familiy Aphididae (Aphids)
Blackfly (Aphis fabae): I am used to removing the tops, and sometimes larger pieces of broad bean stems to curtail the infestation of Blackfly. This year has not only produced a larger infestation but the black fly have spread to a handful of runner bean plants.
I have noticed elderflower branches and flower fronds covered in Blackfly: must have been hundreds of thousands if not millions, but not here on the land.
The Cabbage Whitefly (Alyrodes brassicae) There have been regular infestations after the first few years of cultivation.
Actions: My usual task is to pinch out or cut infected parts and put them in a bucket and then tub which has water, pee and wood ash. The liquid is then conveniently draw off and used to feed the crops.
As Aphids use a secondary host plant in their breeding cycles it may be useful to discover and eliminate or reduce there number where they exist within a hundred yards of the crop area.
I have also noted some collections of dark, but shiny insects on Red Campion but more like beetles ????
And I don't mean us humans that consume anything, anywhere at anytime but those little buggers that feed on us, or in this case me. The two I've had the fortune to feed are ticks and maybe scabies. It is the later that has got me writing.
The ticks, although sometimes feeding for days before discovery, as they are so small, are easily removed; although care has to be taken not to leave their mouth claws embedded in the skin as this may lead to infection. There is always the possibilty of contractingLyme's disease(which I hope I haven't as " . . . development of infection is rare" . . . "1 in 50")
The scabies however are another matter as they breed under the skin and cannot be removed like ticks.
Recently I had an itchy area on the inside of my left wrist. It took some weeks before I took serious action.
By serious I mean using so much Lemon Myrtle, Tea Tree and Lemon essential oils that a layer of skin was litterally burnt off. So if it was scabies then I imagine they were destroyed in the process.
Given the damage I've done to the skin I decided not to do the same thing if it hadn't worked and decided to use a commercial insecticide, permethrin. I bought a cream from Boots but on reading found it contained lanolin, which I would avoid purchasing as it is derived from the abuse of animals. However Boots would not take the product back so I have decided to use it today 13th.
Over the last few days, since burning off the top layer of skin I used a mix of Urtekram body lotion and E45 nappy cream, again from Boots. The nappy cream uses no animal or petroleum products and the zinc oxide acts as a fungicide, so hopefully if the infection was a fungus not a parasite then the zinc would have helped.
It is unlikely that I caught human scabies as I would have needed to be in prolonged contact with a carrier, which I can't recall. It may be some other animal scabies via damaged the skin whilst digging and moving rocks etc; which if the case, is not transferable nor continuous.
Basically I couldn't see any mites so have taken extreme action as I would only scratch the area and make my arm more sore.
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