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Pesky woodlice

WOULD you know a good solution for the invasion of woodlice? They are constantly with us and munch our leaves and blooms.


WOODLICE generally don't affect leaves and flowers. They tend to feed more on decaying plant material in the soil or, at worst ,eat seedlings and roots. Earwigs are much more likely to damage buds, leaves, fruit and flowers.

However, control methods are much the same for both. You can reduce their numbers by clearing up rubbish and plant debris from the area, leaving fewer places in which they can hide and breed. Set traps of rolled-up newspaper in which they'll shelter, and every three days or so shake them out of the traps into hot water or step on them.

For earwigs, you could spray the affected plants in the evening with a contact insecticide like Baythroid Aerosol or Carbaryl. For woodlice, you could drench the soil in the area where they seem to be prevalent with Diazinon solution or sprinkle Diazinon granules. Or you could mix up a bait of 15ml liquid Malathion concentrate with 100g of bran plus 100g dried blood or blood and bone. Mix with a little water to moisten and in the evening place small amounts of bait under upturned containers in the problem areas. For earwigs, add 50g of sugar to the mix. Put bricks or other heavy weights on top of the bait covers to prevent them blowing off and to keep small children from interfering with them.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 164, 2005, Page 24

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: October 25, 2005