I must give a major shout-out to MNN.com again! They seem to be providing the best info at a perfect time! My helpful hint from them this week is much more than a hint:
Good bug, bad bug: How can you tell the difference?
Not only did they provide outstanding specific information on the good vs. bad critters; but they also shared closeup pictures as a visual aid. KUDOS guys!!
They only list six descriptions, but these are some of the biggies (at least they are for the U.S.). We have issues with Squash Beetles every year. Every year we have tried something new to, at least, limit their numbers. It has been (in our experience) impossible to completely eradicate them, and I am not really sure we should. We use completely chemical free methods in our garden workings. Some years this is a very hard thing to do.
The huge farm fields around us are mainly hay and pasture (we are half lucky here). The pasture is great! No one sprays their pasture unless the Canadian Thistle comes back and then you only need to kill the individual plant before the flowers die off (like a dandelion).
Here in northeastern Colorado, they grow to about three feet tall, and they’re a major pain – in more ways than one! You can see from the pics they have needles and will spread like dandelions after blooming. Our non-chemical method is time-consuming but very effective. We wait till they flower, then cut off the blooms and spray a mix of vinegar, salt, and dish soap on them (our “go-to” natural spray for bad weeds).
The reason I stated that I am not sure we should eliminate a bug completely is also for natural reasons. They are here for a purpose. I do not know what every single one of them does, but I do know that most are food for something else. I do believe in limiting their numbers by whatever natural means you have at your disposal.
I am still trying to find the purpose for the Yellow-Jacket’s. Unless they are some specific food for something else, I have no need of them AT ALL! Personal experience has taught me:
- They will attack for no reason.
- They can sting again and again (do not die as a bee does).
- They might do a little pollination, but nothing to the help from our Bees.
- They make their nests in the worst possible places.
- Lastly, they are ALWAYS in my way when I am gardening.
It never fails! These beasties are worse than our Red Ants! The sting/bite is about equal, but the Yellow-Jacket can travel from my front yard to my herb garden in a heartbeat (And I know they are watching me planning their next attack!).
Oh well, just had to throw my own two cents in on this one!