Birds & Bats for farm insect pest control


  #1  
Old 03-27-05, 08:33 PM
wmccormick
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Birds & Bats for farm insect pest control

I have been using Bluebirds to control my insects in my pecan orchard for the last few years. Since they are territorial, it has taken time for me to learn how to best attract them, and for them to multiply. Last year I did not need to spray any insecticide.

There is one problem: Leaf Footed Stink Bugs. They attack too late in the season for it to be legal to spray most insecticides. The only thing I have found that will eat a stink bug is a bat, but I am having problems attracting bats. I have 3 bat houses, all differing in design, but generally following guidelines posted on various internet sites, and laid out in two books I have bought. Late last summer I had one colony of small brown bats in my orchard for a few days. I suppose they were migrating, and just stopped by. How can I get bats to come to my houses? What I have read so far indicates that the only thing a person can do is build the house right, place it about 20 feet high and away from trees and close to a water source such as a pond. Can anyone give any further advice?

W.A. McCormick
 
  #2  
Old 03-28-05, 07:24 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,815
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
According to the Bat Conservation folks, only 60% of bat houses get occupied. And, that usually takes 3-5 years. Tall designs with multi-chambers and rocket style tend to be favored. Temperature seems to one of the major factors in keeping bats in your bat house (85-100 degrees on summer days). Big brown bats prefer less than 95 and little brown bats can handle 100 degrees plus. Thus, a dark color on exterior of bat house would tend to make for a warmer house. East, southeast, and south-facing houses tend to be more attractive. Erecting multiple houses on poles will give bats different options and opportunities to move around. Pole houses tend to be more attractive than those mounted on side of house. Bottom of houses are open so guano can drop down. Guano stains may be a problem on exterior of home if house is mounted there. Once bats have become established, it is important to clean out bee and wasp nests once bats have left for the winter.
 
  #3  
Old 03-29-05, 11:30 PM
wmccormick
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I have been following these recommendations, and have been out of luck so far. Maybe this summer will be better. The Blue Birds work wonders on all the other insects except May Bugs and Stink Bugs, but the Stink Bugs are the worst problem of them all since their arrival time prohibits the use of most pesticides. Thanks for the advice.

W.A. McCormick
 
  #4  
Old 04-02-05, 05:07 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi-
Have you considered a few ducks or a goose or two? Both will munch on insects, and do quite a nice job on slug control. It would probably depend on what plants you are growing and whether geese would consider them attractive as a salad. As a bonus, geese make good watchdogs.
 
  #5  
Old 04-02-05, 05:23 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,815
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Stink bug populations tend to be higher at edge of fields and landscape. Keeping vegetation cut and use of insecticides along perimeter of property may help minimize stink bug population. It's the nymph stage that does the damage to plants as they suck the juices. This is the time to treat them when they are less mobile. Contact your local Dept. of Agriculture Extension Agent for recommended controls in your area.

Insecticidal soap is effective on nymphs. This insecticide has a 0 day PHI. The typical application rate is 2.5 oz./gallon of water. Thorough coverage is necessary as this pesticide is a direct contact material. The material has adequate activity against nymphs but it is not very effective against adults. Complete foliage coverage is critical and is not easily achieved. Note: eggs tend to be laid on the underside of leaves.
 
  #6  
Old 04-03-05, 11:22 PM
wmccormick
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
The heart of the problem I am having with Leaf Footed Stink Bugs is the fact that they do not grow in my orchard. They migrate there when they smell the ripe nuts. They arrive full grown just as the pecan shucks begin to split, and that is too late for the insecticides that are effective on them. Believe it or not, they can and do penetrate the hard shell and deposit their bitter juice in the kernel. It is one of the hardest insects to control in a pecan farm. So far, the only thing I have been able to do is plant cherry tomatoes (no other tomatoes will work) as a trap crop. The Leaf Footed Stink Bugs, the kind I have, love them and will stay on them all summer long. The problem is that when I have sprayed the tomatoes in the past, many of the bugs escaped, and the smell of the insecticide on the tomatoes would deter any from returning for a week or two. Because of this, I have been able to get only limited control of them. This year I plan to plant many cherry tomatoes scattered over the entire orchard. I plan to spray one tomato plant every few days. That way there will always be an attractive plant for the survivors to collect on. As soon as I find them collected on a plant, I will spray it. Hopefully I can attract, and kill before harvest, all of them that would otherwise damage my pecans. This seems good to me in theory, but I want bats also, because many of them eat stink bugs and May Bugs. I hate to have all my eggs in one basket of theory.

I do stay in touch with the pecan pros at Texas A&M and at Auburn University. This is a problem for pecan farmers all over the country. It is worse in some places than others. Mine is bad.

As for bat house design, I have read two books and many web pages. I have followed recommendations in design, but have been luckless. Last year I found one colony of small brown bats in my orchard one day, but they were not in one of my houses. A few days later I found evidence that they had roosted in a nearby house, but for only one night. I suppose they were migrating, and just stopped by.

Thanks for the help. I just keep biding my time and trying everything I can think of.

W.A. McCormick
 
  #7  
Old 05-29-06, 04:38 AM
T
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stink Bugs

I know this post is old but I just saw it. I have a problem with stink bugs also. This year I had not seen any in my vegetable garden. Yesterday I discovered why...They are all over my Yucca plants in the front yard. What can I spray them with and not chase them from there to the vegetables?
I'm in SC and don't know of any restrictions for the time I can spray but I do prefer to stay as organic as I can.
 
  #8  
Old 06-13-06, 01:33 PM
N
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry, double post
 

Last edited by Newt; 06-13-06 at 01:46 PM.
  #9  
Old 06-13-06, 01:46 PM
N
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
W.A. McCormick,
I would love to know how your experiment with the alternate spraying of the tomatoes worked out. I found this site that might be helpful. You might consider contacting some of the folks referenced there to see if they have had any progress.
http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/veg/be..._stink_bug.htm



Tjacks,
You might also find that site helpful.

I also found this site that both of you might find helpful. On the bottom of page 14:
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/peach.pdf

Surround™ WP Crop Protectant, derived from processed kaolin clay, is an OMRI-approved organic pest control product shown to be effective for control of plum curculio. Developed by Drs. Michael Glenn and Gary Pertuka with USDAARS in Kearneysville, West Virginia, in cooperation with the Englehard Corporation, Surround is unique in that it provides pest control through particle film technology rather than toxic chemistry.
Particle films deter insects by creating a
physical barrier that impedes their movement, feeding, and egg-laying.

In addition to plum curculio, Surround suppresses Oriental fruit moth, stinkbug, tarnished plant bug, rose chafer, and Japanese beetles that attack tree fruits. Further details on the use of kaolin clay in fruit production can be found in the ATTRA publications Insect IPM in Apples: Kaolin Clay and Kaolin Clay for Management of
Glassy-winged Sharpshooter in Grapes, as well as at Dr. Michael Glenn’s website (19).
Newt
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: