Sunday, May 13, 2018

The technician


When I moved the two Thai limes back outdoors in early May after their seven months (SEVEN!) indoors, I discovered that the scale I had been treating in the last couple of months with Neem oil was much worse than I had thought. Ugh. These leaves were on the side of the trees nearest the tall windows of our bedroom - hard to see or reach, and so my Neem efforts were ineffective. Anyway, the best method I've found so far for scale is removal by hand. Squish, squish, squish. 

But couldn't see em. So didn't squish em. And so this happened. Ick.

I hate scale.


I was just pondering a systemic treatment (a hard core and radical option for me - I never use poison in the garden), when Critter Control showed up:


He wears a mask to remain anonymous.


Ma'am, you rang?


Yes, ma'am, I can see the problem!


He was tiny, cute, and a vicious hunter.


He hunted up and down the trees, carrying out beakfuls of scale.


He is a common yellowthroat, but to me he is a hero.

He is on his way north. 

I wish he would stay.

14 comments:

  1. I always felt that way when lady beetle larvae mysteriously show up the same time as the aphids on my althea bush.

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  2. Great post, Marie.I like to let Critter Control do the work, too.But sometimes a little extra help is needed. No nasties on my Port Wine Magnolia yesterday when I checked so that's 'tick' to me and my feathered crew.

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  3. I use Alaska Fish emulsion. Spray on foliage once in two months year long, our trees are outdoors in california. We have had no scale on our citrus for 2 years now. Smells offensive but works great.

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    1. Ours only developed scale indoors - outside they do well. But I am not sure I can stand to spray them wth fish, inside! Do you really think it's the fish that deters the scale? I do use it for feeding.

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  4. So glad the little bird saved the day. I guess my only suggestion would be turning the trees every month next winter. They sure are healthy looking. I wasn't as lucky. both my limes are dead--no leaves.

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    1. I should turn them, yes. Sorry about your limes!

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  5. I have seen one in my backyard too just a couple of weeks ago. My first sighting was last year. I continue to be amazed at how many birds find my little corner of the world. Last week I saw a brown headed cow bird.

    Glad to see he took care of some of the scale! Next year he will know where to come back to for more food ;)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the tiny birds amaze me...

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  6. beautiful post. simple and profound. thanks for sharing.

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  7. Yay for Critter Control! (Sadly, my little lime tree did not make it through the winter.)

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  8. I never saw so many beautiful birds as I did last week in the Peninsula in Prospect Park, including a sweet little black masked common yellow throat. So many I could not even name with my limited warbler knowledge. I have to bring my binoculars every time I go running now. I wish they would all stay longer!

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