There is a wonderful balance to nature. For every ying there is a yang. Take your garden, for instance. There are a number of bugs that can be devastating to plants or vegetables. These pests
· Slugs. The enemy as far as beans, cabbage, lettuce, and other greens and strawberries and all types of seedlings are concerned.
· Squash bug. These critters love to devour summer and winter squash.
· Aphid. They consume beans, cabbage, peas, potatoes, and tomatoes.
· Cabbageworm. Obviously, these pesky nuisances love to chow down on cabbage.
· Squash vine borer. They destroy summer and winter squash.
· Japanese beetle. No beans, grapes and raspberries are safe when they are around.
· Tomato Hornworm. Obviously, these irritates go after tomatoes, but they also consume peppers.
· Cutworm. Guard your cabbages, peppers and tomato seedlings.
· Grasshopper. Beans, cabbage, carrots, corn, lettuce, and onions aren’t safe.
· Cucumber beetle. Of course, cucumbers are the targets of this predator. However, they also like melons and squash.
· Corn earworm. They ingest corn, beans, peppers, and tomatoes.
· Whitefly. They attack eggplant, okra, peppers, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
· Flea beetle. Their tasty treats are cabbages and eggplants.
· Colorado potato beetle. Watch your potatoes!
· Leafhopper. They love to chomp on beans, beets, eggplants, lettuce, and potatoes.
There are also a plethora of natural enemies of flowering plants including:
· Caterpillars. These crawly critters chew on leaves and burrow through plant blossoms and blooms.
· Earwigs. Although they fight off pests like aphids, they also feed on tender new plants and in large numbers can be a problem.
These are the enemies of your garden. The Ying. However, in nature there is also the yang, good bugs that defeat the bad bugs. These include:
· Brachonids, Chalcids, and Ichneumon Wasps. These insects are the mortal enemy of caterpillars. Carrots, celery, parsley, caraway and Queen Anne’s lace, all members of the Umbelliferae family, attract these insects to a garden.
· Ladybugs. They battle aphids, mites, whiteflies and scale. Members of the daisy family including Compositae, tansy, and yarrow lure them to a garden.
· Lacewings. These insects consume aphids and their larva as well as other insect pests. These bugs are lured to “composite” flowers including
yarrow, goldenrod, Black-eyed Susans and asters. They can also be purchased online and released on to your garden.
· Hover-flies. This insect and its larva eat aphids and other bad insects. They are also attracted to “Composite” flowers like yarrow, goldenrod, black-eyed Susan’s and asters. Seeds for these plants can be purchased online or at most garden stores.
· Praying mantis. This particular insect is a gardener’s best friend when it comes to controlling pests. They eat most kinds of garden pests. Their eggs should be placed in a garden where they can hatch and grow quickly. You can acquire praying mantis eggs through mail-order stores and online.
· Nematodes. This good bug is the mortal enemy of cutworms, beetles and root weevil larvae. The eggs of this insect are microscopic in size and are available in small sponges that hold a million at one time. The sponge should be mixed with water and the eggs should be applied to the soil where they hatch and do their work. Gardening experts suggest that if they get on foliage, they should be washed off to the ground. Nematodes are available from garden centers and through mail-order catalogues.
(Next time: Garden “Mini” Insectary)