Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life with Sri Lanka Weevils, Katydid, and Frederika

Weevils have been stripping some of my trees, and I really don't like using insecticides. I figured I'd find some natural enemy of the yellow headed Sri Lanka weevils- they strip a tree's leaves away in a week or so, gnawing away till only the thick central vein is left.

Ravaged Ficus Leaves They will eat most any leaf placed before them. They are most fond of citrus and avocado, and do quite a job on ficus, mango, lychee, palms, and other trees. Most horticulturalists have never seen the weevils before, let alone know how to control them with natural enemies or insecticides. I tried picking them off each morning, however after plucking over 200 weevils in an hour, I realized I was out gunned! They drop, and fly up to 60 feet away if you touch them. Because they are on fruit trees, great care must be taken with

Sri Lanka Weevil with Bad Intent (Aka Asian Grey Weevil, Myllocerus Weevil)sytemic poisons, which get in the fruit. I've tried several different non sytemics like Bonide's Fruit Tree Spray, and none work on this bug. Pro's try Danitol, Sevin, Imadan, Kyrocide, Micromite, and Orthene. So far, Bayer Complete Insect Killer does the job, however it should NOT be put on edible fruit trees, unless the tree's very survival is in question, as it is taken up into the fruit, even months after it is applied. Key thing, spray the foliage, and really spray the ground under the trees, then water soak the ground to get the poison deeper down, getting the next crops of baby weevils before they emerge from the soil. Spray at noontime on a dry day. Keep well away from water and fish. I prefer using it on ficus trees. If you have a safer, non-systemic way to rid fruit trees of these weevils, let me know!

Inch worms drop out of ficus and black olive trees by the dozens some summer days, and inch across cars and people's heads. They are maybe 10 mm long.
Katydids are plentiful, and hard to find, as they are well camouflaged Poodles flourish in Florida, dining on lizards, roaches, and whatever else they may catch when you turn your back. They do not kill wild birds, as domestic cats do by the millions each year, and proudly bring them to their owners. Frederika, below, favors Cesar foods, and prefers it lightly pan sautéd before serving. If she eats all her portion, I'll give her a smidgen of my pan seared steak and its reduction of the day. Ah, pleasing the French palate!

Poodle Hypnotizes Hapless Lizard with Canine Death Stare Mushrooms, pop up after the afternoon summer rains.
Soft shell turtles wander by, to lay eggs hundreds of feet from the water
Colorful Creepy Crawlys
Today's Home crop-- Meyer lemon, avocado, orange (yellow!), sugar apple and kaffir limesSugar Apple Last Hurrah!


NBellmore said...

I live in Bonita and have a bad infestation of stink bugs and sri lanka weevils in my garden... Thanks for the post. It is nice to know I am not alone... How do eat a sugar apple?

Ivan Seligman said...

Sugar apples are ripe when they are so soft that if you squeeze them, they break open!

Like a watermelon, scoop out the delicious sweet flesh, put in your mouth, and use your tongue to separate the flesh from the seeds. Spit out the seeds. Do not eat the hard green surface.


Sami said...

love pics! thanks for sharing. I loveeee sugar apples! any idea where I can find them in fort myers? perhaps a pick your own farms of some sort. hehe

Ivan Seligman said...

I'd call some of the local nurseries and maybe the local plant societies. There's often one or two folks who have exotics like these. I got one at roadside stand in bonita years ago.
Every year, Fairchild Gardens in S Miami has sales of small trees, fruits and jellies that's out of this world!

Anonymous said...

I have a horrible time with these pests on my young fruit trees. When I fertilize with liquid miracle grow. I notice it knocks back the population for a while. I water directly at the roots, so it may be killing the eggs or larva.