How to spot plant lice and my favorite solutions against them: ladybug larvae and stinging nettle!
You know you got them when …
Them little suckers like hiding underneath the leaves. The moment you spot them from above, it is usually too late and they have already taken over.
When you find the leaves curling and rolling up this is usually a sign that something is sucking the life out of it. When I came into the greenhouse this morning, one of my babies showed this indicator:
Since it's a pretty fresh infect in the earliest stage it is not THAT visible, but when you've seen it a few times you know who you're dealing with.
Look at them little vampires dancing …
Ants & Honeydew
The louse produces honeydew, ants love and cultivate it. A plant louse to ants is what a cow is to humans. Not only melt the ants those little vampires they also carry them around and spread them throughout your garden. They're downright breeding them! When you see ants running up and down your plant, check the bottom of them leaves.
So, what do you do???
You go straight to duckduckgo and order yourself a box of ladybug larvae! Let me do that for you … you're welcome!
Not only will they eat up all the lice, no they will become your friends forever. Next year they are going to lay their eggs into the plants where they once grew up. Truer and more committed loyal friends than most humans you know. The ants in your garden are breeding lice? So what? You breed ladybugs! BÄMM! Anything else? Yes, …
Everybody, bow down for …
The Herb Queen Of The Spring
The stinging nettle is no weed, fellow growers! First, it indicates rich soil. The moment you find it in your garden, you're happy to know your soil is of good quality. It can also be used as dung, for pest-control and as a curing remedy for lots of diseases.
She’s got it all!! Vitamin A, C, E, F, K, P. Zinc, bromine, magnesium, carbonic acid, iron, copper, selenium, boron, formic acid, chlorine, chlorophyll, phosphorus, potassium sodium, silica, iodine, chromium, silicon and sulfur. Calcium, Vitamin B-complexes as well as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6 all of which are found in high levels and act as antioxidants.
Nettles against Lice
Take two hands full of nettles and pour two liters of cold water over them. Let it sit for 12 hours. Fill the liquid into a spray bottle or a squirt gun and go fight those lice with it. In the name of your queen, let the war begin! And after the war: Have a healthy tea!
Oh, and if the nettle should happen to prick you: Lucky you! You earned yourself some garden cred and a soft skin. Actually, if you've got dry skin let the nettle sting the affected parts and see it healing in just a few hours!