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GH pest control

Posted by greenhouzer TN zone 6 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 10, 08 at 13:39

How are you folks controlling GH pests? I have a whitefly infestation since last spring. So far nothing I tried works, either organic or chemical and the list and cost keeps growing. From the GH they spread to the native vegetation in the spring. They carried silver-leaf disease to the outside squash and killed every plant. The Ag agent kept recommending commercial products that didn't work. How are YOU guys managing these problems?

As for Neem Oil. I used it for 6 months (two different brands) and it had no effect on the whiteflies or spider mites. The mites also infested nearby native vegetation.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: GH pest control

I can think of only one means to completely eliminate all pests from any GH: Cover it completely with a plastic tent, seal it tightly around the bottom, set off some foggers, then run like H to get out, sealing the door behind you.

Hopefully, that would work. No guarantees, but total fogging inside, with no place for the fog to escape is really the only way to get at every insect and their eggs, hidden away in all the minute spaces the liquids missed.

Then, if the pests that affected plants outside really were coming from the GH, while the fogger is doing the job inside, saturate the plants on the perimeter to double whatever distance they were infested.

From your post, you seem to have tried everything else, so have nothing to lose.


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RE: GH pest control - Bird

If I wait until after a killing frost I wont have to worry about more coming in from the adjoining property. What kind of "fogger" or "bug bomb" are you talking about? Where do you get them? Are they safe for plants?


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RE: GH pest control

The following link will give far more comprehensive information than I can impart, but yes: insecticides sold to kill garden pests are safe for plants, especially those that are pyrethrin based.

If such pests as you described are common to your area and may be a reoccuring seasonal problem for you, an electric or propane operated fogger that you can fill with different types of insecticides might be a good investment because if they reoccur seasonally, the parents may be killed off by frost, but their eggs are snugged in for winter, very likely in your GH, waiting for spring.

If you decide to buy one, just google "Insecticide Foggers" for the best deal.

http://www.pestproducts.com/insect_foggers.htm


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RE: GH pest control

I use Orthene WP and it works great, kills everything.


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RE: GH pest control - orchiddude & Bird

What is Orthene WP? What does the WP stand for? Does it kill whitefly and spider mites? I have a large box of insecticides here and nothing killed either of them:

I used:

Malathion
Bug-b-Gone
Diazinon
Bonide Systemic
Ortho Systemic
Triazicide
Ortho Max
Sevin 5%
Neem Oil
Organicide(stinks like fish)
Insecticidal Soap
Pyrethrum
Rotenone

None made any difference but the Systemic. But the flowers would get infested all over again. I couldn't use it on the veggies so the mites and w/flies took over all the gardens including the surrounding native vegetation. The Ag Agent was useless. He kept recommending things that had no effect on these two pests.

I'll look in to foggers but unless I can find something that will kill these two pests I'd only be wasting my money fogging them.


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orthene

That is a good chemical to use but, to my knowledge, it is not approved for vegetables. It is a systemic, which means it works by going through the plant instead of many products which are [supposedly] contact killers. The WP stands for "wetable powder" but there should be other forms as well; what we use is in a crystaline form. Not sure if its available in liquid or not.

Another good product is Tristar and I'm not sure if it works on whiteflys but its great on aphids.

We primarily use both of these in our greenhouses for most pests although for spider mites you might want to use Floramite.

We've tried some of the other things like you mentioned but in my experience, they're not much good.

You probably will not find these products at Lowe's, Wal-Mart, etc.

Regards,

Tom


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RE: GH pest control

Hey,

I get my Orthene at the co-op. I comes in a can, in a power form. Mix it with water. Dont get it on anything.

I have used Cygon also, works great. Stinks bad, kills everything. Get it at the co-op. Dont get any on you.

I use to not use poisons but the bugs have gotten so bad at times, that I have to use the stuff that works. I am about to get a restricted pesticide license so I can buy some other stuff. Slugs love orchids so I am going to get some real slug killer, not that crap they sell at Lowes.

Good luck.


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RE: GH pest control

Because we keep livestock and I'm sensitive myself, the only insecticide I use in either a spray or fogger is pyrethrum, the slug killer pellets I lay around the base of my hostas when they are just emerging and of course; always have a can of wasp killer on-hand, in case they deside to set up houskeeping too close to our doors, but the point I was trying to make about the fogger, is that regardless of the insecticide used, if it doesn't penetrate into the minute places where they may be hiding, it may do no good at all.

