Corn killers.

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by the Decoy, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. the Decoy

    the Decoy Member

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    Hi all. Long-time follower of SSM YouTube channel and new member to SSC. Hoping someone can give me a lead on what's destroying my corn? I'm in Brisbane, and have already lost a full crop to this little... thing. Now it's back and at work in my new plants. It 'window-panes' the leaves. Must be some kind of beetle as it had legs. Looking for any info anyone may have. Will upload images of the culprit and some damage. Any help appreciated. Cheers!
     

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  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Welcome Decoy!
    It sure is an interesting little critter on the tip of your finger. Looks almost like a white ant except it doesn't have any antennae that I can see or pincher jaws. Hard to make out whether the clear parts are wings or abdomen. Also seems to have 6legs.

    If you are into 'natural' remedies, a general 'natural' spray is pyrethrum or the artificial version, Permethrim. However both of those are non specific meaning it will kill all living critters good & bad.

    If you are into yet more 'natural' remedies, soapy water spray made with natural soap or home made white oil might be enough to block the breathing holes in the knees of those little critters & smother them out before they breed their next generation.

    Or you could use tomato dust which is a copper dust which used to be considered 'natural' but now isn't. But you'll have to puff the dust up under all the leaves to get enough critters to stop the next generation.

    Could these critters have come in the mulch? Maybe for your replacement crop, do things differently to see if that also changes the outcome.

    Good Luck, Decoy.
     
  3. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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  4. the Decoy

    the Decoy Member

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    Fantastic! Thanks for your advice. I'll give the soap spray a go tomorrow evening. Thanks again Cliss
     
  5. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Oh great Decoy, I'm glad you said you would try it in the evening.

    I came back to this thread this morning to add some caveats to the use of both soapy water & home made white oil.

    Don't use in very hot weather.
    Don't use during the heat of the day.
    Allow to do its thing for 2-3hrs then wash off.

    Otherwise you may kill the plants these sprays are applied to. Both sprays can block the breathing pores of both pests & plants!
    Plus, when combined with sun heat, they often burn young leaves.

    The washing off can itself be beneficial, because it is best to use a bit of pressure with the nozzle on the garden hose to get up under all leaves. That will dislodge pests too. Sometimes that's all that's needed.
     
  6. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yep. Looks like a darned aphid to me too. The type that decimate all sorts of plants, wreaking havoc on my lilli-pilli plants. All the levels needed to be pruned off and destroyed to stop the cycle, then spray. They are hard to eradicate from plants you can’t prune but give it a go.
     
  7. Helen Auriga

    Helen Auriga Ecological Farming & Landcare Premium Member GOLD

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    Im using lacewings to control aphids.
     
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