Live! At the Whiney-A-Go-Go!

August 25, 2006

Control! Now with added freakiness!

Filed under: life — letslucky @ 10:40 am

I tried to keep a rosebush alive once. I’m bad with plants. Anyway, this one had a fighting chance because it was on my balcony in SF, sturdy variety, suited to SF climate, nice large pot, lots of breeze for good airflow (important for preventing fungus). How do I know these things are good? I researched it on the internet.

It got aphids.

No problem, I said. I’ll just get some ladybugs! I know this will work because I researched it on the internet. So I bought a carton of ladybugs (about 1000 I guess). Happy me, they are my insect slaves! They must do my bidding! An army of tiny red-armored soldiers fighting the aphid battle of my choosing!

I shook a few onto the rosebush. They promptly flew away. See, ladybugs are highly migratory, and are unlikely to stay where you put them unless they find food instantly. (How do I know this? Guess.) Not that this was a problem, since the bush was teeming with aphids. Ungrateful little wretches spurned the food I’d provided.

A little more internet research, and I have a new plan. Spray a few leaves with sugar water to make sure that the ladybugs will stay. OK! So I mixed the sugar water, sprayed a few aphid-covered leaves, and sprinkled a few ladybugs. Who flew away.

Sugar water is sticky. Maybe I can glue the bugs to the leaves?

That technique did not come from the internet. But as you might guess, it also failed.

Finally I got a huge handful of zipper baggies. I carefully sprinkled a few ladybugs into each, then slipped each bag over an aphid-ravaged rosebud, zipping the bag as far shut as I could. Then I covered the whole bush with a transparent dry cleaning bag.

Let’s see who flies away now, motherf**kers.

Ah, the beauty of roses. I could look out my window every day and see a carnage of baggies, dead ladybugs, ants (attracted by the sugar, no doubt), and aphids, all wrapped up in tattered plastic blowing in the wind.

The ladybugs all died. The ants ate all the aphids, then infested my kitchen. And the rosebush got a fungus and died.

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