On the note of safe pest control- I keep my GH tightly screened, so not many flying insects get in, but the same sticky strips I've used for years in the barn and duck house work as well there, with no danger of introducing anything poisonous to the air, where it would fall into my fish tanks. The same would apply to food crops, and the strips catch a wide variety of flying pests. I figure that every little bit helps and every adult I catch means hundreds less offspring.


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RE: GH pest control

You should not use Orthene on anything edible. Ever. It is not safe for food crops.

It is also poisonous to fish and aquatic life, just in case you have a pond.

FYI Sluggo brand slug bait is safe for pets and wildlife.


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ORTHENE and vegetables

Actually, you CAN use some forms of Orthene on some veggies; just check the labels.

Regards,

Tom

Here is a link that might be useful: Pesticide Database


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RE: GH pest control

I would never advise a home gardener to use Orthene on veggies or fruits they plan on eating. Sadly, home users often don't read the labels and don't mix or spray as directed.

Home users often use too much product and spray too often and don't wear protective clothing either or respirators or have adequate ventilation.

These chemicals are not benign especially when not used as directed. It is scary.

Having bugs in one's greenhouse sucks for sure but getting cancer from organophosphate use is worse....


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RE: GH pest control

Greenhouzer,

It is a handful keeping up with aphids and spidermites. I've not had whiteflies ... yet. I don't think I ever completely get rid of them and I have plants that are definitely pest magnets. My Brugmansias, water lettuce and hibiscus are aphid magnets. My bananas are spider mite magnets. I spray them religously with safer insectisidal soap and on occasion a hard blast of water. If I can keep up with spraying a couple times a week they don't seem to do much damage and the infestation does not seem to grow out of hand.

I would like to find a safe organic recipe I can make instead of using Safers. It might be less expensive that way and allow me to spray more often.

Good luck in your battle with all those pests....and to think, the winter is just beginning. argh!

~Tj~


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RE: GH pest control - Tom and others

The problem I ran into is nothing works that can be bought at Lowe's. It's all the crap farmers and GH owners wont buy. I don't know why the chemical companies are allowed to rip people off year after year. Pay offs I guess.

I haven't had problems with aphids. I did some research online and there are very few products that kill whitefly and spider mites. They've become immune to almost everything but the restricted chemicals I cannot buy. Also, the cost of some of these chemicals is an outrage.

These two pests cause millions in damages to crops every year. It's scary. I ended up with the worst two pests there are in my state.

All the stuff I listed was highly recommended and not one worked. When questioned it turned out they were recommended by people who just read or heard about them. They never used them themselves. I wonder if I should spend even more on these other products?!?!?! Have any of you had actual experience with them working on mites and w/fly?

I don't use systemics on food or herb plants. I have the GHs that I dreamed about for years and enjoying them is becoming harder and harder as the insect pest problem worsens.


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RE: GH pest control - ladylotus

I've been living her since 1989 and never saw a whitefly. They must have came in on flowers or veggie plants I bought last spring. The spider mites came before them on some plant. Most likely the palm I bought at HomeDepot some months before. I noticed they had a very bad infestation there several weeks AFTER I brought the palm home.


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RE: GH pest control

My greenhouse is infested with spider mites and Neem and Safer's Soap have not worked. It is very frustrating.

The only thing that I know works is Kelthane and it was banned a long time ago.

Malathion and Orthene don't really work on spider mites.

There is a gal who posts on the Houseplant Forum who has a home recipe that she says works but I've never tried it. HopefulAuthor is her name.

here is the recipe:
This is what I use for mites. 2-4 drops dish soap, (Not Dawn) citrus rind or juice, finely chopped garlic. (Garlic can plug a sprayer, so instead of chopping, mix this concoction the day before spraying. Place garlic in water, squeeze juice from garlic if possible. A little Cayenne Pepper wouldn't hurt either. Combine ingredients, shake well, then spray plants thoroughly. Week 1, spray 3 times. Week 2, 2 times, Week 3, 1 time..Mites should be gone after week one, but I continue using week 2 and 3 as a preventative. You can substitute..Say you don't have citrus rind..if you have lemon juice, etc, use that. The object is to spray the entire plant. Leaves, over and under, stems, trunk.


