[Market-farming] Re Harlequin Bugs
aballiett at frontiernet.net
Mon Sep 18 21:15:34 EDT 2006
Pam - I know, you're right. I'll have to give you the abbreviated
version. This is what you need to do. First off, if you have any idea
that you have hard water, you need to purchase an organically
acceptable 'chemical' water conditioner from Peaceful Valley. After
that, you need to get a high quality potassium-based insecticidal
soap. (M-pede is the one that came with the best recommendations,
but, apparently, concentrated SAFER SOAP will work, as well.) Next,
you have to FLUSH the harlequins. This is best done in the evening
with essential oil of peppermint in your sprayer (1tbsp per gal of
water). (This step not necessary for seedlings) Wait for about 15
minutes for all of the harlequins to climb to the high point of your
row or bed canopy and then spray them with full strength (read the
label!) soap. (I think we are doing 2oz of soap per gal of water in
the sprayer.) The harlequin's bodies soften and blacken right after
contact and most of them will be dead within 48 hours.
The important part of this story was that my anti-harlequin odyssey
STARTED with SAFER and it didn't work for us. Why? Now I know that
this is because it will not work with hi-cal water, which we have.
(Calcium ties up Potassium, so the soap has no 'bite.') Using the
water conditioner, though, it hits them like a hammer.
I have whole beds of brassicas that do not seem to have a single
harlequin now, but I do have some beds where they are coming back in.
You would think that the peppermint would keep them out, but it
doesn't seem to. It must dissipate rather rapidly.
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