The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I am sure many gardeners are already seeing these insects/bugs in their gardens.   My very favorite good “bugs” are the bumblebees, honeybees, lady bugs, and praying mantis.  I encourage them to visit my garden by never spraying, providing plenty of favorite flowers,  plants they like and maintaining a “clean garden”. Every year I have these in my garden…

The GOOD, of course, are the bees.  This bumblebee loves my flowering oregano… if you want bees plant an herb garden full of yummy smells and tastes especially lavender.  Let your plants bloom as this will attract more of them…DO NOT SPRAY!

Note the orange baskets full of pollen on both sides of this bee…

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Flowering thyme and borage… see the yellow basket on the bumblebee  on the right – just starting to collect pollen!

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This bumblebee loves my spirea 🙂

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Today is Oct. 17, 2014 and my beautiful bumblebees are slowing down and going to sleep because of the cooler weather 😦

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All gardens should have one or two of these beauties – a praying mantis!  Trust me – these guys eat a lot of bugs!

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The BAD are Japanese Beetles who are voracious eaters as you can see from the pictures below.   My green beans – they loved the leaves but stayed away from the beans – this was a good thing!

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See that little guy underneath just chowing away on a basil plant… he thinks I did not see him – wrong!  These guys I throw in soapy water or if I am in a hurry I will squish them between my fingers, wearing gloves of course!

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Now to the UGLY – these hormworms appear in July/Aug. in my garden and they can become quite big.  If you see them with parasitic wasps attached (picture on the left) leave them alone as Mother Nature is doing her thing.  However, the guy on the right does not have any of these wasps, so in he goes in some soapy water. They mainly seem to strip the plant of its leaves but they also eat the tomatoes.    The bottom left picture shows two small green tomatoes that have become part of his dinner.  Not to be gross but the bottom right picture shows what they leave behind as they happily munch along…

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17 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  1. Judi, amazing photos and also so informative! Those worms make my skin crawl, especially with those parasitic wraps hanging on them (though I know that’s a good thing).

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    • Thanks Ngan! Well those tomato hornworms are a part of gardening. Guess I was not too neat in cleaning up the garden last year to get rid of any larvae in the beds. They are sure good at hiding though, until you start to see signs of their presence 🙂

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  2. You have a garden full of interesting plants. I am not a great fan of praying mantis but I do love ladybirds and bumble bees because they are both colourful and pretty. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Gorgeous bumblebee photos, Judi! Yippee…you got some great shots. 🙂
    The Japanese beetles are creating havoc with my plants this year…way, way too many of them! The soapy water routine just isn’t working as well as last year…which I’m blaming on the increased population. I certainly wouldn’t mind if they chose to leave!

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    • Yes Nancy – yippee! I have been trying to get a picture of a bumblebee after seeing your picture and Patty’s. They are very hard to photograph but I finally got one! I pick the Japanese beetles off, wearing gloves of course, and drop them in soapy water. So far I have been able to keep up with them, but I do check my plants just about every day 🙂

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