The Most Insidious Garden Pest Is Ignorance

| 10/27/2009 5:06:24 PM

A photo of Shannon SaiaI’ll admit that whenever I first encounter any kind of garden pest I go into a kind of anxiety paralysis. I think that I want so much for things to go well, and as I’m still fairly new at all of this gardening stuff, I tend to drift towards seeing everything as success or failure in the moment, rather than everything just being part of the process; as if by the very fact that I have garden pests I am a failure as a gardener.

Of course this could not be further from the truth.

Some weeks ago I found these pretty harlequin beetles on my broccoli. I looked them up. I was hoping they were beneficial bugs and not pests, because they seemed too pretty to kill.

Fingertip and harlequin beetle on a broccoli leaf

But it turns out they had to go. I think I killed about 5, and then I never saw another one. I was feeling pretty doggone proud of myself for nipping that in the bud. Too proud, I think; since I started to let my daily inspections kind of slide.

Consequently, when I discovered this (quite beautiful, I think) creature on a broccoli leaf, the problem was already getting out of hand. Something was most definitely eating my broccoli leaves, and from the looks of some of the holes, it looked like something that was really, really hungry.

7/29/2020 7:55:04 AM

If you don't like crushing bugs, just knock them into a jar of soapy water. I generally leave most bugs alone as predators show up and take care of them for me.

10/31/2009 10:48:11 PM

Shannon, I had potato beatles too this past summer -oh they seemed to come over night. Like you, I started killing them and that helped greatly. Then I read (online) to sprinkle flour on them- wanting to stay organic I gave it a try, it really did help. You can also add salt to the flour and this helps with the cabbage worm they said. It's amazing what vast resources are on the internet isn't it? Thank goodness. vickie

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