Keep away garden bugs | Daily News

Keep away garden bugs

Pests can wreak havoc in your home garden if you are not careful. They can undo all the good work and ruin a flourishing home garden. A Home Garden is self- sufficient and healthy providing a family’s daily food intake. It gives mental satisfaction and physical exercise. It is also a solution to the plastic wastage problem in a country. It has a positive impact on society. Today Green Thumbs speaks to Deputy Provincial Director’s Office of Agriculture Ratmalana, Development Officer Gihan Siriwardhana on how to control the pest menace in Home Gardens.

There are a wide variety of pests that can attack a home garden. They are Mites, Slugs, Caterpillars and Mealybugs. Together they pose a formidable threat to any home garden.

“The nurseries are attacked by mites. We fight this threat by Neem (Kohomba) extracts. When it comes to slugs we can extract them with our hands. This is done at night. Caterpillars have chewing mouthparts. If left unchecked caterpillars are known to severely damage a crop as they feed on a variety of plants. Some caterpillars consume entire leaves where as others just nibble holes in them. Some feed on the leaf surface, scraping away the top layer and causing damage. Many caterpillars feed voraciously and are known to strip a plant nearly bare. To combat caterpillars Neem extracts can be used,” said Siriwardhana.

With more than 6,000 species, Thrips are tiny insects with tiny wings that damage plants by sucking their juices. Thrips create white patches that can be seen on leaves. Stem boring insects can kill or deform entire plants. These pests can cause so much damage in a few days that the plant might be dead within a week.

To control pests there are many methods. One method is using planting materials that have no pests such as stem cuttings, small suckers and seedlings. The second method is careful observation. When we see signs of pest attack, we must remove and destroy that part of the plant. Another method is covering the harvest by using paper coverings, polythene materials, nets and fabric materials. These are used for trees like Mango, Guava and Pomegranate.

“Organic Pesticides such as Neem seed extract can be used for pest attack when it comes to vegetable and fruit cultivation. The extract is suitable to control mites, pod borers, Thrips, sap sucking insects, leaf miners and white flies. White flies typically feed on the undersides of plant leaves. These white flies are some of the most dangerous pests causing much crop losses. What they basically do is suck sap. A leaf miner feed within the tissue of the leaves, selectively eating only the layers that have the least amount of cellulose. They feed between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves,” Siriwardhana explained.

Siriwardhana also pointed out that to combat the pest menace certain traps can be used. The fruit fly pheromone trap can be used to control fruit fly damage.

“Inside the trap, (a plastic bottle) there is a pheromone which the male fly is attracted to. When it goes into the trap it cannot come out. Male Fruit flies everywhere in the vicinity are trapped in this trap. The same applies to the Melon Fly. But here the pheromone is different. The Melon fly normally attacks Snake Gourd, Ridge Gourd and Bitter Gourd. In addition to all of this there are the Coconut Read Weevil trap and the Coconut black weevil trap,” pointed out Siriwardhana.

There is also another ingenious way where a grease polythene trap is used. Here two feet of yellow coloured polythene is used. A grease layer is applied to this polythene and the polythene is hung around the garden. The flying insects will get stuck there. This is especially advisable for thrips.

“Of course in addition to these pest attacks, rats are a problem as well. For this in we can use a simple rat trap. To get rid of bigger animals’ sounds and lights can do. Bats that are attracted to Rambutang cultivations can be chased away by lights, and sounds can be used to get rid of squirrels and parrots,” said Siriwardhana.



Seed bark should be removed from neem seeds.Then take 50g of that seed and chop it well and mix with 1 liter of water.Put it into a clay pot, cover with fabric and keep for 12 hoursAfter 12 hours filter the solution and mix it with a small amount of soap Then spray it to the plant.


Take 1kg of Neem Leaves and chop and mix with 3 liters of water and keep it for two or three days in a clay pot.Then filter the solution and spray


Blend 100g of garlic and mix with 1 liter of waterTake the solution and mix with small amount of soapDilute four times with water and spray to the cropsThis is used to control Thrips and leaf eating caterpillars


Take 100g of Kochchi and blend themThen mix with 1 liter of waterKeep the solution for two days Filter and dilute with water five times and sprayKochchi extracts can be used for ants, thrips and leaf cutting worms


Take 250g of Cinnamon leaves and chop them.Mix with 1 liter of water and filter that solutionSpray to the crops


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