What’s Bugging Your Garden?

With the arrival of warm weather your garden will soon be invaded by many of the garden bad bugs. Aphids, tomato worms, cucumber beetles and squash bugs will soon be invading your garden.

Check your garden carefully and often. At the first sign of insects or insect damage go on the defense and attack the critters. Show no mercy!

aphids Tried-and-true organic methods for getting rid of aphids:
1. If you have a small infestation, simply wipe the aphids off with your hand or a soft cloth. Check back every day or two and repeat until you stop seeing them.
2. A blast of water from the hose is often all you need to get rid of aphids. Again, you’ll want to repeat this after a couple of days if you see any more aphids on your plants. Be sure to spray the underside of plant leafs.
3. Insecticidal soap works very well on aphids, and is a good choice if you find that wiping or spraying them off with water just isn’t cutting it. Make sure you get the undersides of the leaves, too that’s often where they congregate.

Tomato worm can usually be controlled and eliminated by carefully checking your tomato vines and removing the worms by hand. Feed the worms to your chickens or ducks. Smash them under your heel. Drown them a can 1/2 full of soapy water.

stripped cucumber beetle Cucumber beetles are harder to deal with. There are six species of cucumber beetle in the United States. The most of these is the striped cucumber beetle. Measuring one fifth of an inch long, this beetle is yellowish green with a black head and yellow thorax, and can be easily identified by three parallel black stripes running lengthwise on the wings of adults.
Females can lay up to 1500 eggs over the course of several weeks.

Sad Note: There is No Known organic control that is truly effective against cucumber beetles. If chemical control is needed, use only insecticides labeled for cucumber beetle control. Carefully follow labeled directions for how and when to use insecticides.

squash bugs Squash bugs are not easy to control and will quickly kill your squash and cucumber vines.
Iowa State University Organics Research Program conducted trials of various control methods for squash bug and squash vine borer. Researchers found that mulching with newspaper and hay, combined
with tightly secured row covers on the plots provided very effective control of both weeds and squash bugs.

Some products acceptable in organic vegetable production that are effective against squash bugs include diatomaceous earth, sabodilla, and neem oil. Interplanting of buckwheat to supply food for the parasite fly, (tachnid fly) of the squash bug.
Cucumber and Squash Bugs, Know Your Enemy!
It’s The Season For Hurricanes, Squash, Cucumber Bugs and Vine Bores
Herbs To The Rescue!

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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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14 responses to “What’s Bugging Your Garden?

  1. While the standard insects, as you identified, keep us busy plucking and squishing every year, we find that variable weather conditions (hot, cool, moist, dry…) seem to correlate with large hatches of something different eary year. Some years we have small flying things that get swarm. Other years, hug buzzing types of wasp descend and decimate a crop…

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    • Re: hermitsdoor – Grin .. that is a fact that bugs me. Heat moisture and humidity seem to have everything to do with just what garden pest you will have this year.
      Happy bug less gardening

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      • So far we have seen lots of medium size wood boring beetles… probably because we live in a forest. I have not checked our Torey Peterson books for identification yet, but they do not look like invasive species at least. Our 17 year cicadas do not cycle up until 2016.

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  2. Reblogged this on nantahala and commented:
    I loved this blog! Particularly about the squash bugs. They were so hard on my plants last year and I couldn’t find anything remotely safe without the use of chemicals to get rid if them. Great info here!

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  3. I had serious issues with squash bugs last year! I live your tips on how to deal with them. Saving your info for future reference!

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    • Re: wildnantahala – Thanks for taking time to visit my tiny humble blog. Organically there are few things that are truly effective in killing squash bugs of an all out chemical war conducted with harsh man made insecticides.
      Happy bug free gardening

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  4. I found what look like aphids on my apple tree this year. I noticed because new leaves were curling up. I have also noticed predatory wasps, ladybugs, orange beetle “ladybugs” and now their little aligator larval forms. Hopefully these good bugs will eat all my aphids, but I also decided to dust with diatomaceous earth to see if that will help.

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  5. Any way to stop worms getting into the radishes?

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  6. Reblogged this on My Tiny Farm and commented:
    More about pests:

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  7. There’s a beautiful beetle that has been decimating my asparagus plants, and I didn’t notice it until it was too late. I wonder if that’s the squash beetle you listed. I sprayed them with insecticidal soap.

    Are pill bugs a problem? I think they have been eating my baby bean plants as soon as they sprout.

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