Pests

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

Taz Stu­art, en­to­mol­o­gist and di­rec­tor of tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions for Poulin’s Pest Con­trol, is a vo­cal pro­po­nent of IPM as a proac­tive ap­proach to pest prob­lems. Stu­art is gear­ing up for the many calls he ex­pects to re­ceive from home­own­ers who want to know what to do about dis­posal of their sup­ply of prod­ucts that come un­der the new reg­u­la­tions. Stu­art says con­tain­ers with un­used pes­ti­cides can be safely dis­posed through the City of Win­nipeg’s house­hold haz­ardous waste dis­posal pro­gram. Con­tact Miller En­vi­ron­men­tal Cor­po­ra­tion (1803 Hekla Ave.) at 204-925-9600. In ru­ral ar­eas, con­tact Green Man­i­toba at green­man­i­toba.ca or call toll-free 1-866-460-3118. Stu­art rec­om­mends home­own­ers who hire li­censed ap­pli­ca­tors al­ways ask for proof of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, in­clud­ing a cur­rent IPM li­cence. Chang­ing one’s ide­ol­ogy can be a slow process, said Stu­art, who em­pha­sized chem­i­cal op­tions should be the last re­sort in the gar­den. Wag­ing war against pests with more en­vi­ron­ment-friendly tac­tics finds many in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions. Could biopes­ti­cides be one an­swer to ef­fec­tively man­ag­ing pests? Ken Land says St. Mary’s Nurs­ery car­ries lady­bugs and pray­ing man­tises and sells them as egg cases. Hatch­ing is trig­gered by warm weather. The pray­ing man­tis has a vo­ra­cious ap­petite for pests such as aphids, al­though its use is de­signed for a sin­gle sea­son since man­tises will not sur­vive our win­ter. Land will also be sell­ing leaf-cut­ter bees and ma­son bees as well as ma­son bee houses. While leaf-cut­ter bees will make cir­cu­lar saw-blade cuts in the leaves of roses and other plants such as lilacs, they are also im­por­tant as pol­li­na­tors. De­ter them from mak­ing their home in the ex­posed pith of pruned rose canes with a bit of seal­ing wax. Prob­lem pests such as aphids and slugs or dis­eases such as tomato blight, mildew or leaf spot on roses do not rec­og­nize in­ter­na­tional bound­aries and mi­grate freely. Gord and Betty San­guin gar­den in the Riverview area. Pro­po­nents of a home­o­pathic ap­proach to man­ag­ing their own health, they are keen to ex­per­i­ment with home­opa­thy for plants, an in­trigu­ing al­ter­na­tive premise that is meet­ing with some ex­tra­or­di­nary suc­cess in a grow­ing num­ber of Euro­pean gar­dens. Based on the book Home­opa­thy for Plants by Chris­tiane Maute (Narayana Pub­lish­ers, 2011), the idea to treat plants home­o­path­i­cally be­gan in a small home­opa­thy clinic where she works that also serves as a pub­lish­ing house in Kan­dern, a Ger­man town sit­u­ated at the edge of the Black For­est. Maute, a ded­i­cated home­opath, was mo­ti­vated by the de­sire to re­duce the need for chem­i­cal pes­ti­cides in her own gar­den in her home­town of Friedrichshafen. Ex­per­i­ment­ing on a phys­i­cally dam­aged del­phinium with Ar­nica 200C, a home­o­pathic rem­edy she nor­mally pre­scribed for pa­tients who suf­fered shock or in­jury as a re­sult of a blow or fall, Maute was amazed by the plant’s pos­i­tive re­sponse and sub­se­quent re­cov­ery. When the leaves of a favourite cherry tree on her ter­race be­gan to ex­hibit signs of dis­ease, Maute de­cided to ex­per­i­ment by wa­ter­ing the trunk and soil with a Thuja mix­ture nor­mally pre­scribed for peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing fun­gal in­fec­tions. The tree be­gan pro­duc­ing healthy, new growth. As­sisted by fel­low home­opaths such as Jur­gen Sig­ward, other ex­per­i­ments fol­lowed that caught the in­ter­est of lo­cal me­dia and the pub­lic. In a re­cent phone in­ter­view, Sig­ward de­scribed the re­ac­tion to a con­trolled ex­per­i­ment in­volv­ing two let­tuce plots, one of which was left un­treated and the other treated home­o­path­i­cally with Helix tosta, made from the shell of dead snails. Guess which of the let­tuce plots was con­sumed by slugs? With pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence of the un­treated plants eaten down to the stems, Sig­ward says their small clinic was flooded with hun­dreds of or­ders from dif­fer­ent vil­lages through­out Bavaria. An on­line fo­rum was started so gar­den­ers could share their ex­pe­ri­ences, whether suc­cesses or fail­ures. Home­opa­thy for plants, in­volv­ing as it does dosages and po­ten­cies of nu­mer­ous reme­dies em­a­nat­ing from plant or min­eral sources (al­beit in highly di­luted tinc­tures), may or may not be the fu­ture of pest and dis­ease con­trol in your gar­den. Maute, though, shared with me, “One of my main hopes is that our beau­ti­ful world will per­haps man­age with far fewer chem­i­cal pes­ti­cides in the fu­ture. This will be kinder to both the en­vi­ron­ment and our bank bal­ances.”

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