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RE: GH pest control - buyorsell888

She didn't say how much water to add? A quart? Pint? Gallon? Most of these home-made organic remedies I tried clogged the sprayer. The one with flour (table flour) in tobacco juice (soaked cigarettes) was impossible to spray using a conventional sprayer. The tomato plants are so infested they'll probably be dead before the GH is closed for the winter. One thing I haven't tried are those No-Pest strips you hang up.

Kelthane was an excellent product that worked - that's probably why it was taken off the market.


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Experience with chemicals

We have a commercial greenhouse operation.

For Aphids----Orthene or Tristar

For Spider Mites-----Floramite

They work.

They are not cheap.

You cannot get them at Lowes or WalMart.

They are not restricted; you do not need a pesticide permit to buy them.

Regards,

Tom


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RE: GH pest control

greenhouzer, I feel really bad for you and understand how frustrated you must be, so if you are thinking you introduced the pests on newly purchased plants, believe me; you aren't alone.

I realize it's too late now, and you may have to restock, but there is one habit every advanced aquarist picks up PDQ, ot they risk losing a whole lot of valuable stock: Quarantine. It's easy with fish of course, but perhaps one of those small pop up's might serve the same purpose for new plants?

As nothing left to lose- desperate situations sometimes call for desperate actions: there is another poison that may work, and as long as you don't cook them from the heat, shouldn't harm the plants: Flood your GH with what comes out of the exhaust of anything that hasn't a catalitic converter on it.


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RE: GH pest control

I purchased a fogger, called a Curtis Dynafog. It cost around $250 but really worth it. I put a link on here to the kind that I bought so you can see what I mean. It's a cold fogger, so you don't have to use special chemicals in it. I took off the tank that was on it and mounted it onto a rubbermaid storage container with a longer pick up tube so I could fog 3 gallons of mixed up solution in my 26X36 greenhouse, it takes about 1.5 hours to fog it up. The fog is so thick in there, right down to the ground, so those little buggers don't have anywhere to go, and it gets the backsides of the leaves at the same time too. And you don't have to be involved in there at all!
I close the greenhouse down tight of an evening and fog it early in the morning. I put a cheap plug in timer on mine so that I can load it up the night before and and fog at 4 or 5 am, then in the morning I open up the greenhouse and air out all the extra moisture. Turn off all your circulation fans so that the fog really hangs in the air, and sit the fogger right in the center of your greenhouse, pointing up.
I had a bad infestation of whiteflies last year and did finally manage to get rid of them by about mid November using that. If you're running tomatoes and edibles, fog commercial insecticidal soap, not homemade stuff, once every 3-4 days. The bugs don't get used to it/immune to it. I really don't like neem in the fogger, it clogs it up.
Of course we'd gotten a couple of good frosts and they weren't coming back in from outside by then.
It's essential that you keep them out of the inside, because once they spread to the outside, then you can't get rid of them until it gets cold outside, that was my experience last year. If you fog every 3-4 days, you can keep the numbers inside lower though.
I brought them in from another greenhouse, a guy gave me some elephant ears "Black magic" that were really infested and he was "tired of dealing with them". Bad mistake! I fogged them inside the trailer before I unloaded them, but that just wasn't enough because all the small ones matured and then took over the place.
Also if you're having bug troubles and it's hot outside and your exhaust fans are running a lot, it's pulling down your humidity inside the greenhouse, adding to the problem.
you might want to consider installing misters on a timer for next year. We did that this year, and it's helped 100%. We kick the misters on for 2 minutes at 10-12-2-and 4, just enough to dampen everything down and keep the humidity up. If you start seeing fungus gnats, then back it down to one minute, or increase the interval to 3 hours... When the plants are moisture stressed they're more attractive to the bugs, I've found.
Sometimes you're better off to cut down your tomatoes to stumps, spray the &^%$ out of them and let them grow back.
I feel for you, this all just about drove me crazy last year!

