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24

The composting process depends on a complex chain of organisms -- which can include ants -- to consume and thus break down the food in your compost pile. See this page from the University of Illinois extension service, which comments on ants in compost: Ants - Ants feed on a variety of materials including fungi, seeds, sweets and other insects. They help ...


21

Q. Is it 100% safe to handle the soil by bare hands? No, nothing is 100% safe. That said, I've always done gardening (from the earliest age), also when working indoors or outdoors, with bare-hands. I don't like wearing gloves, just a personal preference. Though the above statement is not quite true, as I have worn gloves (and other safety equipment) when: ...


15

Can you take the plant outside? And do you have access to an outside hose? If your answer is a "yes" to both of the above questions, a hose nozzle that delivers a sharp stream of water offers a very! effective method. When using this method, make sure you take your time and blast the whole plant (eg underside of the leaves). After doing that, I would then ...


15

Looks like a red pumpkin beetle Aulacophora foveicollis


14

It depends on where you live. Toxic (poisonous / venomous) insects are more prevalent in some places than others. Where I garden there's only one kind (that I can identify) of biting ant, ground wasps are not common, and there aren't any poisonous spiders or snakes. In places like the southern US, fire ants are more common. Though I'm not sure how much ...


13

Ants in compost heaps usually means the heap's too dry. The absence of obvious brandlings and other worms should confirm that. Add water and continue turning it.


13

The appearance of the soil surface in your photos leads me to think that over-watering may be the cause of the mold/fungus; a constantly wet growing medium provides ideal conditions for mold to develop. The soil needs to dry out a little between waterings, so that it is only slightly damp to the touch, and never wet. The slight browning of the stems where ...


12

IMHO that answer should work fine in your situation. It's a pretty "standard" procedure for dealing with such pests on potted plants. Submerging the pot in water for an hour or two, then allowing it to dry out will not have any adverse effects on your Basil plant (or any other "common" potted plant I can think of). It's not like you're keeping the roots ...


12

Mealybugs are only one of over a thousand different varieties of Scale Insects which vary tremendously in appearance, and it is almost certainly one of these that is attacking your palms -see here and here. Scale insects, apart from mealybugs, are mostly sedentary creatures (apparently, the females are usually immobile), and they are difficult to control ...


12

Generic, non-chemical pest controls that you can try: Physical barriers like row covers. Traps -- some traps use pheromones to lure the insects in and then trap them with glue or sticky tape. Vacuuming is effective on some insects. Trap crops will sometimes work -- you plant a species that the pests like even more than the crop you want to harvest. The ...


12

Pollinators are no different than people, they need the same things: food, water, shelter. Food: Some butterflies like a bit of mud to puddle up minerals Shelter: many bees are under-served in the shelter area. Nesting tubes can be as simple as groups of bamboo 4-8" long, smooth with a 5/16" diameter hole. Group them together in a bundle off the ground ...


11

That is a ladybug larvae - don't kill it. It is eating pests, and is a beneficial insect. Are the beetles they were found with ladybugs? that would make sense. But Mexican bean beetles and Cucumber beetles also look like ladybugs, I'll include a side by side comparison picture. From left to right, ladybug, mexican bean beetle, and cucumber beetle: From ...


11

As far as I can tell, there is very little empirical data on garlic and mosquitoes. And all of the studies I have seen show mixed results for ingesting garlic or using garlic as a mosquito repellent. That leaves you with anecdotal evidence, so here's mine. My garlic patch used to be 30 some feet from my deck. A few years ago, I moved it so it is now just ...


10

"SE Gardening" contains quite a bit of information on this subject, below I've tried to gather up some of that information and post it here in one place for easy reference. All links are to "SE Gardening" posts unless noted otherwise. Improve your soil, keep your soil in good health I'm a huge! believer in the benefits (almost magical properties) of ...


10

I can't be certain with the picture quality but based on their location in the wood chips and their appearance I'm going to say you have termites. Certainly get rid of them and/or call a bug inspector to verify.


