Types of Garden Enemies
Of the many remedies offered, a fence of i-inch mesh wire, extending 6 inches into the ground and at least 2 feet above, is still the best protection. Lacking a fence a repellent sold as No-Nib'l seems to be rather satisfactory when sprayed on garden plants. Trunks of fruit trees can be protected in winter by surrounding them with 1/4-inch mesh hardware cloth.

Ground squirrels, found in the West, are killed by poison bait. Chipmunks are partial to bulbs. Planting them in wire baskets sometimes keeps rodents away. Gardeners have also used napthalene flakes in the soil, but the fumes sometimes injure the bulbs more than they repel the rodents. Gray squirrels are extremely fond of corn, and you have to plant an extra row or two for them in order to have enough for yourself.

burrow in gardens and feed on vegetation near their burrows. They can be gassed by a special cartridge, developed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to be placed at the mouth of a den and lighted.

Mealybugs are soft-bodied relatives of scale insects, members of the order Homoptera. They are small, flat, oval, covered with a white powdery wax that extends in filaments all around the body to give a crenulated effect. Short-tailed mealybugs have all filaments of equal length; long-tailed mealybugs have long threads at the posterior end of the body. Most mealybugs are greenhouse or southern problems; a few are serious outdoors on northern trees and shrubs.

Fig. 36

The various species have similar life histories. The female deposits 300 to 600 eggs in a compact waxy sac beneath the rear end of her body, the general effect being of a fluff of cotton. The eggs hatch into pale-yellow, six-legged crawlers, with smooth bodies, which suck like aphids. As they feed, their bodies become covered with the wax which radiates out into 36 projections. After this mealybugs move very sluggishly, but they are not quite anchored to one spot as are female scales. They usually cluster at axils of leaves or at branch crotches. The male changes to a 2-winged fly before mating, then dies. In warm climates the life cycle is completed in a month, and there are several generations. Mealybugs secrete copious honeydew so that plants are often covered with black sooty mold growing in the sweet secretion.

The time-honored method of controlling a few mealybugs on house plants is to wrap a bit of cotton around the end of a toothpick, dip it in alcohol-you can use cologne or nail-polish remover-and touch it to the insect. Summer oil sprays such as Volck are used for more serious infestations. DDT kills some of the parasites and so may increase rather than decrease mealybug populations. Parathion and TEPP bombs take care of mealybugs in greenhouses; the less poisonous phosphate, Malathon, can be used by home gardeners.

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