Here is a link that might be useful: curtis dynafog cyclone-the one I bought


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RE: GH pest control

I found another one of Toni (HopefulAuthor's) posts:

For a quart spray bottle:

32oz water.
6-7 drops dishsoap..(don't use Dawn)
1-2 teas (liquid lime or lemon) or 1 teas ground citrus rind..I use rind w/a larger mister, pieces can clog small sprayers.
2-3 cloves garlic..Squish garlic until juiced..squishing is easier than chopping garlic, small pieces can also clog spayer which is why squishing juice is preferred. If you prepare this the night before use, I recommend, adding leftover garlic in water.
Hot Pepper, eg. Cayenne/powder..sprinkle in mix..1/4-1/2 teas
Shake thoroughly..after mixing and before using.


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RE: GH pest control

Buyor...Thank you for the home made recipe for spraying pests. I'm going to give it a try.

Greenhouser...I feel so bad for you and your infestation. I watch my plants like a hawk and spray anything and even at times I'll spray just for prevention measures. Good luck in getting rid of your pests.

~Tj~


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RE: GH pest control

Wanna make sure everyone knows I just copied and pasted Toni's recipe for the home made spray. She is the one who should be thanked. :)


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RE: GH pest control - Tom

Who sells Tristar and how much does it cost? Google brought up a lot of sites but I didn't see anyone selling it.


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RE: GH pest control - Bird widow

A catalitic converter? You mean like the exhaust from the gas lawn mower? Since the native vegetation are also totally infested with these 2 pests you can be sure they'll reappear in the spring again. I'm just sick over this. It is easier to quarantine fish (I have 2 ponds) than plants. Too many pests can fly and spider mite and hitch a ride on you or the watering can... or even on the white flies.


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RE: GH pest control - Sandy

I don't think my husband will be happy to spend another $250.00 with no guarantee of success. He's as discouraged as I am. Commercial Insecticidal soaps have no effect on these pests. You can watch them walk right through it like it's dew. I don't know which one you used but those sold here are useless. The other problem is our Rion is too damp. Any misters would make that problem even worse. It's not true that spider mites don't thrive in humid air. They thrive in it just fine. :( Is that one the cheapest they have? The site has so many it was overwhelming.

buyorsell888: There's nothing toxic in that organic mix. I don't understand how it kills pests. No insecticide is used, none added to kill them?


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RE: GH pest control

The ortho systemic Rob recommended works great.I also use kelthan-it work awesome against mites.It wasn't banned-the chemical companys just decided to not renew the license-but I found it last year at a small garden supply center-and have seen it on ebay-it's about 14 bucks for a bottle that will last years.I also bought avid last year for mites-but it cost about 95 bucks for a bottle-but I've seen little bottles of it cheap on ebay.I rotate among these 3 every week for 3 weeks-then I wait about 6 weeks and rotate again.I do use a really fancy respirator when using them.NO Mites-NO Aphids-NO BUGS!!!!Problem solved!! Mark


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RE: GH pest control

greenhouser,

Yes. Noxious exhaust, although if you know anyone who has a pre converter vehicle, it would produce a lot more of the stuff than a lawn mower or garden tractor.

Presuming of course, that it's as deadly to insects as it is to us.


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RE: GH pest control - trigger

The systemics work the best (for non veggies) but once the native vegetation is infested as it is around my property now, the plants just get re-infested almost immediately. Systemics can't be used on food crops which were also infested. Neither can Kelthane if I can find it. $93 for Avid is out of the question. I already have well over $100 worth of insecticides that were supposed to work and none but the systemic ever made a noticeable difference in pest populations. Tobacco (nicotine) also worked to some extent (soaked and filtered cigarettes) but that can't be used on the same family such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. There's always something. My husband says maybe I should just give up and get rid of all the plants and gardens. What a shame, now that I have the 2 GHs.

It's like a losing battle with only the chemical companies profiting.

This evening I put Moth Balls all around the infested plants and sprayed them again with a Systemic. At this point some are so damaged by the whitefly they'd be better off in the burn barrel. I doubt any of my Poinsettias will bloom this year. They look like hell from the pests and the constant spraying of insecticides.


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RE: GH pest control - Orchidude

Have you tried both of those products on Whitefly and spider mites?

Tom: I don't have aphid problems here.


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Greenhouser2--where to buy

We don't really have a whitefly problem. Maybe its because we spray at the first sign of a problem. But yes, the Floramite works great on spider mites.

