Greenhouses forum: Greenhouse insect help...

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Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 10, 2016 3:43 PM CST
I had to leave my new greenhouse for a month. It had a bit of heat and was watered automatically. I've just returned to it, and noticed this white sugary stuff over many of my tomato leaves. I do see a few live aphids there too. What is the white stuff? Could they be eggs? I need to know whether to eradicate it or leave it. I went crazy earlier eradicating what I later found out to be lacewings. I need all of the beneficial help I can get. I did just release 1500 ladybugs into the greenhouse and they seem to be happy feeding on aphids right now. I hope they can get whiteflies and fungus gnats too. The insects took over while I wasn't around. Sighing! I'd love any advice from you experienced greenhouse owners.

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Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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plantcollector
Jan 10, 2016 6:39 PM CST
I don't know for sure but it looks like white fly eggs.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 10, 2016 6:45 PM CST
Thank you, Heath! I just did a search and that looks correct. I sure have a lot of them! I will toss the worst leaves, and hope my ladybugs will help with the rest. Thank You!
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jan 10, 2016 8:00 PM CST
Take your plants outside (if it is mild enough) and wash all those eggs/flies off the leaves, top and bottom. That will get rid of the majority. You might want to do it again in 4-5 days. Also increase your air-movement around the plants if possible. Wetness and air movement deters these insects quite a bit.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 10, 2016 8:19 PM CST
Hi Ken,
I think you're right that I need more air movement in there. When the vents are open and the solar fan was running, things were fine. Now that it's cold, the vents aren't opening, and fan isn't running. Unfortunately these plants are all planted in the greenhouse beds. It would be a job to dig them all up, take them outside for a bath, and replant.
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Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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plantcollector
Jan 10, 2016 8:21 PM CST
Good luck... They can get pretty bad really fast.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 10, 2016 8:28 PM CST
Yes, they are really bad. I just took off the leaves with the worst of it. The ladybugs are crawling around that area, so I hope they are hungry!
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Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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plantcollector
Jan 10, 2016 8:29 PM CST
Ladybugs are more likely to stay where there at at night so if you could go around and catch a bunch of them and put them on the plants at night they should stay there and hopefully find the insects in the morning.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 10, 2016 8:32 PM CST
I bought 1500 of them and put them mostly on the plants that are infested. Tonight I took a peek and they are still where I put them. I'll check in the morning. I have a pond of water in the greenhouse, and have been rescuing ladybugs all day. Some of them kept flying into the water. I may have to think about covering the tank with cheesecloth or something to prevent ladybug deaths.
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Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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plantcollector
Jan 10, 2016 8:52 PM CST
I wonder if they're going there to get a drink of water if they are you might be able to put a piece of bark or something that floats for them to land on to get a drink
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 10, 2016 9:24 PM CST
That's a good idea. I'll do that. The few I saw fly in seemed like they just landed in the wrong place, but they might have been looking for water.
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 11, 2016 10:55 AM CST
I love that you are using ladybugs for your insect problem. It's a perfect solution for you contained garden! Good luck! Keep us posted. Thumbs up
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Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 11, 2016 11:16 AM CST
Thanks, Cheryl. They seem very happy so far, and the vents are closed during our cold weather. It'll be interesting to see how many stay when the vents open in the Spring. I have put them in outside gardens, and most of them eventually leave, but they do a lot of good before that happens.
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Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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plantcollector
Jan 11, 2016 1:09 PM CST
Just curious what kind of tomato is in the picture. I want to guess and say its a Brandywine of some kind.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 11, 2016 1:24 PM CST
Hi Heath, it's 'Red Cherry' and it's doing the best of the 3 I planted. It's loaded with green tomatoes right now. I also had 'Sweet 100' and 'Better Boy'. The others have had much more trouble with the aphids. This one has a few aphids and lots of white flies! My ladybugs are at work, so I'm hoping they can get it under control again. I already tossed out the Sweet 100 plant because it was such a mess.
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Name: Gabriel/Gabe Rivera
Charlotte, NC (Zone 7b)
German imported, Michigan raised
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Cuzz4short
Jan 11, 2016 10:24 PM CST
Where do you buy lady bugs....aphids love the humid SE and my waxy lily leaves..

Sorry to get off subject of greenhouses
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Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 11, 2016 10:46 PM CST
I got mine at my local garden center. They have them all year, but they keep them in refrigerators so you have to ask for them. They are available at a lot of places online if you do a search. I got 1500 for $9.99 but they seem much more on the online sites.
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Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Feb 29, 2016 3:34 PM CST
My insect problem has gone from bad to very bad. We are forced to leave the greenhouse for up to 3 weeks at a time. It gets watered automatically, and heated. I think if I was around full time there might be hope. When we leave, the insects just go nuts. I have aphids, whiteflies, and now I find mealybugs. Sad I do have sticky traps and they are filling up, but the problems persist.

My plants are all in beds. The beds are filled with earthworms. Is there any systemic I can use that won't kill the worms? I've tried soap, but it's not doing the job. It's coming to the point where I've had to tear plants out and throw them away. It's starting to look like my lovely greenhouse is going to be worthless to me.

What makes it even worse is that mice and chipmunks have come in through the vents and are eating my plants. We have mouse traps and a live trap for small animals, but so far we're not able to catch them. I have a camera set up and we watch them taking over the greenhouse at night, eating away at all the different plants.

Have any of you experienced these problems? What can I do?
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 29, 2016 4:24 PM CST
I know this is probably a dumb question, Karen, but how much air-movement do you have in you greenhouse?

I don't have rodents (is chipmunk a rodent?) but if I had the problem you have, I would cover all the vents with heavy-duty screening/mesh. I know I once saw a copper mesh specifically indicted for just this use. There is also "Excluder", a steel mesh, but that is perhaps too dense for your needs. I don't know how much air can move through this particularly mesh.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
plantmanager
Feb 29, 2016 6:19 PM CST
Thanks, Ken. It's not a dumb question at all. We have 3 vents that open most all the time except late at night. Our area has nearly constant winds of 10 to 15mph with gusts to 25mph. We have a solar fan that runs most of every day, and an electric one running all the time.

We are getting screening tomorrow to screen the vents. That has to be done. We figure our traps will eventually catch the critters. The insects are a huge problem. I did just read that I could use neem oil as a spray on most plants and it won't hurt the worms. I'm going to try that tomorrow. It is ok even for food plants. I talked to the worm sellers and they also recommend diatomaceous earth in the beds to get rid of some of the crawling insects.

I'm sure we can solve these problems. It will just take time, and having to leave all the time doesn't help.
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