Growth Technology

Pest Problems?

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Identify your pest

Aphids Bay sucker mealybug

scale insects spider mite whitefly

 

 

Aphids

AphidsAphids, generally known as Greenfly and Blackfly are small soft-bodied sap sucking insects. They are probably the most commonly known group of plant pests, infesting almost all types of plants, shrubs and trees.

There are many species of aphids worldwide. Generally, they feed in colonies and can be recognised by their plump pear-shaped bodies and two tubes, that project from the rear of their abdomens.

Aphids are usually found feeding on the young leaves, new shoots and flower buds where the plant cells are more pliable and high in nitrogen. They push their long piercing mouth parts deep into the plant tissue and suck up the plant sap. They excrete excess sap and sugars as sticky honeydew, which can then promote the growth of sooty moulds and fungi on the infested plants. However, ants are usually attracted to honeydew where they harvest the droplets and therefore reduce sooty mould problems.

Whilst feeding, many aphid species can also acquire and spread plant viruses. Heavy infestations can also weaken plants and cause leaf curling and even plant death. When aphid infestations become large, the colony produces winged adults, which then disperse to new plants and establish new colonies.

During the warmer months, the wingless adult female aphids produce 50 to 100 young clones at a rate of up to 5 young per day without having to mate. Young aphids are born live and can start reproducing within just 1 week. Only in the autumn and early winter months will most aphid species produce males. These mate with the females who then produce fertile eggs that over-winter. Because of the extremely fast reproduction rate of aphids during the growing season, it is often difficult to determine the effectiveness of crop protection products. Even when just 5% of aphids survive an insecticide the infestation could return to its original level in a few days.

 

Plant invigorator small2Using SB Plant Invigorator to control aphids:

Independent research studies have shown that SBPI can be highly effective at controlling aphids if used correctly.

SBPI will produce a significant reduction in aphid numbers if applied thoroughly (to upper and lower leaf surfaces) and to the point, it runs off the leaves. However, certain aphid species are more easily controlled than others are.

Studies have shown that almost total control of many important aphid species can be achieved with just one or two thorough application of SBPI, depending on the severity of the infestation. This includes Pea aphids [Acyrthosiphon pisum], Bean aphid [Aphis fabae], Apple Grain aphid [Rhopalosiphum padi] and Woolly Apple aphid [Erisoma lanigerum]. However, the extremely fast reproduction rate of any surviving aphids could rapidly restore the infestation to original levels if further applications of SBPI are not made at regular intervals. Weekly applications to susceptible plants are recommended.

The Peach potato aphid [Myzus persicae], is a more robust aphid than many of the other species and consequently is more difficult to control by physical means. However, SBPI will control established infestations of the Peach potato aphid after 2 or 3 applications at 2 or 3 day intervals. Weekly applications can then be used to maintain control.

If necessary, a x2 recommended dose rate of SBPI could also be used for rapid control of the Peach potato aphid. However it is advisable to first test delicate plants for phytotoxic response to a higher rate.

SBPI does not affect aphids in the final stage of parasite development (mummies), so it can be used in conjunction with an IPM system using parasitic wasps.

Spraying as often as weekly may seem excessive but please remember SBPI provides a foliar feed, comprehensive pesticide and mildewcide all at the same time.

Most people who use SBPI weekly rarely have to use other products. Resistance to SBPI will not occur due to its physical mode of action.

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Bay Suckers

Bay suckerThe Bay Sucker (Trioza alacris) is a sap sucking insect belonging to the Psyllid family, commonly known as jumping plant lice. A large number of Psyllid species are associated with just one plant species and the Bay Sucker is no exception. This pest only feeds on bay trees causing the leaves to curl at the edges and become yellow and thickened. These damaged leaves can then turn brown and fall off the tree.

Adult Bay Suckers are winged and about 2mm in length. They are pale brown in colour and emerge from hibernation in late spring. They feed on the edges of bay leaves, causing them to curl along the edges.

Eggs are then laid within the curls. The eggs emerge as small scale-like larvae that secrete copious amounts of white wax from their bodies (Figs. 1 and 2). Whilst the larvae feed and grow, the infested leaves become more curled and deformed. Honeydew is also excreted by the larvae which not only makes the plant sticky, but encourages the growth of sooty moulds.

Using SB Plant Invigorator to control Bay Sucker:

Independent research studies have shown that SBPI can be highly effective at controlling the Bay Sucker (Trioza alacris) if used correctly.

A thorough application of SBPI applied in to the leaf curls and to the point it runs off the plant is required. This initial application should be followed by a similar application one or two days later to control an established infestation of Bay Sucker.

The initial application will remove the protective wax from the larvae and the second application should effectively kill them.

Eggs are more difficult to control with SBPI so further regular applications of SBPI at weekly or fortnightly intervals are recommended to ensure the infestation is fully eradicated. Continued regular use of SBPI should protect plants from further infestations.

