Friday, July 28, 2006

Of plants and bio control

Recently after having wondering why are the plants on the balcony starting to turn yellow, I just have to find out that this whitish stuff on the leaves. After taking another closer look and checking it out over the internet, that I found out my plants are being "invaded" by insects!! And not only they are infested by 2 species of insects, my poor pandan got the 3rd species and are heavily infested as well. I did some research and found out the names of these nasty bugs. On the pandan its called Mealybugs, on the balcony; Spider mites and Oystershell Scales. Here are some of the sites if you're interested to know more about these pesky bugs:

  • Mealybug:

Picture from From Intergrated Pest Management Bulletiin - IPM of Alaska

  • Spider Mites:

From colodrado State uni - Horticulture

Virginia State Uni - Virginia Poly Tech

  • Oystershell Scale:

The waxy nests of Oystershell scale

On above and below pic: The attack on my balcony plants....

Other bugs indentification sites:

Bio control methods:

  1. Black Ladybug:
  2. Other beneficial insect control:

The use of other bio methods:,1785,HGTV_3580_1397985,00.html

You may want to ask why the sudden interest on bio control. Well first of all, there's been too much use of chemicals in our daily lives. From the food and water we consume to the clothing, make-ups etc we use every other day all contain one way or the other chemicals, harmful when used in high dosage. And mind you, I do find that we've been using too much of them in the past and even now. Its really time to do something different now, not only because of health issues but also to protect our environment.

So now since we're in the month of August, we're all ready to replanted the seeds of chilli padi. Just that I hope that it'll survive the cold winter months of Switzerland in my kitchen! The last winter saw the chilli padi plant withered away.... Now I'm more determined that ever to replanted them again. Why in I leave most of my plants in the kitchen? Its the warmest place in our 1 bedroom apartment; me forever cooking/baking and not forgetting I could close the kitchen door at night to "trap" the heat from the heater in the kitchen area.

Now at our place we have 18 pots of plants including 1 newly acquired bonsai (which I think shaped like a ginseng), the newly replanted chilli padi plant and relocated baby aloe vera. Now that we have greens everywhere and there's no blooming flowers (orchids) yet. Anyways as they say, what's a home without some lovely plants/flowers to greet us? I think the next time we take another vacation trip, I need to get someone (or even pay if necessary) to come water and air out our plants for us! :p

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