Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Time to set some traps!!



Ahhhhhh...beautiful tasty strawberries! I've been babying these little plants for two years now. My goal is to use strawberries as groundcover wherever possible. There's only one problem with my strawberry plan and it lurks beneath all those lovely strawberry leaves...



Look closer....


Yes, the problem is quite close to the soil, but it's not those unexpected orange peels. Nope...those are the SOLUTION to the problem. Here, let me pick one up and let you see what's beneath...






ACK!


Yup...ARMIES of Rolly Pollys (or Pill Bugs). Now, I've researched these little buggers and found that many people claim they are not harmful to your plants as the "only eat decomposing plant material." I beg to differ! They devour my red, ripe strawberries and I know it is, in fact, these little guys because I find them embedded in my berries...munching away and looking smug!

I've been told that it MUST be slugs, so I set out slug traps (beer in a burried cup) and didn't catch a single slug.

Finally I read that you could put orange peels and banana peels down in the affected area and collect Rolly Polly covered peels in the AM hours to be relocated or...ahem...otherwise taken care of. (Can you keep a secret? I put them in a plastic bag for a few days then add them to my compost pile. Please DO NOT tell my children this...they would never forgive me for such cruelty to their favorite little buggy!)

I know, I know...these cute little balls of wonder are loved by virtually all children, including my own...but I cannot overlook strawberry stealing. The peel traps are a nice, organic way to at least put a dent in my pill bug population.

7 comments:

Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms 'n roots said...

I agree! I've seen them doing the very same thing. I've seen them munching away on other plants as well, even if I apply unfinished compost as a mulch! Good idea with the orange peels, I'll have to give it a try.

Clong said...

Ingenious! I have the exact same problem with my berries. I've never heard of the orange peel thing. What a good idea. Lately I've had more than a few berries disappearing entirely, it looks like something has gnawed it off at the stem...maybe a mouse or lizard...if only orange peels worked for those!

I heartily enjoy the blog. Keep up the good work!

HermitJim said...

What a good idea! Never heard of it before, but I'll file it away or future use...thanks a lot!

Rachel Claire said...

Nicely told story with great illustrations, and a useful message. Ah, what a satisfying post to read. Thank you.

Dandelionmom said...

OH MY!! One rolly polly is cute but an ARMY like that? in the BERRIES? not.good. Great idea with the organic traps--your homemade gas chamber would work faster with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alchohol in there as well ;)--adn don't feel guilty--it's not like they are the Smurfs or anything! LOL

The Hills said...

I'm with you...they do NOT stick to decomposing plant material!! We haven't had too much trouble yet and have been using neem oil spray as a general pest control, but I like the orange peel idea!!!

Organized Nutrition said...

THANKS so much for sharing this... we haven't had a problem YET, but I will certainly remember this if we do!!!!!

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