Wacse guide to Pest, Disease and Disorders

Snails:

The infamous Snail, we all know what these are and they are simple to control either use baits or simply leave some beer in a little plate to let them go out in style side note please I understand the urge to throw them at the wall or step on them although this is not advised as if they are in pregnancy their eggs simply fall out and hatch yes you may have killed mum but unfortunately these buggers will go on in legacy of mum.


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Mates:

We all have them scabby pest mates that come around and take all our hard earned fruit of labour from our patch.

Controlling this Parasite:

Simply upon said mates arrival don’t be a stooge and offer up your hottest variety for free sampling this will cause confusion and excitement in your mate, upon the chilli being scoffed as quick as krispy kreme’s on a coppers lunch break the adverse effect of your prize breed with quickly become apparent to the Parasite given a few seconds have passed by I’d say a fair few thoughts of regret and sorrow would quickly be flushing through their head now to sit back film and laugh at it’s slow but pitiful painful near death like experience, I assure you if the offering is hot enough you will eradicate this Parasite from any further attacks on your chilli patch.

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Blister Beetle:

Not common in Australia but has been reported, this somewhat lady bird/wasp representing insect can be either a Pest or Predator.

The larvae will feed on grasshopper eggs and sometimes white cabbage butterfly eggs.

However, the Adult will feed directly on chilli plants causing visible damage to leaves, fruit and stems.

Controlling Blister Beetle:

You may either take the hippy approach and gently knock them into a soapy water mix and let them drown by suffocation of the spiracles (Breathing holes) or use the Chuck Norris method and destroy on site with great physical harm!!! But be careful as the contact with crushed insect may cause blistering of the skin. WEAR GLOVES when going full Chuck mode.


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Cut Worm:

While this little bugger may not be apparent during the day that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist this bastard is in fact nocturnal, causing most of its damage in the cover of darkness so unless you are a night owl (which is actually just a bloody owl) or a crack-head your chances of encounters with this menacing pest are few and far between.

The Cut worm works similar to the way an octopus attacks, it wraps itself around the seedling stems and eats its way through them like a fat kid on a lollipop stick.

Controlling Cut Worm:

There are several methods of attack with this murderous fiend, you can use cutworm collars on stems to stop the chewing action or source and apply beneficial nematodes to the soil surrounding the plants.


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Tomato Horn Worm:

Beautiful yet almost mythical looking this cute little worm with a giant penis like horn protruding from its cranium it is still a force to be reckoned with, with its bedazzling bright green and sometimes striped or dotted like appearance its eyes are certainly bigger than its belly.

The larvae will chew large holes in the leaves and sometimes strip your seedlings like a hooker at a sausage fest, damage is sometimes noticeable after it’s too late so don’t be a slack bum and go out and tend to your plants as if it was a newborn.

Controlling Tomato Horn Worms:

Again I will suggest 2 main methods that are highly effective in the control of this uni corned arse hole. 1. Being the Pick off and drown a calm/excitable type slow but satisfying death in soapy water or simply go Chuck on its arse again pick of throw at fence as hard as possible but I would suggest not doing that as their interior works like a paint ball when this method is used however a simple throw at the ground followed by a quick curb stomp (American History X styles) will assure you that it will be a pest no more.


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Garden Weevil:

The arch Nemesis of Chilli Peppers!!!!

While this bug has a cute nose like an elephant and a body somewhat like a ladybug it is the vain of all chilli growers and most vegetable growers in general, this sucker will lay its larvae in the petiole (Stem) of the flower and by the time it hatches eats its hungry arse little self through the stem into your pod you won’t even know it’s there… The biggest sign of this annoying f$#kery is you will notice the majority of pods on your plant with have little holes through the flesh, if you are seeing this then it is too late and your plant is DOOMED… just kidding read below how to effectively exterminate this pest.

Controlling Garden Weevils:

So you can leave it to nature to run its course but as we are all informed its “Mother Nature” insinuating female… sometimes good things may take a lot of time to happen, no wait I’m thinking males and their 10 year to 20 year plans my bad… anyhow ain’t nobody got time to waste a whole season watching Chilli after Chilli be raped and decimated by these nazi like rulers of the bug world so I simply will suggest NUKE EM!!!!!

Confidore is an effective control on these I will provide links to Pesticides however please keep in mind Confidore lawn and garden insecticide and Confidore Guard are two completely different chemicals one is easily useable by foliage spray and withholding periods are around the week to two week mark depending on application, the Confidore Guard is a Soil Drench which is usually guaranteed to protect your plants for up to 6 months from most sap sucking insects… YOU BLOODY BEAUTY you’re thinking but with great things also come rules and regulations this chemical needs to be respected properly as it can be highly toxic if ingested PLEASE READ LABEL AND SDS THOROUGHLY until understood!


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Root Knot Nematode:

Nifty little thing this as it is a soil dwelling creature and as there is literally millions in your soil good and bad to try to see one of these things you need an expensive magnification type system they are literally microscopic, our soils are full of good and bad nematodes so sometimes using harmful pesticides to rid the bad ones will also kill the good ones so keep this in mind at all times, these nematodes are a huge hindrance on our root systems causing knot like roots which the pest then feeds off it inhibits your plant to become to its full potential by limiting the uptake of nutrients and water from the soil.