Spraying as often as weekly may seem excessive but please remember SBPI provides a foliar feed, comprehensive pesticide and mildewcide all at the same time.

Most people who use SBPI weekly rarely have to use other products. Resistance to SBPI will not occur due to its physical mode of action.

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Mealy Bug

mealybugMealybug is the common name given to insects of the Pseudococcidae family. There are many different species of mealybug, all of which are un-armoured scale insects that feed on plant sap. Most inhabit plants that grow in moist, warm climates. Many greenhouse crops are susceptible to mealybug infestation where the protected environment is often perfect for their survival. Indoor plants, cacti and succulent plants are also favoured hosts for mealybug.

Mealybug infestations are often recognised as fluffy white growths around leaf axils on plants. This is actually wax that the adult females secrete around themselves to hide within and protect their egg masses. Eggs hatch into tiny orange-coloured larvae that rapidly migrate from the egg masses to new locations and plants. Male mealybug are very different in appearance to the females as they are much smaller, have wings and resemble tiny dark-coloured wasps.

Heavy infestations of mealybug often lead to honeydew contamination of the host plant, which not only makes the plant sticky but also encourages the growth of sooty moulds. This can also lead to leaf drop and even plant death.

 

SB-Plant-Invigorator-familyUsing SB Plant Invigorator to control mealybug:

Independent research studies have shown that SBPI can be highly effective at controlling common mealybug species such as the Citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri) and the Glasshouse mealybug Pseudococcus viburni, if used correctly.

A thorough application (to upper and lower leaf surfaces) of SBPI applied to the point it runs off the plant, followed by a similar application one day later will be required to control an established infestation of mealybug.

The initial application will remove the protective wax from the adults and the second application one day later should effectively kill them.

Eggs and the small mobile juveniles are more difficult to control with SBPI so further regular applications of SBPI at weekly or fortnightly intervals are recommended to ensure the infestation is fully eradicated.

Continued regular use of SBPI will protect plants from further established mealybug infestations.

Spraying as often as weekly may seem excessive but please remember SBPI provides a foliar feed, comprehensive pesticide and mildewcide all at the same time. Most people who use SBPI weekly rarely have to use other products. Resistance to SBPI will not occur due to its physical mode of action.

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Scale Insects

scale insectsThere are many different species of Scale insects which can be divided into two different families; The Soft Scales (Coccidae) and the Hard Scales (Diaspididae). Scale insects often look like small bumps on the stems and under the leaves of the many plant, shrub and tree species that they can infest. Adult female scale insects cannot move, so they remain on their host plants, protected by a waxy shield that they produce. They feed on plant sap yet generally it is only the soft scales that produce honeydew and cause sooty moulds. Soft scales cannot be detached from their shields, whereas hard scales can. Depending on the species, female scale insects can lay between 250 and 2000 eggs or live young underneath their shields. The females then die, allowing the young to develop whilst protected beneath the shield. When ready, the young move to find a suitable place on the plant where they can plug their feeding tubes in and feed on the sap. They then shed their skin and lose mobility.

Plant invigorator smallUsing SB Plant Invigorator to control Scale Insects:

Independent research studies have shown that SBPI can be highly effective at controlling Scale insects if used correctly.

A thorough application of SBPI applied to the infested areas and to the point it runs off the plant is required.

Eggs and the small mobile juveniles that remain underneath the parental shield can be more difficult to control with SBPI so further regular applications at weekly or fortnightly intervals are recommended to ensure the infestation is fully eradicated.

Continued regular use of SBPI will protect plants from further scale infestations.

Spraying as often as weekly may seem excessive but please remember SBPI provides a foliar feed, comprehensive pesticide and mildewcide all at the same time.

Most people who use SBPI weekly rarely have to use other products. Resistance to SBPI will not occur due to its physical mode of action.

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Spidermite

spider miteSpider mites are tiny arachnids belonging to a group known as the Acarina. Although they belong to the same order as common spiders, there are distinct morphological differences. Their bodies, for example, are small and bloated and are not divided into sections like true spiders. Also, their juvenile stages only have 3 pairs of legs whilst the adults have four.

The most common spider mite pest, affecting a wide range of glasshouse, indoor and garden plants, is the Two Spotted Red Spider Mite or Glasshouse Red Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae). Despite its name, it is only red in colour during its inactive stage through the autumn and winter seasons. During the spring and summer seasons, it is usually a pale green colour with two distinct darker spots on its back. The first signs of a spider mite infestation are usually the appearance of small pale spots on the leaf surface. This gradually becomes more intense leading to a pale mottling effect across the whole leaf surface as the mite numbers increase and they suck dry the contents of the leaf cells. If left untreated, a spider mite infestation continues to increase and infested plants become covered in fine silk webbing, particularly around the new growth regions. Within this webbing, the spider mites are protected from many types of topical insecticides and the leaves become covered with their tiny spherical eggs. At this level of infestation, the plant will soon lose its green colour and begin losing leaves. It may eventually die.

