|Don't kill the
Without Bugs, you will not have Bug-eating Song Birds
There are good Bugs, and there are bad Bugs,
so don't click the [Kill ALL Bugs] button !
Bugs eat Bad Bugs. So if you kill the Good Bugs, you will eliminate the
Bad Bugs' natural control. And if you kill every Bad Bug, there
will be no food left for the Good Bugs, and they will starve or move to
your Neighbors' Garden.
And your Song Birds will follow the Bugs. More than half of your
singing Feathered Friends depend on Insects for fast food to feed their
families. And ditto for the Toads; their looong tongues can not reach
to your Neighbors' Garden. Kiss them "Good bye", too. So in your quest
for a Bug-free Garden, kill selectively. There is a very happy medium.
We use the term "Bug" loosely. It means any plant-eating Insect,
in any stage of its crawling, creeping, slithering, hopping, tunneling, flying life.
There are many ways to kill Bugs.
You can pick them off by hand (or glove). You can pick them off with a Tweezers. You can stomp them with your bare toe .
You can shake them into a container of Quik-Kill (motor oil). You can
use a 1-quart hand sprayer (be careful to not spray your hand). You can
use a multi-gallon hand-pumped Sprayer. You can use Sprayers
pumped by Batteries or Engines. You can hire an Orchard Sprayer to put
a giant puff of killer mist over your whole back yard in three seconds.
By far the smartest and safest Bug Killer is non-chemical. Larger Bugs like this Tomato Horn Worm are easily picked off and disposed of. Smaller pests like Snails are also easily tended to by hand.
Leaf-eating Tent Caterpillars removed with a Stick
like these Japanese Beetles can be brushed into a large Funnel which
takes them into a container with 1/4-inch of oil in the bottom.
I you opt for Chemical Killers, wear a respirator and protective
clothing and follow the manufacturers' instructions religiously. Use
the smallest applicator which will adequately apply the product to the
infested area. If your pests are high in Trees or Shrubs, you are
limited, but Garden plants usually require only a hand held
applicator at most.
can eliminate Insects before they become Insects; destroy their Eggs.
Eggs are usually laid on the underside of Leaves and Twigs, to protect
them from the hot Sun and weather, and make them less visible to
predators. Masses of Eggs are usually easy to see, but individual Eggs
may not be.
Some, like top left are hard to detect, others are more obvious. Top
row is thought to be Tent Caterpillar. Bottom left on a Grape is
unknown. Circled in red are Cabbage Looper. Bottom right are aphids.
The center mass is Praying Mantis, thought
to be a Garden asset, but in reality their predation is not insect
specific. For lunch, they may munch on a beneficial Honey Bee or
Butterfly as quick as a Cabbage Looper. They've also been said to
catch an occasional Humming Bird.
Get to know your Gardening Neighbors and especially
your County Agent in charge of Garden Pests and Pesticides.
They have a wealth of experience and information
in your particular neighborhood.