Question: glossy viburnum
on my glossy viburnum hedge there are insects similar to gnats a colleague of mine recommended me a solution of organic farming and that is the ladybirds. I like the idea, there is no environmental impact, but can it work? I have read between your answers that viburnum can also be treated with Bordeaux mixture which I did not know and that no retailer ever told me. Thanks
Answer: glossy viburnum
ladybirds are infected and used for biological control as adults, but above all larvae, are great devourers of some insects harmful to plants, in particular aphids and cochineal; usually when buying ladybirds in specialty stores, they buy lots consisting of a few dozen adults, or several dozen lavre; it would be opportune to spread the larvae on the plants affected by the aphids, because their action is more rapid, and will then give rise to the adults, who will give life to a second generation. Clearly, this type of intervention requires that in the garden insecticides are not used, to avoid killing the insects that we have inserted into the environment to help us. In addition to this, it is very convenient to ensure that the ladybugs, once they arrive in our garden, decide to stay there, so as to guarantee us regular and constant help over time. To keep the ladybugs in our garden, in addition to avoiding insecticides and fungicides, it is advisable to plant many flowers and many plants, where the ladybugs can move to prey; on the market you can also find nests for ladybirds, they are small boxes, made of wood or pressed cardboard, which must be placed in strategic points near the house, where ladybirds can winter or lay eggs. As is happening in recent years for bat boxes, these products can be found in Italy only in specialized shops, or can be found on the Internet, because the culture of biological control has not yet taken root in our country, where we often still prefer to use "A pill" to solve all problems. As for the Bordeaux mixture, it is an effective fungicide, used on all plants to prevent or treat problems related to the presence of fungal diseases, such as spots on the foliage, white patches, molds. The problem with this compound is that it can often be phytotoxic, and every single plant has a different tolerance threshold to the product; typically tends to ruin buds, fruit trees, floral buds; for this reason its use is not recommended in full spring, when the plants are already in full bloom, and it is preferred instead to use it as a preventive in winter or towards the end of the season, when the plants have not yet produced the young shoots. In addition to this, if you decide to sprinkle the ladybugs in the garden, consider that the use of fungicides when the insects are already active, will surely disturb even your ladybug larvae.