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Rose & Vegetable Insects - Homemade Insecticides

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

1. ROSE, OR SCALE BUGS—A New and Successful Remedy for.—At a recent meeting of the California Academy of Sciences, Dr. Gibbons exhibited a large bunch of beautiful roses of exceeding fragrance, and in full bloom, which he gathered from a bush in his garden that 2 months be-fore was overrun with scale, or rose bugs, and nearly dead. He applied to it a mixture of crude petroleum and castor oil, daubing it slightly on the leaves and stem, with a smalI brush, not allowing any to fall to the ground or reach the roots. Rain followed, and the plants were then throwing out their first growth of leaves, to which the scale bugs he 1 been directing their attention, No sign of any scale insect could be seen in the garden.

Remarks.—He does not give the proportions; but equal parts might be used. I see no use for castor oil at all. I believe the crude petroleum to be the destroyer. See the next receipt for using kerosene to destroy Lice on Plant I think the kerosene would do as well, or perhaps better, on the rose-bugs than the crude oil, and it can be put on handier with the atomizer than the thicker oil with a brush. These bugs being on the under side of the leaf, the bush must be bent over, or the atomizer carried under the leaves, as tobacco smoke is done, or as the tobocco solution in No. 3.

2. Lice on Plants-Successful Destroyer.—A correspondent of the California Horticulturist, having exhausted all the known remedies for destroying plant lice and other minute forms of insect life which play upon plants, resorted to coal oil (kerosene) which proved a complete exterminator. He says: "I procured from a druggist an atomizer, and filling the bottle with kerosene, sprayed over a camelia to be experimented upon. It was a very dirty plant, branches and leaves covered not only with scale; but with black fungus; a very small quantity sufficed to vaporize and cover the entire plant. After the fluid had evaporated and the plant was dry, the scales were found dead, shriveled, and partly detached, and we the slightest touch fell oil; the black fungus, also, which everybody knows is so tenacious on the leaf, was dried up into a loose powder, which a shake sent to the ground."

3. Green Lice on Plants, To Destroy.—A writer says: "Steep tobacco in water, and when the liquid is lukewarm, sprinkle the plants thoroughly with it. Two or three applications will cause them to hasten their going, and generally prove sufficient to rid the plants entirely of them. If it does not, repeat until the plants are free. The natural dried leaf is best, in the proportion of one leaf to a quart of water, but any tobacco will do. The above will not injure the most delicate plant, and is better than smoke, so often recommended.

Remarks.—This can be applied much the handiest with an atomizer or-garden syringe, and if either of these are thoroughly used success is certain.

4. Rose-Bugs Killed by the Pyrethrum Powder, if' Properly Applied.—The Rural New Yorker, among its brieflets, says; "The increase of the rose-bug is killed by pure pyrethrum powder, if blown upon it through a bellows.

Remarks.—There is not a doubt of this fact, when it is properly applied, i. e., actually brought into contact with the bug, as it is a soft skinned mite, and the poison is thus absorbed which must kill it. The only trouble is in not being thorough and careful enough to reach all the bugs. The pyrethrum is . also known as the Caucasian or Persian insect powder. It is imported from there under these names, and is very effectual in the destruction of insects upon which it is freely blown, except those like squash-bugs, which have a hard shell to protect them, allowing no absorption of the poisonous substances. The technical name of the plant is pyrethrum roseum, from rosa, the rose, arising, probably, from the fact of its destructive power over the rose-bug; at least I so reason, unless its own flames resemble the rose, which is not as likely to have origins, its name as the fact of its destructive powers over this insect.

5. Rose-Bugs Killed in Air-Slacked Lime.—Air-slacked lime, S. M. P. in the Rural New Porker, says will kill rose-bugs on grape-vines, blown on in the same way as the pyrethrum powder then why not kill them when at home, on the rose? I know it must, if applied thoroughly to reach them all. I should, however not want the lime to lose its strength by very long standing before using If, however, put on tee freely, it may turn the leaves yellow, which is the only objection to its use.

6. Insecticide, or Insects on Plants, t4 Fill with the Juice of the Tomato Plant.—A writer in the Deutsche-Zeitung states that he had an opportunity of trying a remedy for destroying green fly and other insects which infest plants. It was not his own discovery, but he found it among other receipts in some provincial paper. The stems and leaves of the tomato are well boiled in hot water, and when the liquor is Cold it is syringed over the plants attacked by insects. It destroys black or green fly, caterpillars, etc. ; and it leaves behind a peculiar odor which prevents insects from coming again for a time. He states that he found this remedy more effectual than fumigating, washing, etc. Through neglect a house of camelias had become almost hopelessly infested with black lice, but two syringings with tomato plant decoction thoroughly cleansed them.-Gardeners' Chronicle.