Controlling Root Knot Nematode:

Not only a nice way to brighten up your garden with colour but also a great way to deter most pests simply planting a cover of Marigolds or rye in the infested areas will help to detract these assassins of the soil and allow your beautiful Chillis to thrive like the Chilli Gods intended, there is a chemical which I’m sorry but without a Pesticide licence normal people cannot obtain, I will give you the name but remember you kill good!!! And bad!!! So not such a great idea there stanly – Nemicure is the name and it’s a serious chemical which needs prophetical application and safety measures to administer to your soil.


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Blossom End Rot:

Whilst similar to Galloping knob rot on a human this Disorder/Disease is sometimes caused by a lack of calcium within the plant (I know right I said it lacks calcium THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE IT) every forum or post I see regulating everyone suggests people have a calcium deficiency for every problem. Now this is not the case to know what you actually have usually involves a lot of research and a lot of testing and elimination before making these assumptions, anyhow back to blossom end rot… you will notice the ends of the fruit starting to wrinkle or even rot with a brown thin like look to them usually if you have this you are watering wrong so keep that in mind.

Avoiding Blossom End Rot:

First method of attack I would suggest is to evenly water your Peppers, only water the soil when dried out never water just in case you think it might need it actually stick a finger in the soil say 100ml deep if any moisture leave for another day, Donor I repeat DO NOT water foliage (LEAVES) what this will do is encourage Diseases like rust, anthrax nose, mildews and so on… Second method is to keep a steady (steady not LOTS) flow of calcium to your plant throughout the flowering period and whilst fruits are forming.

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Controlling Blossom End Rot:

Most will say PULL up the infected plant and bag and bin or set fire before it spreads… sometimes removing the infected areas and limiting humidity or moisture to the leaf areas will control this Disease effectively and sometimes miss nature will do her job and limit the spread of it by having dry days with dry air circulating, always remember to clean your secateurs before pruning on each plant to help stop the spread of Diseases and Viruses.
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Viruses:

Chilli Mosaic while not common in Australia it is the most serious viral disease for chillis. Leaves become narrow and thickened, and they appear stringy, this can be transferred from plant to plant by sap sucking insects unfortunately there is no cure simply suck it up rip out the plant bag it and bin it or burn it whilst shedding a few tears of hatred.
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Aphids:

Yes, yes now I’m getting to the juicy ones (no pun intended), Aphids where do I start hmm mm you first notice these pests when numbers are small and figure omg little bastards so you squish them and check over the rest of your crop happy in your triumph of eradicating this evil thrush like spreading insect… however the next day when you check your crop you notice NO GOD DAMN IT there is twice the amount as the day before…. but you don’t have time to get to bunnings or your local hardware to buy a pesticide till next payday so you assume she will be right till then. WRONG!!!

Aphids multiply by cloning them self also by laying eggs, now aphids multiply rapidly so the longer you leave it unattended the more damage done to your Chillis they mainly feed on the leaves and you generally don’t notice damage until they are in Plague type numbers, these clever little things also secrete a Honey Dew like substance to attract Ants… which in turn causes Ants to farm the Aphids by moving them from plant to plant Clever Right!!! Aphids are also a contributor to the wide spreading of viruses from plant to plant.

Controlling Aphids:

Two main methods here either the hippy approach with the soapy garlic spray, or insecticides now I’m not one to suggest chemicals but in this instance don’t much around if you can’t control it in a day to two days by natural pyrethrum or garlic chilli sprays I urge you to use Confidore or Success Neo this should eliminate the problem with one application sometimes two depending on plague amount.
There is also the Predator method but to be honest unless you have a ladybug nursery or lacewing nursery at your disposal it won’t work.


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Whiteflies:

Whiteflies are part of a group of sap sucking insects that can cause problems in the garden. Other sap sucking insects include aphids, scale and mealybugs. The effects of these insects, including whiteflies, are nearly all the same. The signs that you may have whiteflies or one of its cousins is a sticky film on the leaves, yellow leaves and stunted growth.

The way to determine if you specifically have whiteflies is to inspect the insects you find on the plant. Typically, the insects can be found on the underside of the leaves. The garden pests whiteflies look just like their name. The will look like a tiny white fly or moth. There will be several in one area.

Controlling Whiteflies:

Normally whiteflies become a problem when their natural predators, such as ladybugs, are not present in the area. This can happen for many reasons, ranging from pesticide use to bad weather. Controlling whiteflies in the garden become difficult without the help from their natural predators; therefore, making sure that the area is good for their predators is important.

Whitefly predators include: Green Lacewings Pirate Bugs Whitefly Predators (actual name of insect) Whitefly Parasites (actual name of insect) Big-eyed Bugs Ladybugs using these beneficial insects are the best way how to kill whiteflies. You can also try spraying the affected plant with a lightly pressurised stream of water. This will knock the insects off the plant and will reduce, but not eliminate their numbers.

