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How to Get Rid of Asp Caterpillars in 4 Simple Ways

Are you looking to find ways on how to get rid of asp caterpillars in your garden? Perhaps as you were walking through your beautifully-tended garden you spotted a group of small moths flying all around it. You probably didn’t think that it was an issue until you took one long, hard look at the moth that just landed on one of your ornamental shrubs.

 

A Closer Look at the Asp Caterpillar

The asp caterpillar, also known as the puss caterpillar, is characterized by its long hairs, as well as its wings’ flannel-like appearance. In case you’re not aware, this happens to be a venomous stinging creature that you wouldn’t want to have in your botanical oasis. In most cases, gardening enthusiasts usually spot these creatures during certain times of the year, particularly when the climate is mostly dry.

 

They look cute and furry

The colors of these unwanted insects can be gray, yellow, blond, or reddish-brown and its shape almost looks like a teardrop. However, what sets the asp caterpillar apart is its long and silky hairs that look a lot like fur.

In fact, children who spot them often gush about how cute and furry these creatures are. Many of them make the mistake of touching these caterpillars. For this reason, it’s best to advise your kids not to touch it should they see one in your garden.

 

They feed on foliage

Just like any other type of caterpillar, the asp caterpillar won’t be able to resist the foliage of different kinds of trees and shrubs. They would gladly feast on the leaves of elms, oaks, pecans, hackberry, and hollies without thinking twice.

 

They’re extremely dangerous

While these pests may rarely cause serious damage to your favorite plants, they can pose a health hazard to you and your loved ones. Children and the elderly are usually the ones who are susceptible to their sting.

The asp caterpillar’s venomous hair embeds themselves in the exposed skin of anyone who touches them.

Needless to say, these caterpillars pose a huge health hazard to anyone who comes in contact with them. It’s also important to note that the older and bigger the asp caterpillar is, the more venom it carries.

 

What Happens to a Person Who Gets Stung by an Asp Caterpillar?

The asp caterpillar’s victims usually complain of immediate pain that occurs at the site of the sting. Soon, a reddish, grid-like pattern will soon become more apparent on the sting site. It can be noted that this pattern would look a lot like the pattern of the asp caterpillar’s venomous spines.

Furthermore, other possible symptoms would include splitting headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Other more serious effects of an asp caterpillar’s sting would be difficulty breathing or shock.

 

Tips on How to Get Rid of Asp Caterpillars

If you find yourself dealing with an asp caterpillar, take caution. These fleecy, furry, harmless-looking yard insects can a vicious thing. Here’s how you can safely get rid of asp caterpillars:

 

Tip #1: Protect yourself and your family

Once an asp caterpillar infestation is detected, be sure to advise everyone in your household to steer clear of the area so that they won’t get stung. Next, make sure that you’re properly dressed to handle the matter.

Since it’s possible for these creatures to suddenly drop out of trees without you noticing, don’t enter infested areas without a wide-brimmed hat, a shirt that’s buttoned at the neck, as well as sturdy and heavy rubber gloves. Inspect your clothing as often as possible. Should you see an asp caterpillar on your clothing, remove them with your gloved hand and place them in any type of container that contains soapy water to seal their fate. Flush these creatures down the drain.

 

Tip #2: Don’t lean against anything without checking the surface

In case you’re not aware, mature asp caterpillars tend to leave their feeding places to find another spot where they can spin a cocoon. As they move to a different location, they may be found crawling somewhere in the infested garden. For this reason, it’s best to avoid leaning against any surface or sitting down without first checking for the presence of these caterpillars.

 

Tip #3: Use rosemary oil

Did you know that rosemary oil can be a natural pesticide? The best part is, they won’t harm the beneficial insects that kill the asp caterpillars. Grab a squirt bottle and place rosemary oil in it. Spray it on every asp caterpillar you see.

While you can always eliminate asp caterpillars with the use of traditional pesticides, experts advise against it. Since these types of pesticides also eliminate the asp caterpillar’s natural predators, you’ll run the risk of a re-infestation in the next season.

 

Tip #4: Use Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt)

If you’re not interested in hunting down or handling these caterpillars, you can simply go for the most effective solution called Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt). This happens to be bacteria that naturally occurs in soil and it’s known to eliminate asp caterpillars by causing damage to their stomach lining. Whether you have Bt in powder or liquid form, just dust or mist it onto your plants.

Don’t worry, Bt won’t cause any harm to humans, your plants, pets, and other beneficial insects. It’s only toxic to asp caterpillars and some other worms and moths that can destroy your garden.

 

Planning to Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Don’t stop yourself from getting into greenhouse gardening. Aside from having more control over your plants’ growing environment, this can also help keep those asp caterpillars at bay.  Now that you know how to get rid of asp caterpillars, deal with them as soon as you can!

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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