems that we are experiencing these days is the reemergence of bedbugs. This is a grave problem that is growing everywhere in the world.Â The good news is that bed bugs are not supposed to carry any diseases. And the sort of good news is that not everyone seems to be allergic to the bites. But I don’t believe human beings enjoy living with insects and bedbugs breed so rapidly that one can have an infestation quite rapidly (see here). The US government has numerous papers on bed bugs.Â (See here)
More and more articles are appearing about places infected by bedbugs – this includes libraries, movie theaters, etc. So if you are planning on traveling in North America, a good website to check out is this.Â On this registry, you can also report locations you know about that are infested.
An entomologist who seems to be very knowledgeable about bed bugs and owns a pest control business is Richard Cooper of Cooper Pest
Solutions and extermination service. He has a bed bug website where he sells bed bug products and has some of the most up to date information about how to protect yourself from this scourge.Â See here.
There are some products you can use to help eliminate some of the bed bug problems.Â According to Penn State facts,
Three classes of insecticides are reviewed: (1) Botanical insecticides containing natural pyrethrins will repel insects and can â€œknock downâ€ bed bugs for a period of time, but natural pyrethrins quickly deteriorate and do not provide the necessary residual action of some other materials. Finishes on furniture and other wood items may be damaged from the petroleum carriers contained in aerosol pyrethrins. (2) Inorganic materials such as silica gel, boric acid, and diatomaceous earth will provide long-term control, provided they are used in an environment with low humidity. These inorganic materials have very low repellency, a long residual life, and can provide good control if thoroughly applied to cracks and crevices. However, they are typically white in color and may leave the surface of items with an undesirable film unless they are carefully applied. (3) Synthetic pyrethroids such as deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin and others can provide good control if they are carefully and thoroughly applied to suspected bed bug areas.
If you have an infestation of bed bugs in your home, it is best to contact a reputable exterminating company. Call your local Master Gardener office orÂ your agricultural extension to ask if they have new information on dealing with bedbug problems or have a list of reputable exterminating companies.