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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:28 am
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Location: South Central Texas
Hi, I'm new here and I'm very glad to have found this forum. We live in the Texas Hill Country just north of San Antonio. For years now we have been fighting the worms on our mountain laurels but this year they are joined by spotted cucumber beetles and this bug with red wings and a black body(about 3/8" long). These new bugs plus the worms are really doing some damage and I would like to know how to get rid of them before their populations get much larger. We have a pond with fish and frogs so I am afraid to use anything that would hurt them or the birds. Also, have these bugs moved in to stay or is this just a weird year?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:18 pm 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Can we assume you are completely organic? If you are using organic fertilizer eveywhere and not using any insecticide, herbicide, fungicide, or fertilizer, then you should have a healthy population of predators. Those include birds, wasps, toads, lizards, and geckos. The birds and wasps are your best friends. If you have wasps under your eaves, leave them alone. Do not swat at them under any circumstances and they will leave you alone.

To attract more birds you can bring in bird baths, bird houses, and bird feeders.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:27 pm 
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Location: South Central Texas
Yes, all organic. I haven't seen many cucumber beetles since the flowers are gone but we still have those bright red and black bugs and those nasty worms are getting worse. We have always had allot of birds come to our feeders and bird bath, even more now with the pond. No bird has ever liked to eat the worms on our laurels. The pond draws loads of paper wasps plus frogs and toads. We have lizards everywhere, and some snakes. Is there something I can use safely to get rid of these worms and bugs before they wipe out all the new growth?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:46 pm 
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If the birds and the wasps are not doing their job with the caterpillars, then you want BT (bacillus thurengienses). It comes in many forms but it is always BT on the label. Dust it on the plant and the first bite the next worm takes will give it something like lockjaw. It can't eat any more.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:47 am 
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i used a fertilizer with Disulfoton for the mountain laurels. Its supposed to provide fertilizer and insect protection. It gave my laurels some very nice growth this spring, but the worms are now back. i am going to try the BT on them. My question is i found some webworms on my texas sage. Can I use the BT on them as well. If not then can you give me some advice.

If I can mention another question: We have lots of weeds that grow in our yard. We have two sides ditch area and I am sure this weed growing will not stop anytime soon. I have used weed and feeds and it seems to control a small bit, but as soon as it wares off they are back. A friend of mine told me weed and feeds dont work, so can you tell me what can I do. The weeds we are trying to get rid of are some thick bladed grass, clover, st augustine, milk weed, crabgrass and probably another four or five types i dont know the name .


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