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RasJebel Farm - Natural Pest Control


I - Pests

  • Ants:
    • Common species :
      • external image 290px-Lasius.niger.-.lindsey.jpgBlack Garden Ants (Lasius niger): Lasius niger worker will be dark glossy black and will be around 3-5mm long, as the colony gets older it has been known for workers to increase in size over generations. [...] They will farm aphids for the honeydew they excrete by bringing them inside the nest and bringing them back out again when necessary" [wikipedia].
      • external image Solenopsis_invicta1.JPGFire Ants : "Fire ants can be distinguished from other ants by their copper brown head and body with a darker abdomen" wikipedia].
      • European Fire Ants (Mymica rubra): "they are mainly red in colour, with slightly darker pigmentation on the head. [...] They live on a diet of honeydew excreted by aphids" [wikipedia].
      • external image 220px-Rossameise.JPGCarpenter Ants : "Carpenter ants are large (.25 to 1 in or 0.64 to 2.5 cm) ants indigenous to many parts of the world. They prefer dead, damp wood in which to build nests" [wikipedia].
      • external image 240px-Lasius.flavus.jpgYellow Meadow Ants : "The queen is 7–9 mm long, males 3–4 mm and workers 2–4 mm. Their colour varies from yellow to brown, with queen and males being slightly more darkly colored.[...] They feed on the honeydew from root aphids, which they breed in their nests"[wikipedia].
    • Existing imbalance: Most present insect in our garden, they are everywhere, on trees, vegetables, live and dead wood. Although not particularly harmful creature, sometimes eating vegetable stems and possibly digging live trees wood. But most damage is done by protecting aphids from their natural predators (no ladybug so far), "Ants have been documented attacking and fighting off ladybirds and other predators that have tried to eat their aphids" [sciencedaily]
      • Vegetable : on dill and parsley base, beet, broad beans and carrot flowers, they protect aphids that weakens the plants, and can kill them when combined with slugs eating leaves. Attack broccoli and mustard by digging the stem.
      • Fruits Trees : they nest in trees, unsure if they dig or inhabit existing holes in the wood, probably Fire Ants, harvest the ripe mulberries, and protect aphids on pomegranate and pears fruit, and on citrus shoots.
    • Possible control :
      • Direct Control
        • Repellent can be used against ants, such as lemon peel, mint oil, red pepper, egg shell, talc powder, wood ash, blood meal and lime. Sulfur is also used in organic gardening against ants. Coffee ground and cinnamon was reported failing to repel fire ants [fireant.tamu.edu]
        • Barriers can be made for ants, using sticky bands, resin covered cloth, or coffee ground [howstuffworks, seventhgeneration, frugalliving]. Liming trees was used traditionally to discourage ants housing in the trunks cavities and holes.
        • Insecticidal are also used against ants in organic gardening. Corn starch are said to be effective against ants (fire ants especially), although this fact lacks scientific evidence. Insecticidal can be toxic to other creatures., such as diatomous earth that kills insects with an exoskeleton, but are not toxic to plants, and boric acid used as bait mixed with sugar, and that is toxic to plants and can kill beneficial insects.
      • Deterrent Plants: strongly scented plants confuse ants use of pheromones, such as mint, marjoram, lavander, fennel, sage, camphor
      • Natural Predators
        • Few insects like to eat ants, such as zodarium spider, odonata insects and few hymenopteras
        • Few animals like to eat ants, such as certain birds (e.g. swallows, picinae), lizards and bats. Chiken, the permaculture favorite pest control, does not eat ants, they find them too acid for their taste.
    • Implemented Control :
      • Lime : To limit proliferating ants, trees of the half of the orchard has been limed. This method proved efficient in limiting their access to trees, although they sometimes find other paths to climb.
      • Corn starch : Additionally, corn starch mixed with sugar and water was tested and seems to make them disappear after a week. In other trials on their hill, ants only decreased in number.
      • Coffee ground : was used at the base of a mustard attacked by black ants that was eating its stem. After 1 week, ants were still there, not bothered by coffee ground, but the plant was much weakened, almost dying. Coffee ground was not effective at repelling ant, at least with this species, worse it seems to have negatively affected the plant (the dosage was maybe too strong). Another try will be made on ant hill.
      • Cinnamon : sprinkeled on a ant hill (in progress)
      • Cigarette butts : soaked in water and poured over the hill (in progress)
      • Boiling water : poured on a hill, in a 10 cm dug hole (in progress)
  • Aphids:
    • Target Info : Often farmed/protected by ants
    • Existing Imbalance :
    • Possible Control :
      • Direct Action : Soap Water, Nettle Tea, Ashes
      • Natural Predator : Lady bug
    • Implemented Control :
      • Soap Solution : A soap based soft treatment was used against aphids which affect few trees and are protected by the ants. Grape leaves infected by mites were removed to reduce their population.
      • Nettle Tea
      • Ashes
  • Slugs
  • Fruit Tree Borer
  • Almond Parasite
  • Holm Oak Parasite
  • Citrus Miner
  • Caterpillar
  • Wasps
  • Mosquitos

II - Diseases

  • Grape Mites
  • Termites

III - Animals

  • Boars
  • Mices
  • Birds