7. Insects on Hot-House Plants, as Destroyed in Paris, France.—Baron Rothschild's gardener, at Paris, France, says he destroys all the troublesome insects that may be in the hot-house by vaporizing 2 qts, of tobacco juice in the hot-house; and he considers the remedy infallible, and also says it rarely injures the tenderest plants.

Remarks.-He does not give the strength, but I should say 4 ozs. of tobacco would be plenty for the 2 qts. of the juice, as he calls it; and I should expect the doors ought to be closed also while being done. The vaporizing being done by setting the dish over a charcoal fire, on the plan of a tinman's heater used for heating his soldering irons.

7. Bugs on Squash and Cucumber Vines, To Destroy with Saltpeter.-The following appeared in the southern Husbandman: " To destroy bugs on squashes and cucumber vines, dissolve a table-spoonful of salt-peter in a pail of water, put a pint of this around each hill, shaping the earth so that it will not spread much, and the thing is done. The more saltpeter, if you can afford it—it is good for vegetable but death to animal life. The bugs bur-row in the earth at night and fail to use in the morning. It is also good to kill grub in peach trees—only use twice as much, say'a quart to each tree. There was not a yellow or blistered leaf on 12 or 15 trees to which it was applied last season. No danger of killing any vegetable with it. A concentrated solution applied to beans makes them grow wonderfully."

Remarks.—This same thing has been recommended also by the Wisconsin State Journal, and I have seen an inquiry about the proportion to use, in another paper, which answered 1 tea-spoonful to 1 gallon of water, or 1 table-spoonful to a paiL I do not believe that a lb. to a pail of water would hurt the plants, as saltpeter is nitre, and this is naturally in the soil and is brought to the surface by shading the soil with clover or even with a board.

8 Bugs on Cucumber and Melon Vines, etc., Simple Remedy.-" For the last five years," says a writer to the Chicago Times, " I have not lost a cucumber or melon vine or cabbage plant. Get a barrel with a few gallons of gas tar in it; pour water on the tar, always have it ready when needed; and when the bugs appear, give them a liberal drink of the tar-water from a garden sprinkler or otherwise, and if the rain washes it off and they return repeat the dose. It will also destroy the Colorado potato beetle, and frighten the old long potato bug worse than a thrashing with a brush. Five years ago this summer both kinds appeared on my late potatoes, and I watered with the tar-water. The next day all Colorados that had not been well protected from the sprinkling were dead, and the others, though their name was legion, were all gone, and I have never seen one of them on the farm since. I an . aware that many will look upon this with indifference because it is so cheap and. simple a remedy. Such should always feed both their own and their neighbors' bugs, as they frequently do."

Remarks.-The gentleman does not say how many gals. of tar to a bbL of water. I should say 4 or 5 would be plenty. See oiled-cloth for hot beds;. boxes for hills, etc., which protects from bugs.

9. Hubbard Squash, the Black Bug upon. To Destroy.-A writer,—"M. A. M.,"-to the Detroit Post and Tribune, from Mt. Morris, says he destroys these black bugs by putting a shingle on the ground as near the hills as possible, at night, and in the morning scraps the bugs off the shingle into a bucket of hot water. If very thick, repeat 2 or 3 times a day as long as they last. Don't forget; it is a sure remedy.

Remarks.—I should hardly expect many would crawl under the shingles in the day time, unless the sun was very hot, as the day is their time of depredation; but that in the night they would harbor under the shingle.

10. Bugs, on. Squash, Cucumber and Melon Vines—Kept oft-with Cayenne; also the Worm from Cabbage.-A farmer by the name of Lynn, writes to one of the papers, that he has succeeded for many years in driving away cucumber and squash bugs from his vines, by dusting cayenne pepper upon them while wet with dew in the morning. He repeats the operation once a week, and finds 5 cents worth sufficient to keep his cucumber, melon. and squash vines free during the season. He recently tried it upon the cabbage worm with success. I have no doubt a few tastes of the cayenne would be' enough for them. See remarks, also about boxes, after No. 8 above.

11. Striped Bugs, to Destroy.—Another farmer says: "Saturating ashes with kerosene, and applying a handful in a hill will keep the striped bugs from cucumbers. It is not the bugs that recommend the recipe, but the people who have tried it. It is said to be more effective than a legislative enactment."

Remarks.—If it is good for cucumbers, I will also warrant it as good for melons and squashes.

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