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Bug identification, fish fertiliser spray
Yellow flowers, Kaikoura Range
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Bug identification, fish fertiliser spray
I have fluffy white bugs on my fruit and vegies as well as little black one's with wings maybe whitefly and aphids? Should I concern myself - will they damage the growth? I have been advised on a fish fertilizer which deters the little critter's and helps the plant grow is this a wise choice?
Caitlin

The thought of these bugs munching your crops is a concern but we need to gather a little more information before we can assume they will cause damage and need to be disposed of. What we need to know is whether these bugs are in large numbers, where they are found and if they have done any damage thus far.

Indentification: Where did you find them? Being a bit more specific helps in identification - that is, the name of the crop and where on the plant you found them, eg, underside of the leaf or flying amongst the crop itself. Also a bit more information on what the insect looks like helps - does this fluffy white bug have wings and look like a tiny white moth, and hang around your tomato or bean plants?

If so, whitefly could be the right answer - whitefly congregate on the undersides of leaves to suck sap from the plant. When disturbed, the adults fly quickly from the plant but soon settle again. Whitefly can usually be ignored in small numbers, in large numbers there are varied controls from a simple well timed spray of water or diluted neem soap, to placing a sticky yellow trap to control numbers.

As for the little black bugs, more information is needed to determine whether or not the are aphids, such things as size, numbers and of course where itís hanging out - Leaves? Stem? If you can get a good look it would be good to know whether it has one or two sets of wings, if itís an active flyer, or if itís reluctant and likes to crawl around the place.

Fish Fertiliser: Information concerning the benefits of fish fertiliser is contained in the Soil and Health Magazine, Winter 1986, in an article which compares it with seaweed fertiliser: Growing in seawater, ocean fish are able to put into their tissues the same wide assortment of minor nutrients needed by plants, plus generous supplies of nitrogen and phosphorus - it seems it may have fewer minerals than seaweed but in better balance. Liquid fish fertiliser made from pure fish, not just fish based, can induce a high population of earthworms which aerate the soil and cycle minerals hidden in the subsoil. The article also states that when sprayed on foliage, fish fertiliser gives plants resistance to aphids, whitefly, blight and mildew.

We look forward to your reply and further information concerning your bugs.

The fluffy white winged bugs have gone or either evolved into a
miniature black winged insect mainly on my grape vine, beans and mini cape gooseberry. They number in many on the under leaf and the stems of the plants, they seem to be killing the cape gooseberry and the vine is not doing so well. The beans, however, are growing well. Thank you, Caitlin.

We cannot think of anything that would affect the grapevine and looks like that, unless the damage is chewed out bits on the leaves. But it seems odd that the beans are OK while the gooseberry is getting killed. We need a better description of the critters and of the damage. Eg. How large exactly?Sorry
Holger





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