SMC controlSpidermite pest control organic high quality Growth Technology Hydroponics

 

Here at Growth Technology we must recommend Spider Mite Control and SMC+ solutions as well as the New (Nov.14) Ready mixed versions.

Spider mites are a real hassle for growers. Spidermite Control is a great product to resolve this problem. The mechanical action of the product suffocates the mites with an ultra-thin film of special oil. Completely safe for humans, safe for plants – Deadly for Spidermites!

SMC+ is a broader spectrum pest control product developed to target multiple pests. Including White Fly as well as Spidermites.


Using SB Plant Invigorator to control spider mites:

Controlling spider mites is not always as easy as controlling other plant pests, especially when infestations have become established and protected by heavy webbing. However, independent research studies have shown that SBPI can be highly effective at controlling spider mites if used correctly.

If a spider mite infestation is found during the early stages, before webbing has become intense, then a thorough application (to upper and lower leaf surfaces) of SBPI applied to the point it runs off the plants will control the problem. However, a few re-applications at weekly intervals will be required since spider mite eggs are not affected and the product does not have residual activity.

Plant invigorator small2

An established spider mite infestation, can also be controlled by SBPI although 2 or 3 applications will be required at 2 or 3 day intervals. This will overcome the protective webbing and access the mites within. Weekly applications will then ensure newly hatched juveniles and adults that may have crawled on to the plant from elsewhere continue to be controlled.

Although the leaves from a heavily infested plant will not recover from the spider mite damage, any new leaf growth will be healthy and very likely, the plant will recover.

Spraying as often as weekly may seem excessive but please remember SBPI provides a foliar feed, comprehensive pesticide and mildewcide all at the same time.

Most growers using SBPI weekly rarely use other products. Resistance to SBPI will not occur due to its physical mode of action.

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Whiteflies

whiteflyAdult whiteflies are small, flying insect pests that resemble tiny white moths. They are usually about 1 or 2 millimetres in length and can be found feeding and laying eggs on the younger leaves of many different plant species including tomatoes and cucumbers. Whitefly feed on plant sap through a long tube-like mouth piece. Excess sap and waste products are excreted as honeydew, on to the plant leaves. Honeydew contains sugars which soon become contaminated with black sooty moulds that grow over the leaves producing unhealthy and unsightly plants. The larvae of whitefly are often confused with scale insects since they look very similar. Once they hatch from the eggs they crawl across the leaves to find a suitable place to feed then shed their skins. During this skin shed, the larvae lose their legs and remain motionless, feeding on plant sap for around 4 weeks. During this time the infested plant continues to grow, resulting in the larvae being found on the older, lower leaves of a plant by the time they are ready to pupate.

The most common and perhaps the most difficult whitefly species to control around the world are the Glasshouse Whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) and the Tobacco Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), although the Tobacco whitefly is only found in the warmer regions of the world. Both of these whiteflies can transmit plant viruses. Other whitefly species that can be a problem include the Strawberry whitefly, the Cabbage whitefly, the Vibernum whitefly, the Citrus whitefly and the Spiralling whitefly. There are many systemic and contact insecticide on the market to deal with whitefly, we recommend SB Plant Invigorator because:

  • It is highly effective at controlling whitefly
  • It is non toxic and suitable for use throughout the year
  • There is no harvest interval and the product is very safe
  • Resistance to SBPI will not occur due to its physical mode of action.

Using SB Plant Invigorator (SBPI) to control whiteflies:

Independent research studies have shown that SBPI is highly effective at controlling whiteflies if used correctly.

Almost total control of adult whiteflies can be achieved after just one application of SBPI if the infested leaves are treated thoroughly. The treatment also needs to be applied to the point it runs off the leaves. SBPI causes adult whiteflies to stick to leaves and other surfaces that they land on, although the plants and treated surfaces do not become sticky themselves. When the treatment has dried, the affected whiteflies remain stuck and die.

SB-Plant-Invigorator-familyThe larval stages of whiteflies are also controlled by SBPI but in a different way to the adults. Again, a thorough application of the product to the infested areas of the plant is essential since only the larvae that are treated with SBPI will be controlled.

 It is often the case that whitefly pupae and eggs are harder to control compared to the other life stages. This is also the case with SBPI. So, to ensure that effective and sustained whitefly control is achieved, re-applications of SBPI are recommended at weekly or fortnightly intervals. This will not only ensure that newly hatched adults and larvae are controlled, but also any new whiteflies that may have flown on to the plants.

SBPI does not affect whitefly pupae or friendly parasitic wasps.

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