20 October 2017

spotted pest

I have found a new member of the insect plague in my garden. It's not just whitefly, aphids, Japanese beetles, stink bugs, caterpillars and leaf hoppers anymore. I now have cucumber beetles too. They used to be a huge problem in my old garden and I was so glad to have not seen them for five years. Well, now they have found me again. I was out cleaning up my tithonia wall yesterday- it has been sorely neglected because of a week with sick kids, and then being ill myself. Found lots of dark brown/purplish aphids on the tithonia stems, fat grown ones surrounded by rows and rows of little new-hatched ones. Swiping them off to give my fishes a feast. And discovered cucumber beetles, too.  They like to rest underside of tithonia petals so now I know where to look. I squished three today, and another escaped me flying off from a green bean plant. Which look terrible. I have cut off so many diseased leaves they are practically nude. It's a wonder they give me any beans at all. If the cucumber beetles have been here long, undetected, no wonder my bean plants have been doing so poorly. 

Well, at least I have not seen many Japanese beetles this year. I made sure to stalk and kill the few I found mating on my celosia. 

And I have just found out how awful stink bugs are. More of those, this year. They have no natural predators so just keep multiplying and multiplying. I used to let them be but now I go after those, too.  Funny, I used to not notice the odor when squashed them, but now it is really offensive. And I've heard it attracts more of them. Best to catch and dunk in soapy water. Ugh- if it's not one thing, it's another.

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