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Companion plant repels spider mites?!

Discussion in 'Bugs' started by retardigraded, Oct 28, 2009.


    retardigraded Active Member

    I was replying to a thread about plants that drive away pests. Googled it and found this sit that has a chart of companion plants:

    "Companion plants are used to confuse or repel plant pests, to encourage the growth of other plants and to act as a trap for pests and parasites. "Trap" crops draw harmful insects away from the plants you are trying to grow.

    Companion plants may also be used a a "nurse" crop--to provide food or possibly an attractive home or habitat for beneficial insects.

    Companion plants may produce odors that confuse and deter pests, or their scent may mask or hide a crop from pests."--http://www.gardentoad.com/companionplants.html

    Looking at the list, I'm thinking, "So what about spider mites?" Lo and behold, the pyrethrum stuff we use to kill fungus gnats, spider mites, and all sorts of creepy crawlies is a kind of daisy! I googled pyrethrum plant and found this:

    One of the better-known organic pesticides is pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium or Chrysanthemum coccineum). I find it best to grow my supply rather than buying any, though; some commercial products labeled "pyrethrum dust" are simply a pyrethrum powder base that's laced with those toxic, residual poisons characteristic of today's overkill pest control philosophy.

    The pyrethrum plants, also known as painted daisies or painted ladies, provide pest-repellent action when grown either throughout your garden or as border plants.

    On the other hand, if you want to treat a localized infested area, you can pick, dry, and crush the flowers' petals to make your own safe pyrethrum dust. Or, as an alternative, make a strong "tea" of the powder and spray it directly on the insects. Remember: Pyrethrum is not residual . . . but it is toxic to soft-bodied insects (aphids, etc.) and to some cold-blooded vertebrates on contact. The dust is nontoxic to you, your livestock, and your pets, however . . . and can even be used as a safe flea powder."--http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1986-07-01/Safe-Homegrown-Pesticides.aspx

    If you guys have some extra space in your veg/flower room, this stuff isn't toxic like those no pest strips, and just may save you lots of $$$ in pesticides.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? I'd love to know how/if it works!

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