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  Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
  April 9th, 2005

Your garden is now ripe for a devastating invasion of aphids, slugs and snails. Before we devise our battle plan to rid your garden of these pests, let’s look at the inter-relationships in your backyard!

Aphids are to ants what cows are to humans. Ants actually protect and herd aphids for the honeydew nectar they secrete. Ants use their antennae to stroke the aphids, thereby activating the secretion cycle. Thusly, ant control should be part of the preventative cycle regarding aphid infestation. Get rid of the ants and it is much easier to get rid of their herds! We’ll help you find the best ant-control method for your situation.

Aphids can be brought under control culturally if the infestation is moderate. Often a thorough hosing of the afflicted plants will wash aphids away.

Biological controls include lady bugs and praying mantis colonies. Organic solutions include insecticidal soaps or pyrethrums. Another combination ingredient might be a 3-1 fertilizer, fungus control and systemic insecticide.

Snails are also active with our combination of heat and moisture. In most cases, snails are easily controlled with bait products. For the more exotic approach, there is a biological control for the common brown snail by utilizing a distant cousin, the Decollate snail. The Decollate snail species is carnivorous and will feast on the common brown snail. Should they run out of the snail entrée, they become herbaceous and eat trimmings and waste. But be aware, when these slippery critters run out of food, they will be happy to munch on your prized plants.

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