>this is so true and one reason why we shouldn't kill all insects. The good >ones help to keep the status quo. I like your technique of only treating >infected plants, and I'm sure you use it sparingly. Bill, Jane et al, I rarely use sprays in my garden. On rare ocassions I will use a systemic such as Confidor when the aphid populations on the roses get too out of hand. Also the ocassional ant bait granules when a particular plant is affected by the ants farming the aphids. Other than that there is very little needed. I have sat at my computer looking out the window (which seems to happen a lot for some reason ) watching the Fairy Wrens and finches popping in and out of the garden. They land on a branch and you can see them looking carefully around them then they hop up to the rosebud and start munching on the aphids. They tend to keep them pretty much under control. Snails and slugs on the other hand I do need to bait a couple of times a year. I find that a good application of snail bait in autumn really knocks the stuffing out of them. It was suggested to me a couple of years ago that that killed them before they had a chance to lay eggs and go into their dormancy. Since applying bait in autumn I have only needed an ocassional bait in spring when there is a wet spell. I used to apply bait numerous times in spring and never seemed to get ahead. I'm mentioning this here in case it helps others. It certainly has cut down the snail population in my garden and saved both money on baits and any chances of damage to other plants an animals. Also interesting to note.... I had been told that if you used Snail bait then you would kill off any lizard populations in the garden. We have a healthy population of skinks and the ocassional Blue-Tongue so it seems that the autumn method of baiting doesn't bother them as much. There are definitely more of them since I changed the schedule to autumn. Cheers. Paul Tyerman Canberra, Australia. USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Cyclamen, Crocus, Cyrtanthus, Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just about anything else that doesn't move!!!!!