Garden Pests

Russ Image
06/10/2009 - 01:23

I came across a strange looking creature when clearing the compost heap last year, but thought nothing more about them, until this year. It looks like a mini lobster, but after some searching hav discovered it is called a mole cricket. They are eating all of our vegatables, taking the roots only.I'd like an organic solution to get rid of the little blighters, but as they burrow to a metre, I think something more drastic is required.Advice anyone?Thanks,RussThis is my 4th attempt at posting this and I am getting mightily frustrated. I did try to upload an image, but that failed too. 



 Hi Russ. I do not have personal experience with those little monsters, but I was curious and I did some search. If you go to the Italian Google you will find some information about them. They are called "Grillo talpa" in Italian from the species name (gryllotalpa-gryllotalpa). The organic way to deal with them is to find the nests and destroy them. For other methods, you may do a research through the normal google and you will find that the Americans have quite a few products to deal with them. There are also photos of the monsters. Not nice! You may have to go to a Garden Centre and seek advice there.Good luck and best wishes! P.S. Keep us informed, please.

Thanks Yvonne. I was advised that th chemical in the slug pellets would work on these blighters and the results so far are good. I've been spooning the pellets down their burrows and they obviously don't like it, as they are surfacing during daylight. They stagger about a lot and then die. I dispose of the carcasses safely, as I don't want either the chickens or other wildlife eating them, as they have effectively been poisoned.Nasty I know. I'll check out AgriEmporio.Russ

 It may be a silly idea, but something came to mind after reading that the slug pellets are working An organic way of controlling slugs is using a small container with beer. The slugs seem to be attracted to them and they die. Perhaps it also works on the little monsters and it is not poisonous. It also gives you a legitimate reason to have an extra beer... or two 

Thanks everyone.We also found loads of their big white grubs in the leaf collector (well it is a huge old wine barrel that was full of leaf mulch) and I didn't make the connection that they were the larvae of these creatures. The chickens had a feast on them, although they found them a bit chewy. Much like witchety grubs on I'm a Celebrity Get me out of here!Unfortunately Gala, finding their nest would mean digging up the vegatable plot, plants included, so that isn't really an option. They are selective in what they munch on... lettuce roots being favourite, but carrots and spuds also on their menu. They are not partial to peperoncini, melanzane or pomodori, but will have a go if nothing else is available.So I've taken to a chemical solution I'm afraid. I've carpet bombed with slug pellets as recommended and some have surfaced and duly exterminated.Now onto the zanzare..........Buona giornataRuss 

RussI too find a lot of the grubs around the place - I had thought they were Vine Weevils but I now see that I am up against something rather more nasty. They often appear in plant pots after the winter and in ground that has recently been grassland.I doubt that slug pellets are going to really do very much against the grubs but chickens sound pretty effective. Chemicals supplied by Bayer as powder for soil pest eradication does seem to work.If you want an organic system, there is a firm AgriEmporio which does online sales and their catalogue has nematodes: you cannot find what you are looking on the home page for try typing 'biologico' into the search box on their website.I have not used this site myself so if anybody does please let me know if it is any good.Y