I'm glad to see this. The aphids have started to come in, and I'm a little reluctant to spray. Although Confidor is a good weapon here that doesn't hurt the beneficial insects.
But about the beneficials, at least they're having a try now. There's the lady bird, which is great. And if you see any little black alligator insects they're an earlier stage of a ladybird.
Less known are all these little white ones. The yellow/white bugs are parasitic wasps and they eat aphids too. So the white cottony threads where the aphids used to be - they're the remains of the eaten aphids.
All of these would be killed if I got a head of steam and sprayed with rose spray or pyrethrum, so I'm resisting it. Confidor, watered into the wet soil is the best answer, but expensive. It kills the sap suckers and leaves the others alone. Slightly less expensive, Confidor sprayed onto foliage.
I've been coming to Singapore teaching for over eight years now and it holds little mystery for me.
I like the place. I tell you I could live for $80 + $30 here quite comfortably (daily accom + food). In fact I did, last year, when I was doing some work here, off the employer's purse. Here's today's $9 lunch:
The heat and some crowds tend to drive us crazy a little, but it's a pretty well run country.
They sit in the leaf litter under a plant during the day, come out at night and take monstrous chunks out of your plant's leaves. Weevils love citrus, as here, but they will go after many things and the damage is huge.
The chemical treatments are harsh. Spray a ring of Carbaryl or Bathyroid around the trunk of your tree which is meant to stop them climbing it. Bad chemicals - I'll use them when I have to but would rather not.
But the chooks are good.
They jump into my big pots and scratch them up, and you can see them eating whatever it is they scratch out. Scratch scratch, peck peck.
And then they move on. I top up the soil and the job is done.
Important - if you're planning to put chookies into action for this, desist from using those bad chemicals for a year. Who needs that stuff in our food stream?
Two months ago I got two new chooks. That brought me back to four. Now my "quality world" picture is one where I can let the chooks out in the day, and when I go out to put them to bed, they rush into the chook shed and I close the door. It can happen.
But the last two months have been spent getting them to consider their shed to be home. Done. Yesterday I let them out for a couple of hours then caught them and put them back in for night. Also as they come to associate me with nice food they will rush along with me and fight to get into the shed, as the other two do.
So letting them have some time out and not losing them. The first win.