We're a commercial outfit so we buy wholesale. Normally, we get our chemicals from Wetsel's in central Virginia or through Park's in SC. These are not restricted so you "should" be able to order them from somewhere. Here is one place I found but I didn't look closely to see if they sold to the general public:

http://www.growercentral.com/index.cfm?familyID=179835&siteAction=showFamilyDetails&CFID=4982355&CFTOKEN=6886

Any commercial greenhouse should/could/would be able to order it for you. In fact, they might sell you a small amount to try.

And yes, regardless of what some others have said, some Orthene products can be used on some veggies. Bayer has come out with a brand new systemic that should have been cleared in the U.S. in June according to an email I got from them when I asked. It is called Movento:

http://westernfarmpress.com/vegetables/091107-aphid-control/

http://www.bayercropscience.com/BCSWeb/CropProtection.nsf/id/InnovativeTechnology

I'm not sure what all veggies it will be cleared to use on.

Regards,

Tom


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RE: GH pest control - Tom

Thanks Tom, I'll see if I can find these locally. If not, then if affordable, I'll order them online.


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greenhouser2....

...If I can help, just email me.

Regards,

Tom


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RE: GH pest control

I am new to the GardenWeb forums, but I have lurked for a long time. I live in central Mississippi, Zone 7B and have had a greenhouse for about 16 years. Last fall, my husband and I updated my old greenhouse to a HFGH 10x12. I have made it through one winter with no problems, thanks to all the great advice that I found here.
For garden pests, one of my solutions is that I cut up the "cheap" flea collars and put pieces in my pots. For the taller plants, I may leave them whole and hang them in the limbs of the plants. This has helped with wasps building in my pots, bugs that like to nibble the leaves, spider mites and aphids. I have not had a problem with whiteflies, but maybe the flea collars have been working to prevent them, too. I use the flea collars on the plants that have a tendency to attract insects. It has been a cheap solution that works for a long time. Someone mentioned slug problems, I use beer in cups to control slugs. They are attracted to the yeast in the beer, crawl in and drown. But, you have to change out the beer every couple of days. And it really does work!


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RE: GH pest control = thebarefootgardener

thebarefootgardener:

Have you ever added these flea collars AFTER the plants were infested? Today I removed the Poinsettias from the Rion (8'6" X 16') GH because I cannot get the whitefly off them. I tried, at this time, 12 or 13 different products that were a waste of money. Organic home concoctions don't work either except for the nicotine mix I made. That helped but the white fly remain on certain plants. It looks like the tomatoes are the next plants I'll have to remove from the GH. :*(


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RE: GH pest control

Yes, I have used them on infested plants, both pot plants and garden plants. It has been really effective on my hoyas and tropical hibiscus with mealy bug problems. If the plant is infected, I usually use Ortho systemic spray, mixed a little heavier than recommended, and use the flea collars.

For really infested plants I have used the plastic bags that the cleaners use to create a micro-environment for infested plants. Place the plant in the bag in a shady place, spray thoroughly and keep closed for 24 hours. This would keep the bugs from escaping to the next plant. You might need to spray more than once inside the bag and then use the flea collars. If all plants are infected you might could try one of the cheap indoor flea/roach bug bombs that you can find at one of the dollar stores. I pick them up for 4/1.00 and use them outside to control mosquitos on my porches in the summer. (Just be sure to not breathe after you set them off or use a mask.)

What kind of floor do you have in your greenhouse? I have noticed that different environments seem to harbor some insects.


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RE: GH pest control - thebarefootgardener

thebarefootgardener: I'll look for those flea/roach bug bombs for the GHs. I never thought of them before. There are too many plants to bag up and spray. Even cutting flea collars into quarters would be costly since there are so many plants that would need protection. The fans would most likely blow the toxic gasses they release away from them (dilute it). In winter my GHs are packed. I wasn't going to heat the smaller HFGH but ran out of room so had make use of it also. What store sells bug bombs for 25 cents each, or was that a typo?

The floor is crushed limestone gravel. Dropped leaves and flowers are picked up regularly.


