Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jack Frost Pays a Visit and Bugs Invade

In the little time I've been able to be in the garden this week, I've noticed that a few of my plants have suffered from recent freezing temperatures. One has been my black sage. Fortunately, only the tips of some stems were affected. 

The hardest hit plants have been my Lilies of the Nile and my gazanias, but I expect both to bounce back. These are my poor Lilies of the Nile. 

Perhaps as unwelcome as Jack Frost has been the invasion of what I believe are box cedar bugs around the exterior walls of the house and on the plants. They seem to like to hide under the gazanias, but I find them everywhere. In this photo they were clumping in the gazanias in late afternoon. 

I tried treating them with food grade DE Diatomaceous Earth today. This is supposed to puncture the exoskeletons of the bugs  enough to dehydrate them, so it is completely non-toxic to the soil, pets, and humans. I sprinkled it on the leaves of the gazanias where I saw the bugs and anywhere else I saw them. But one has to be careful not to put it anywhere that would attract a beneficial insect such as a bee or butterfly.  It can kill them, too. You have to use this when it is dry, since water makes it ineffective. 

I'm waiting to see how well this works on the bugs, but it seems to be working well on ants inside the house. I hate using poisons in my kitchen. I bought ten pounds of this and so far it's doing the job for me. 
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