9

These small, black insects which cluster together look like the blackfly that sometimes infest my broad beans. If they reappear after the water-blast treatment, I would spray them thoroughly with a solution of soapy water; it saves using chemicals, costs virtually nothing and works a treat. To my mind, always better to take the organic route if possible, ...


9

Insects are rarely a problem. The only one I can think of that might bite in soil, would be ants. Also avoid the blatantly obvious like digging into wasp/hornet/etc nests! I think you are probably thinking of bacteria and other microbes. Generally you will be fine, no problems; but beware of animal (and human) urine and faces contaminating the soil. Also ...


9

I believe they are newly hatched Leptoglossus nymphs -- scroll down ⅔ of that page to see images (reproduced below seeing as I'm unable to find any kind of Copyright notice on that site)... The genus Leptoglossus contains the classic leaf-footed bugs. The hind tibiae have large flared processes that resemble the shape of leaves. When these insects ...


9

Mantids are not spectacular for pest control because they're very indiscriminate in choosing their prey. They readily attack other beneficial insects as well as harmful or pest insects. I always get a few each year, usually around something that is blooming. In my area, they like to sit and wait for pollinators. They like to attack larger prey and tend to ...


9

I think this is a Green vegatable bug (Nezara viridula, a.k.a. southern green stink bug) in one of its juvenile forms (nymph I believe). Here are a couple of examples: There are a number of stages of growth so the adult beetle looks quite different from this one. This beetle is a recognized pest of citrus plants and legumes (among others) and will often ...


9

These are Froghopper larvaes. Also, known as Splittlebugs. Wikipedia also shows the adult which I, of course, have seen in my garden. Best thing about it: They are harmless in small quantities. No need to treat. Update: Look who turned up this evening: a parent (Cercopis vulnerata)


9

Seems like your culprit is smallish. Candidates would be caterpillars Check for their droppings - greenish or blackish "pearls" - or the animals themselves hiding either under the leaves or along the stems. Simply pick them off, no chemicals needed. slugs or snails tend to leave slimy traces - search and remove like caterpillars. bugs rather unlikely, but a ...


9

The wood at the bottom of the bed looks pretty dark in comparison to the rest of the side. It's most likely that the woodlice are feeding off a decaying box, rather than anything in the bed. They'll only be recycling nutrients from the wood into the bed. They'll cause very little damage if any, mainly to soft fruit or seedling. If anything, they're highly ...


8

Seems like pillbugs are good for the compost pile. Pillbugs form an important component of the larger decomposer fauna, along with earthworms, snails, and millipedes. All of these animals return organic matter to the soil where it is further digested by fungi, protozoans, and bacteria, hence making nitrates, phosphates, and other vital nutrients ...


8

You can't avoid bugs in compost. They're an important part of the process but there are a few things you can do. If you do passive, cold composting, where you just throw in material and let things decay on their own over the course of months then you'll have an environment that is better for bugs. You can still do some things to deter nuisance bugs such as ...


8

Grubs like the one you've pictured feed on plant roots. If there are a lot of them, then yes, they are doing damage. You may just not be noticing it yet. The worst part is they will eventually pupate into adult beetles, and those will work on damaging the above-ground parts of your plants. If they are Japanese Beetles (hard to say without more info but the ...


8

Look on the bottom of the leaves. If you see small rows of tiny white capsules, you have leaf miners. These devastated spinach and chard for our garden. They also infest beet greens but are not a problem unless you eat the tops. Control is to remove infested plants, put screens over the plants to keep the flies from coming onto the plants, and eliminate ...


8

They are not baby spiders, but you are not too far off target. They are Spider Mites. Spider mites drink the sap of plants and in great enough numbers they can cause severe damage. The webbing is also from them, they produce it in an attempt to protect themselves from predators and to shield themselves from unfavorable climate conditions. Spider mites are ...


8

We make a simple paper funnel by just rolling a sheet of paper into a cone and stapling or taping it. Then we make sure there's a small opening at the bottom. We put this into a tall glass that has a little juice or wine in it - even a little bit of chopped up fruit sometimes. This works marvelously. Also, check your drains. Fruit flies breed in a biofilm. ...


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