Organic Pest Control - Sticky Traps
(in his garden)
Red ball coated wtih glue and hung in apple tree
Yellow Sticky Traps for Organic Pest Control
I don’t know how many of you use Tanglefoot or other horticultural glue but it is one of my biggest garden friends.
This is a glue that doesn’t dry right away – has the consistency of putty, is really, really sticky and is an amazing little bit of hort “stuff”.
I’ve used it:
* wrapping tape around the bird feeder poles to stop ants from crawling up and drinking all the hummingbird feed.
* wrapping masking tape around the trunks of trees (above dog and kid height) and making sure there are no spaces under the tape – then coating the tape with glue so caterpillars (who come down during the day) can’t get back into the tree and their protective nests. You wind up with a mass of caterpillars on the ground and you can dispose of them (or stomp them or ??) in whichever way you like. But they can’t get into the tree.
* coating red balls with the glue and when wasps and other insects decide to land on the “ripe” apple, they get caught and insect damage is really lowered without spraying. These get *really* gross by the end of the season.
* coating yellow tags (the colour of anti-freeze jugs – a bright yellow) with the stuff and hanging it around home greenhouses, place where fruit flies get going, or out in the garden.
*coating yellow tags with glue and stapling the tags to stakes in the vegetable garden easily catches hordes of aphids and whiteflies. Two notes - staple them to sticks first - and this is the easiest form of organic pest control I know.
Again, insects prefer the colour yellow (exception see below) and will fly to it and get stuck. These can reduce whitefly infestations by 90% with no spraying. Hang them or stake them every 4-6 feet throughout the garden if you have a problem.
* coating sky-blue plastic with glue attracts thrips. So if you have a lot of gladiola damage (streaking flowers) or other plant damage due to thrips (they also carry some viral diseases that wipe out flowering daisies) then these blue cards are beloved by thrips.
The only problem with cards like this is that they are “sticky” – big time and kids or pets can get ‘too close accidentally” A bit of rubbing alcohol or other friendly solvent takes it off but it does stain clothes.
Do NOT put it directly on the bark of trees. I did this once with some chestnuts and it softened up the young bark. I always use a round or three of tape now and put the glue directly on the tape. This tape will last 1-2 years and is easily replaced (the glue hardens up over the winter and needs replacing yearly)
But sticky glue has a lot of uses in the garden for passive pest protection and is one of those little used organic pest control practices that you might consider adopting.