You might be interested in an aphid spray I use. 1 part denatured alcohol +
3 parts water. Spray onto the pests. They cease moving immediately, and more
importantly, never move again. I have not found it to harm any plants, but
there is nothing stopping you hosing it off 10 mins after applying if you
wish, as by then it has done its job. As always, it would be wise to do a
test spraying on just one plant initially, and then on the others 2 or 3
days later. I've found it ideal for killing aphids clustered on the tender
new tips of plants such as roses and lemons.
Denatured alcohol is called "methylated spirits" here in Australia. It's
just ethyl alcohol with a trace amount of an evil-tasting stuff to stop
people drinking it and evading the alcohol tax. (You could use cheap vodka
in place of the alcohol I suppose!!)
You could try it on spider mite. I have used it on small grubs, but doubt
that it would kill whitefly.
I read that aphids can over-winter on thistles. Skeptical, next winter I
took a closer look. They sure do: the leaves were thick with aphids. Then
I found one milk thistle with no aphids on its leaves. I pulled it up and
found its roots clad in an overcoat with aphids! So one measure you could
take is to make sure there are no milk thistles in fallow parts of your
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
Thanks for the info John. Aphids haven't been a problem here at all but
will try it if some appear. I haven't seen an aphid in ages. The 2-spotted
spider mite and common Whitefly appear to be immune to everything including
oils (summer and Neem). Today I noticed my prize Gardenia on the back porch
has MEALY BUGS!!!!!!!! :*(
This was taken the end of June. You can see the peppers are tall, thin and
don't look normal. The tomatoes are still healthy. they're Romas,
EarlyGirls and Better Boys. Peppers are mixed Bells:
Here's a close up taken yesterday. No peppers and perhaps one flower. All
flowers and buds turn brown and fall off. The plants still have white fly
and a light mite load. Organics and chemicals didn't do much.
This was taken yesterday.You can see the devastation to the tomatoes from
the WF and SMs.
The two eggplants are totally infested with mites and WF. The "eggs" stopped
This is what the WFs did to the string beans.
I have no idea why these crooknecks suffer from. Their leaves are silvery
white. They have only a few WF and no mites. They're not near the gardens.
I've been gardening since the late 1950s and never seen anything like this
before. The other two gardens are still OK but it's only a matter of time
before the spider mites get to them - one way or another.
Which is why my practice when I use a soap spray is to do it in the coolest
part of the day, then rinse the plants with fresh water afterwards.
Soap kills very quickly. Hit the pests with a good soaking spray of soap
solution, then come back to the start of your spray circuit and do a rinse,
and the pest will have died and the foliage damage should be minimal.
I can absolutely vouch for this with earwigs, aphids, and leaf beetles.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Reading these posts I can see how lucky we've been all these years. Seldom
had to spray for anything. Gardens thrived. Plants produced abundantly.
Almost no "pest" problems. All I had to was plant them, mulch and water
them.... and pick baskets full of clean almost free veggies. By the time
blight was getting a good start on some of the tomatoes, frost finished
It sounds like you ruined your plants with all the sprays. you need to read
a good book about integrated pest management, and realize that most sprays
have adverse impacts. you obviously have no clue of the cumulative adverse
impacts of all the chemicals you used. those plants are living things, not
machines. Think for a minute, if you are klilling your plants, what it will
do to you to eat those peppers? then think about all the money you wasted
growing toxic peppers.
I have grown large quantitites of peppers for over 30 years with no
pesticides and only year had a virus problem late in the season associated
with unusual cold and wet weather. Mites and whiteflies should not be a
problem outdoors, their natural enemies will take care of them, but you
killed their natural enemies. remove and compost your plants, forget about
mites. and plant hairy vetch as a cover crop to prepare for next year.
Uh no, what ruined them is using useless organic sprays and powders,
allowing the pests to reach proportions that no chemical can now control.
By the time I turned to chemicals it was too late. The plants were too far
gone with spider mites and the w/flies to save.
Pro-organic rant snipped.
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