On the Lookout for Insects in the Garden

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en Español

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If you have a vegetable garden this is the month to be on the lookout for pickle worms, tomato horn worms, stink bugs, leaf footed bugs, squash bugs, and bean beetles. Any or all of these insects can cause a lot of damage to the vegetable crop.

In my experience, visiting the garden at least once a day to admire my plants, give them praise, and look them over helps me to see when there is a problem beginning to happen. If I can find the pesky insects before they do a lot of damage, then I can often hand pick them off the plants or knock them into a bucket of soapy water where they will drown. This reduces the amount of chemical insecticides I need to apply to my garden.

I have to keep in mind that not all insects are bad to have in the garden. Wheel bugs, assassin bugs, lady beetles, lacewings, and several other insects are actually beneficial. Wheel bugs and assassin bugs feed on a wide variety of insects in the garden including many caterpillars and stink bugs that cause damage to the crops. Lady beetles and lace wings feed on aphids and other soft bodied insects that suck the juices out of the plant. It’s important not only to know what the adult insect looks like, but also to know what the larvae of the insect looks like as well. The larvae of these beneficial insects often eat as much if not more than the adults.