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Posts Tagged ‘insect control’

There are few new faces in our garden this year. And they’re not welcome. We’ve seen some familiar ones – squash vine borers, cucumber beetles, squash bugs – but there have been several we’ve never noticed before.

First, the leafhopper. It’s actually a very pretty insect. The ones in our garden are a light, minty green with blue and orange stripes, but they come in all sorts of colors. I saw one earlier in the season hanging out on our squash plants. They’re pretty fast and jump around when disturbed.

As always, I wanted to check out what it was before we destroyed it. Turns out, they’re not good at all. They suck out the juices of the leaf, and the toxic saliva produces a stippling pattern on the leaves. If they’re not controlled, they can cause the leaves to yellow, wilt, dry out and eventually die.

Next, the mealybug. We noticed these on one of the cucumber tendrils, and they look like white fuzz that moves. They’re also not good because they suck out the sap from the plant’s tissue.

The next two I have no idea what they are. Even with some searching I haven’t had much luck. One looks like skinny grasshopper with a small stripe down its back. The other looks like a lightning bug, but fatter and without the stripes on its wings or dot on its head.

We’ll keep monitoring this and see how it progresses. I’m going to mix up a batch of insecticidal soap and spray it on the unwelcome insects.

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So they’re not really a secret, but they’re new to us and our quest to have a great garden.

First up, beneficial nematodes. I never heard of these until we stopped by Worm’s Way to buy our compost bin last year. We told the incredibly knowledgeable worker about all our problems and it was her suggestion. The store’s blog has an in-depth explanation of all sorts of beneficial insects.

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