Icky little bugs attacking!

Just when you think you’ve got everything under control, a curveball comes out of nowhere!  Last night, eager to see if there’d been any growth of my chives, I noticed an infestation of tiny black dots.  Closer inspection indicated that those dots were icky little bugs – ewwww!!  Wait, weren’t chives supposed to repel bugs?!  Every gardening site recommends planting chives and basil near other plants to keep the buggies away, so WTH!  After about two hours of research, every site repeating the same meaningless statement, “…chives are excellent garden companions, repulsive to garden insects…”, my light at the end of the tunnel appeared.  I came across Cube Marketplace Blog where Lora had suffered the same infestation.  Those nasty little suckers (literally) were aphids (specifically Neotoxoptera formosana) and they multiply by the hundreds within days, attach to leaves and suck the fluids from the plant eventually killing it. 😦

The sight of these things make my skin crawl - I REALLY don't like bugs!

So obviously, I want to get rid of these creepy-crawlies but would prefer natural pest control as these plants are for consumption.  Several suggestions from the online gardening world were:

  1. Spraying with soapy water to knock them off the plant and dehydrate their soft bodies (afraid to try that due to the chemicals in soap and because they’d be knocked into the dirt and I wouldn’t be able to see if they’re dead)
  2. Introducing ladybugs to eat them (where am I going to find ladybugs right now?)
  3. Spray with tobacco tea – tobacco soaked in water for 3 hours, strained and sprayed (afraid to try that as I might encourage tobacco mosaic virus)

Lora successfully rid her plants of the nasties by trimming all the chives and sprinkling with food-grade diatomaceous earth which also provided nutrition to the plants making them regrow fuller and healthier.  So now, a visit to my organic gardening supply store is planned for this week to pick up some Kieselgur or Bergmehl (German for diatomaceous earth).  Other good news is that the icky little bugs will not spread to the neighboring plants (yay!).  My funny moment of this whole ordeal was finding out that diatomaceous earth is actually a type of limestone and my entire country is made of limestone!  LOL, anyone want to send me some Nassau dirt?! 😀

About A Bahamian In Austria

I am a Bahamian woman, married to an Austrian man, who's been freshly transplanted to Vienna. I started writing this blog when a dear friend insisted that I had to write down my experiences. At best it'll update my buddies on my crazy-going-ons and at least, it'll keep me from stalking them online (LOL). I hope you enjoy :D
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