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Stick insects

15 years ago

Hi. I understand walking sticks are a big problem in San Diego County. I live just north of there in Dana Point. I noticed walking sticks on my plants almost immediately after I moved into my current abode about three years ago.

At first I thought they were cute and harmless. They only seemed to be interested in eating English ivy, particularly the tender growing parts at the end of the vines. Then they started after some of my potted succulents, not good!

I suspect they are responsible for damaging one of my dracaenas. It looks like someone has cut off the leafy parts of the stem tips with scissors.

Yesterday I found three of my coffee plants seedlings and an epiphytic cactus had been seriously chewed up. On the cactus, I'm pretty sure their were insect droppings or what they call "frass" under the chewed leaves.

I was tempted to spray all those plants down with pyrethrin, but then I noticed a little brown stick caught in a spider web on the cactus. So hopefully Mother Nature took care of that particular miscreant.

On another occasion I found one chewing on a succulent and just knocked it off with spray from a squirt bottle. The plant hasn't been bothered yet.

For some reason, I just don't like the idea of killing these little SOBs if I can help it. Does anyone know of a way to just make them go away and eat weeds? Anything I can spray on my plants to make them unappetizing?

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