Malvizz, sorry I haven't gotten back to you before now.* I've been in bed with a bad back.* :(* Of all the pesticides recommended, the ones that are environmentally friendly (and which I would use) are Bt aka "Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki" aka Btk.* The other is "spinosad".*
Bt is a naturally occuring bacterium that targets the specific pest and is used in the US quite often for a pest called the Gypsy moth.* It's safe for you, your family, pets and the environment IF USED PROPERLY.* Here's more info about it.
Spinosad is also a naturally occuring bacterium but is a bit more powerful, effects the functioning of the nervous system and can harm some non-target beneficial insects as well as some fish.* The second site is a bit technical, but lists the product trade names in different countries in Table 5 near the bottom of the page.* Unfortunately it isn't listed in Italy and Malta isn't listed either.* The most recent date on this site is 2002, so maybe things have changed since then and other countries just aren't listed here.*
Here's some frightening info about malathion.
For treatment against eggs and newly hatched larva with "clorpirifos metil" I would not use this product as it's an organophosphate. Dimetoato, acefate and malathion are all organophosphates which effect the functioning of the nervous system but are synthetic and much more powerful.* You might want to read this before using.
I suspect "Piretroids" is pyrethroid.* This is the synthetic form of pyrethrin and can also do damage in the environment.
In all honesty, if this pest is such a problem, I would stop growing that particular plant.* I have done that with other problem plants in my garden.* After all, it sets up a cycle of pest and needed pesticide.* There is the potential of harm to humans, beneficial insects, pets and the environment.
I also found this when reading at the 'Malta Today' site.* I hope they get all the help they need.
Many thanks Newt for the interest you have shown. It has taken me so long to reply because my computer was infected and I had to reformat.
I do understand your reluctance to use these insecticides, but I cannot find either of the two you suggested.
I could, as suggested, give up on this plant, but this is the most popular plant in Malta (or has been up to now, once this pest spreads people might give up on it) because it is so easy to look after* and it can be found in every garden and hanging from every balcony. You can be sure that all the nurseries will keep on growing it and selling it as it is profitable.
I shall go back to the garden centers and try to persude them to inport the two products you suggested, but the majority of products imported are either of Italian or British origin, and if they are produced in the USA I doubt whether I will succeed.
So sorry to hear of your computer problems.* Our system was down all day today and it was frustrating.* :?*
I think you will find that Bt aka "Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki" aka Btk and "spinosad" will be available through the Brits.* They are pretty good about not using toxic chemicals and from what I've heard from them, these should be available.
I'd love to know if you are able to get them.
As far as giving up on a particular plant, I have had to do that too.* Japanese beetles (the adults) are a particular pest for which there are few organic controls.* I've found it's easier not to grow certain plants rather then deal with them.* For me it's a personal choice based on the fact that I don't want to spend time fighting them and I refuse to use the chemicals.* I am chemically sensitive and can end up in bed for days if my neighbor has chemicals put on their lawn and I go outside within a few hours of the spraying.