Bug out

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES -

low tox­i­c­ity to mam­mals such as our­selves. Syn­thetic pyrethrins also work ex­tremely well.

No mat­ter what you use, read the la­bel and fol­low the in­struc­tions.

Sun­light de­ter­gent or grated bars of Ivory soap are not the same as a prod­uct that has been de­vel­oped for in­sect con­trol. Give them a try if you want, but there is no guar­an­tee they will be ef­fec­tive or they won’t dam­age the plant.

Ex­am­ine your plants pe­ri­od­i­cally throughout the win­ter. Look for web­bing around the grow­ing points, in­di­cat­ing the pres­ence of spi­der mites. Green aphids will con­gre­gate un­der the leaves or on new growth.

Even if you elim­i­nate all the ac­tive pests by treat­ing in the fall, both spi­der mites and aphids lay rest­ing eggs to sur­vive the win­ter. When light lev­els start to come up again in Fe­bru­ary they can hatch out in the house and start the cy­cle over.

If you catch them quickly, they can be con­trolled be­fore they cause too much dam­age. (I use the shower stall to spray down plants with in­sec­ti­ci­dal soap when it’s too cold to do it out­side.)

Wouldn’t it be much eas­ier to just buy new plants in spring? Yes, and I do that with most of my con­tainer plants. But there are al­ways spe­cial va­ri­eties that aren’t so easy to come by.

There are also less tan­gi­ble rea­sons. There’s a sense of con­ti­nu­ity when I bring my cy­press in again for the win­ter. Like my grand­mother’s gera­nium, they’re a re­minder in the depths of win­ter of the gar­den that was and will be again.

LEFT: Spi­der mites and other un­wanted in­sects can be brought inside on out­door

plants.

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