Safe bug killer for feed plants

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Tarajane77
Posts: 45
Joined: 26 Jun 2020, 20:26

Safe bug killer for feed plants

Post by Tarajane77 » 22 May 2022, 23:44

HELLO BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE,

It's Jody here from Wirksworth, Hooman slave to the tantrummy Jemima :lol: As it's the time of year where my feed plants are about to erupt, I'm getting all cafuddled thinking what I can deter all nasties/funguses with.

I've learnt the hard way and now plant the mallow/holyhock far apart and keep really ventilated due to the awful mildew/rust. So for these issues and the aphid beasties I've been looking at using pure cold pressed neem oil used with water as it's carrier. It appears watering the plant as opposed to spraying it is a better way as not to coat any nice bugs with the oil.

So if you could tell me if this could be used without harming my beloved Jemima I'd appreciate this. If not could you suggest another line of defence??

Also ants making snowflakes out of my leaves....the calcium powder sprinkling does nothing. So something to help these leave immediately would be fantastic.

Any help would be gratefully received by us both. I hope you ladies are all doing marvellous, as are your tortoises. As you can see the blue carex you kindly sent is doing splendidly.

Thankyou :)
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Jody K

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Safe bug killer for feed plants

Post by Nina » 23 May 2022, 09:51

Hi Jody -- great to hear from you, and to know that Jemima is enjoying her summer.

Yes, beasties are a definite problem. I seem to have the national collection of slugs and snails in my garden and it's a constant battle to keep them from devouring all of my flowers and vegetables . I go out every night at 10 p.m. with a carrier bag and collect hundreds of them, but they still keep coming :(

Regarding Neem. I'm afraid I don't know much about it, but I've had a look and it has been discussed before on the Tortoise Forum. One person said that it is relatively safe, but you should wait at least 10 days before feeding anything sprayed with Neem, and wash all leaves first. Someone posted the manufacturer's advice about cautions and side effects: "Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take neem, and it should also not be administered to children. Neem use by young children may cause severe poisoning. Oral use of neem over an extended period of time may cause liver damage."

Then someone else contacted the manufacturer and their response was this: "Using Green Light Neem Concentrate around your tortoise should be done carefully. Neem stays on the leaves up to 10 days depending on the weather conditions. You should keep the tortoise away from the plants for 1-2 days after spraying."

So watering the plants rather than spraying them would seem safer, but are you sure that would kill the aphids? I'm not sure it's a systemic insecticide, and if it is, then do you want Jemima to eat leaves with Neem in them? Regarding ants -- I find that if you can locate the nest and pouring boiling water on it, then it is effective for quite some time. Is it fdefinitely ants that are eating the leaves, or is it tiny caterpillars or slugs?

So glad that the Carex is growing well for you. Mine seem to take over the tortoise enclosure and I have to cut them back frequently -- and they re-seed everywhere, so you'll never be without them!

Nina

Tarajane77
Posts: 45
Joined: 26 Jun 2020, 20:26

Re: Safe bug killer for feed plants

Post by Tarajane77 » 23 May 2022, 10:10

Hi Nina,

Thankyou for your reply, there doesn't appear to be enough conclusive evidence for me to feel confident using it.

Could I safely use a soap/water mixture using a soap like "castille" liquid soap, then spritz onto the offending pests?? Obviously any tortoise nibbles would be soaked thoroughly.

Thankyou
Jody K

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Nina
Posts: 1710
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Safe bug killer for feed plants

Post by Nina » 23 May 2022, 10:31

I think a soap and water mixture would be OK, but not sure what the ingredients are in the 'castille' liquid'. Something like that though, if you wash the leaves thoroughly should be fine. The other thing, with the Neem, is that it says to wait 10 days before feeding leaves, etc., but if you wait 10 days and then only feed the new flowers and leaves (that hadn't been sprayed with Neem) that would be OK too.

Nina

Tarajane77
Posts: 45
Joined: 26 Jun 2020, 20:26

Re: Safe bug killer for feed plants

Post by Tarajane77 » 24 May 2022, 09:31

Thankyou Nina,
I've got you the ingredients of the soap below. Unless theres anything more suitable you'd recommend.
Thankyou so much

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Jody K

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Safe bug killer for feed plants

Post by Nina » 24 May 2022, 11:16

Hi Jody,

I'm afraid I'm a bit out of my depth here, as I'm not a chemist, but I think it should be OK. Several of the ingredients have been 'saponified', so I looked up saponification and it seems to be a safe process that converts fatty acids (like the natural vegetable oils listed in the ingredients), into soap, by mixing the oils with water and a strong alkali, like potassium hydroxide, under heat. From what I can see it is safe, but as you wouldn't want your tortoise to eat soap, I think that just washing the leaves before feeding should do the trick and they should be fine. No different than if some ordinary soap got onto a leaf and you washed it off before feeding it. I don't think it penetrates the leaf and is absorbed, but just stays on the surface of the leaf and can therefore be rinsed off.

Nina

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