Also, for ornamentals and vegetables, whitefly problems and damage can be reduced if the plants are kept as healthy as possible, which means that you need to regularly feed and water the plants. You can also try controlling whiteflies in the garden by using reflective surfaces, like foil or discarded CDs, around the plants. This can have a repelling effect on the whiteflies and may keep them off the plant.

Alternately, you can try sticky tape, which will help to eliminate the current population of whiteflies on your plants and prevent them from laying more eggs. Do not use insecticides as a way how to kill white flies. They are resistant to most insecticides and you will only make the problem worse by killing their natural enemies. That being said, Neem oil can be effective against these pests and is generally deemed safe for beneficial, also tomato dust.


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Soap or Natural Pesticides

Soap or Natural pesticides are relatively safe, generally only posing a risk of eye irritation. They are not toxic to humans, mammals or the adult stage of beneficial predatory insects such as ladybugs and praying mantis. Soap pesticides will, however, kill sap-sucking insects that attack chilli plants including lygus bugs, trips, spider mites, whiteflies and aphids. For the soap pesticide to provide thorough control over the bugs, it must cover the unwanted bugs. Spray the foliage of the infested pepper plants with the pesticide when bugs are present. The soap pesticide will break down the bug’s protective coating, causing it to dehydrate and die.

Instead of purchasing commercial soap insecticides, you can create your own homemade soap pesticide by mixing 1 tablespoon of Castile soap — or another brand of soap without dyes, bleach or fragrances 1 whole garlic Mashed up and 1 chilli of your choosing (just remember if you use a super hot WATCH YOUR EYES in wind) — with 1Ltr of water.


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Botanical Pesticides

Contain naturally occurring chemicals found in plants. Plant-based pesticides generally break down more quickly in the environment than synthetic pesticides and are generally considered safer. Neem oil is a botanical pesticide often used in organic gardening and contains the active ingredient azadirachtin that has a low toxicity level to humans, pets, birds and beneficial insects. It may, however, be toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Neem oil has the ability to kill common garden pests including spider mites, whiteflies, aphids and trips.

Every brand of botanical pesticide lists the manufacturer’s recommended instructions on the pesticide label. For example, one brand of concentrated neem oil states to mix 2 tablespoons of the pesticide with 400ml of water before spraying the chilli plant’s leaves with the solution, or buy eco Neem from bunnings and follow directions.


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Bacterium Pesticides

Contain naturally occurring bacterium and are non-toxic to humans and pets. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), for example, is one bacterium pesticide that poses little to no threat to beneficial insects and only harms the larval stage of certain pests. Apply it as either a foliar spray or soil drench, depending on the targeted pest. Spinosad is another bacterium pesticide that isn’t harmful to humans but can kill beneficial insects.

Bacillus thuringiensis and spinosad kill various chilli pests including corn earworm, cutworms, hornworms and leaf rollers. Before using a bacterium pesticide to control chilli plant bugs, refer to its label for treatment instructions and warnings. For example, one brand of concentrated Bacillus thuringiensis recommends a rate of 1 to 3 teaspoons of Bt mixed with 400ml of water and applied to the Chilli as a foliar spray to control hornworms.


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Synthetic Pesticides

Contain a man made active ingredient and generally pose a higher risk to people and mammals than naturally derived ingredients. Carbaryl, for example, is a general use synthetic pesticide that kills various Chilli pests including flea beetles and is applied as a foliar spray. Carbaryl, like most other synthetic pesticides, is toxic to humans, mammals, aquatic life and beneficial insects. Consider these types of pesticides only when the less toxic pesticides have not controlled the Chilli pests.

To prevent unintended damage to the Chilli plants, follow the directions on the synthetic pesticide label. For example, one brand of carbaryl-containing pesticide suggests using 1/4 and 2 teaspoons to 375ml of the insecticide per 100 square meters area to treat a flea beetle infestation on Chillis. For best results, spray the leaves thoroughly — including the undersides — with the pesticide. You can repeat the treatment if needed once every seven days but should avoid applying more than seven treatments of the carbaryl pesticide in one year.

NOTE: ALWAYS READ SDS AND LABEL PROPERLY BEFORE USING ANY CHEMICAL


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Recommended Pesticides:

Confidor lawn and garden insecticide
http://www.yates.com.au/products/lawn-care/pest-disease-and-weed-control/confidor-lawn-and-garden-insecticide/

Success Neo
http://www.dowagro.com/en-au/australia/product_finder/insecticides/success-neo

Triforine Fungicide
http://www.yates.com.au/products/disease-control/concentrates/yates-triforine-rose-fungicide/#IDv0WdUAdU9PcZif.97

Tomato Vegetable Dust
http://www.yates.com.au/products/pest-control/insects-ready-to-use/yates-tomato-vegetable-dust/

Richgro Beat a Bug
http://www.richgro.com.au/products/pest-disease-and-weed-control/beat-a-bug-insect-spray1l/

Confidor Guard
https://www.crop.bayer.com.au/find-crop-solutions/by-product/insecticides/confidor-guard-soil-insecticide
(NOTE: THIS IS A SERIOUS CHEMICAL –
YOU MUST ABIDE BY WITH-HOLDING PERIODS
AND MUST BE APPLIED PROPERLY)