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RE: GH pest control

I get the bug bombs at Dollar General Store and I looked at my box, they are 4/$5.00... sometimes you can run up on them cheaper depending on the brand. These are Rid-A-Bug Foggers, contains 4 6oz foggers for larvae and adult fleas, roaches, ants,spiders, mosquitoes, wasps, and ticks. The box says that each box treats up to 6,000 cubic foot. They do not claim garden pests, but it should be effective. The warnings say to be sure to turn off any gas valves, pilot lights, open flames or electric heaters and not go back into the room for 2 hours. So, you could set off the foggers in morning and leave the greenhouse closed for a couple of hours. As cheap as they are you can use often. As I said before, I use them for mosquitoes and I do not use the whole can. I just hit a spritz in corners and around my plants, very effective for these Mississippi monster mosquitoes.
Let me know how it goes....


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RE: GH pest control

You're not going to be able to totally get rid of your bugs until you've had several hard freezes outside. The ones that are outside are going to get back in. The best you can hope for now is to keep the levels down.
The fogger machine works because the bugs can't get away from it. When you coat the tops and bottoms of the leaves at the same time and all the surfaces on the bugs get coated with something that either penetrates their bodies or smothers them, it's just not good news for them. Of course you have to keep at it every few days because ones that are in egg stages still hatch and have to be killed too.
No--I didn't get the cheapest fogger they had because I needed higher volume to fill my larger greenhouses. I didn't see what size your greenhouses are. Maybe a smaller one would work. Another plus is that you don't have to be in there at all while you fog, always good when working with chemicals.
Your most infested plants, you should get them out of the greenhouse. If destroying them is not an option, cut them back, and pull all the leaves off of them and give them a dormant oil spray like for a fruit tree and then put them back. You need a good coverage with any spray, but especially a dormant oil spray. It works by smothering pests and eggs and it will damage soft stemmed plants, but it sounds like they're damaged anyway. It's a last resort option.
Rotate your sprays, different brands of sprays work the same way. For example some attack the nervous system. If you use a spray that attacks the nervous system 3-4 times in a row, even if it's a different brand, then it'll quit working as the bugs adapt. I put a link on there for you to a chart, the chart starts on page 3 of the link. What I did was to print out the chart and then take it to my bug killers and look at the chemicals on the bug killers, then when you find what class they're in, write the class on it with a big magic marker number on the front. Then you rotate your sprays according to action and class. Use a calendar to schedule and rotate your sprays. Write down what you used, what strength you mixed it and what date. Insecticidal soap is a good one to use in between sprays if you can't remember what you used last time because it's not one they can get used to at all, but good coverage is the whole key, so therefore the fogger really helps.
I've been doing this for a living now for 3-4 years and I had terrible trouble with bugs the first couple of years until I got the fogger and got my spray rotations happening.
Yes, it will cause the humidity to go up, but you can always heat and vent it back out. Just don't water too much either. It sounds like you also have problems with high humidity, overcrowding and possibly overwatering. Good luck, and if you need any support, you can e-mail me, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: insecticides modes of action


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RE: GH pest control

As sandy wrote, foggers work because there is very little escape from what they expell into a closed space, and why in some areas, home exterminators seal entire houses in plastic, then use the total saturation method to get the insecticide deep into every nook and cranny.

I also agree about rotating the products, even if more than one type would kill the same pests and why we rotate wormers in livestock; to both catch parasites at different stages of their life cycles and prevent them from developing immunity to any specific chemical.

The flea/roach bombs might work for you, I really don't know; but still think a small fogger is a good investment for anyone with a GH who suffers recurring, seasonal insect problems.

One way to do a pretty through job inside a GH would be to use an electric fogger, running the cord outside of it so you could turn it on just long enough for it to saturate, then off, repeating every 6 hrs. or so, and keep at it for as many days as are necessary to kill any larve missed while they were in the egg and at the same time, pretty much eliminate the need to break the seal and enter the GH more than a few times during the process- if at all.

However, to accomplish that type of near total kill requires knowing the life cycle of the pests; mainly how long their eggs take to hatch because for many plant pests, the damage occurs only at the larval stage. But killing the adults before they have a chance to breed is also an important part of the total attack plan.


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RE: GH pest control

Hi everyone. I found the Bombs at Big Lots. It was the only place in town that had them. I plan to use them AFTER the first killing frost so new flies don't come in when the vents open as they do most days. It's called TAT-fogger. There are three 5 oz cans for $5. I've thinned the plants out for better air circulation and discarded the most damaged. I think I'll pick up another box when I'm in town. I also powdered some plants with Boric Acid powder and spread moth-balls among (not in) the pots.

Good info on switching insecticides. Thanks


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