All this spring I would walk around my yard with a spritz bottle of spectricide and sprayed literally hundreds of these things as they hatched out and gathered in my day lilies and other flowers.
Thought I had done a fair job of eradicating the creatures. Guess what! when it is cool and damp in the early morning now, I can walk around and harvest(!) them.
Just look for leaves that look as if rabbits have half eaten them on elephant ears, iris, hibiscus, you see what look like rat droppings all over and around the plant and there they are!!!
I refuse to indiscriminately spray plants cause I don't want to harm other thing living in the beds; have resorted to gleefully cutting or pulling the heads of these monsters and leave them lying around for their fellow lubbers to see!!! This is war, suffer suckers!!
Diotomaceous earth .. that stuff REALLY works .. I've had a raging whitefly infestation for over a month now .. I tried spraing pesticides every few days and dusted with Sevin to no avail. As a last resort I bought some diatomaceous earth and applied it yesterday with a plant duster. This morning on my walkabout I tapped the plants infested with the flies and there were virtually no clouds of flies rising up! I was amazed!
You can get it at Ace Hardware and usually at feed stores.
I've used diatomaceous earth for years as a ground applicant for snails and slugs, Xeramtheum, and quite successfully. But it never occurred to me to use it as a contact killer on the leaves of the plants! Amazing! I had to use Merit on my whiteflies last year, and I hate to break out nuclear weapons on a stupid little bug. But when it's me or the bug...
I've known about diatomaceous earth for awhile but pretty much blew it off because I never read about anyone actually using it and reporting on results. I am totally amazed at the results I'm getting and because it's an inorganic control there is no chance of insects becoming immune.
I'm definitely going to be "coating" my greenhouse floor with it and all the nooks and crannies after it gets its annual cleanout and am considering blowing some through the weep holes in my brick walls. The next big test will be ants but it definitely kills whiteflies.
I'll join your experiment on ants, Xeramtheum. First thing I thought of! I have found an inorganic treatment that works very well ("Ex-ant") when the soil is such that it fully absorbs the liquid. Where I've got hard, compacted soil, the ants just move (but form much smaller colonies). What I'm thinking is to apply the Ex-ant, wait a few minutes, then apply a ring of diatamaceous earth around the remains of the original mound and see if they are still able to migrate and form new mounds. I also like your greenhouse suggestions! Thanks!
See if you can find DE that is Food Grade .. the stuff they have at Ace is not food grade and has a bait in it.
Saturday I got all the gravel and weed cloth up from the floor of the greenhouse down to bare dirt. I applied the DE onto the bare dirt then put down the weed cloth applied more then the gravel and applied even more to that. The thing about DE is that getting it wet is no problem because once it dries out it's back to normal .. I was reading where you can actually mix some up with water and "paint" it on for better sticking in fact it is suggested you mist plants before applying it so it sticks better. Since I've blown it in the weep holes in the brick, I've noticed that the ants only seem to use the house as a highway and don't go into any holes anymore.
This is neat stuff .. just sorry I hadn't tried it sooner.
Pool grade DE is Diatomaceous Earth produced for pool filters and it is treated with heat, causing the formerly amorphous silicon dioxide to assume crystalline form. Pool grade DE should never be used for pest control. Swimming pool DE ranges from 60% to 70% free silica!