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Archive for the ‘Insects’ Category

Cicada

Here are a few cool pics I took of a cicada a few days ago. It had just molted, so couldn’t move until it dried out. I’m sure it was less than happy to pose for these photos.

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>Saving the Fall Harvest

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I had seen a few holes in the leaves over the weekend, but didn’t think much of it. I should have known better and next season I will. By Wednesday morning things were getting out of hand. It’s amazing the damage a few little caterpillars can do. I believe that I would have lost all of the cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and kholrabi if I had waited a few more days. I picked off all of the caterpillars I could find and then sprayed Bt all over everything. I think even the most damaged plants will pull through ok.

Cabbage

Another cabbage view

One of the culprits

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>Soldier Bug Update

>Today I looked closer at what I thought were “Spined Solder Bugs”, which are beneficial insects. I found three of them sucking from a tomato. Well, I was thinking that it didn’t seem like a very beneficial thing to do so I took another look at the Texas Bug Book and found that they are stink bugs. So I now have the trifecta on my cherry tomato plants, Tomato Horn Worms, Leaf-Footed Bugs and Stink Bugs. I will try and get a picture tomorrow while I am removing them.

I like the Texas Bug Book but wish it was organized a little differently. It would be nice if there was an index that was organized by the type of plant the bug was found on. I find that I usually have to look through the entire book a few times before narrowing down the culprit.

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>One of those Days

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Today I got home from work early enough to spend a few minutes in the garden. I wandered around only to find two new pests. It’s one of those days where you wonder why you even bother. Why don’t I just leave it to the professionals?

Here is where the cutworm laughed at my attempts to block him. I caught him in the act, stretching as far as possible to bite just above the straws I put in yesterday. I found a second one, but destroyed them both before taking pictures.

Here are the next culprits. I don’t know what they are, but would appreciate any help. I couldn’t find them in the Texas Bug Book. These little critters eat through the stems on the tomato plants. You can see the droopy end, completely cut off from nutrients. I may have to resort to some organic pesticides on these guys.
Why do I bother? Well … I just finished eating some sauteed okra. Simple olive oil, salt, pepper and whole okra. I also mixed in some zucchini and mushrooms. Mmmm! I agree with a friend of mine that plain old sauteed okra is just as good as fried, as long as you can handle a little slime.

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This weekend I’ve been battling two bugs, the leaf-footed bug and the dreaded squash-vine borer. The squash vine borer took out half of my zucchini several weeks ago, but had not been near the pumpkin. I read that they prefer other squash to pumpkins, so I was hoping mine would go untouched. Unfortunately, no such luck. I did have SVBs take out pumpkins in the same bed last year, so there is always the chance that these came from an overwintering pupae. Just in case, I plan on avoiding pumpkins next year, since I only have one spot to plant 30 sq ft 🙂 

We’re still getting tons of zucchini, so I’m happy with my little survivers. I check for SVB eggs several times a week and still find one or two each time. I’m just waiting for the day that they get past me and I lose another plant. In the meantime I’m just eating, sharing and attempting the zucchini world record. (completely by accident of course).
I’ve found the leaf-footed bugs on both my tomatoes an the pumpkins. They seem to prefer the romas. I believe it is because they have more places to hide. I killed about 10 yesterday. I kept a watchful eye for several hours, waiting for them to emerge. I even discovered two mating, which I put a quick stop to. The ones on the pumpkins are a lot easier to see. 
Leaf-Footed Bug Nymph
I’m not to the point where I can squash a nasty bug w/ my bare hands, so here’s my weapon of choice. I grab the bug with the tongs, throw it on the ground and smash it with my shoe. 

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