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April 15, 2024

Pest Control for Peanuts

By Alexandra Queen

Rose Chafer

Pest control doesn't need to be expensive or time consuming. Some organic methods of keeping bugs away cost literally just peanuts.

Rose chafers are a seaonal problem that plague gardeners year after year. These ugly beetles favor light colored roses and will chew blossoms to bits, marring the beauty of the plant and preventing the use of blooms for bouquets or arrangements.

Blue Jay

Chemical controls of rose chafers include acephate (found in brand names like Orthene) or the slightly less toxic carbaryl (commonly known as Sevin). Topical or systemic treatments must be redone every few weeks and add hazardous chemicals to the garden. However, as avid horticulturalist Sand Pilarski found, there is an effortless, environmentally friendly solution.

Blue and belligerent, the local neighborhood jay has turned out to be the hero of the rose garden. Charmed by their bold behavior and rude antics, the Pilarski's have been feeding peanuts to the neighborhood blue jay for several years now. Last summer's efforts at blue jay-human relations resulted in a jay forward enough to land on stretched out feet to collect peanuts off a leg. On one occasion, the blue jay flew in through the glass doors of the patio and loitered in a potted ficus tree indoors for a brief time, hinting that there were not enough peanuts left out for him. This year's trick was to learn to tap on the window for breakfast. But Sand was completely surprised to find that her normal spring battle against the rose chafers simply failed to appeJust Joey is usually a target for rose chafers.ar this year. She was at a loss for an explanation until she noticed the ever impertinent blue jay bobbing precariously on a light colored rose bush... checking every flower thoroughly for rose chafers.

This hands-off, environmentally friendly approach to pest control has Sand delighted. Her light-colored rose bushes in both front and back yard have never had a better season. As for the blue jay, says Sand: "He gets all the peanuts he wants."

Article © Alexandra Queen. All rights reserved.
Published on 2002-05-06
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