Tag Archives: Aphids

Adventures in Gardening Part 26 ~ Enemies and Allies

I’m definitely no insect photographer (ew, I’d never want to be), but bear with my lack of skill here as I share a few of the photos I’ve taken of the bugs that I’ve found visiting my garden over the past couple of days…

I believe this guy here is a Candy Stripped Leafhopper.It’s very interesting looking and colorful; it even has a cute name, but I’m pretty sure it’s the thing responsible for some of the damage that I’ve been noticing on a few of my cucumber leaves.  So this is what became of him…Killed him with my bare hands.  I’m becoming quite the expert at smashing bugs.  Which is interesting since I’m completely terrified of them…

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This next bug was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.  It looked like a snail to me at first glance.  I had to use my flash setting to get a semi clear shot, so it looks like it was night time, but it wasn’t.  After spending a considerable amount of time scouring the Internet looking at more bug photos than I’d ever want to see, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a Two Striped Planthopper Nymph.  Apparently these things suck out plant juices and also feed on trees and shrubs, so figuring it’s not doing good to my cucumber leaf here, I gave it a quick flick with my finger and flicked its weird looking butt out of my garden, hoping it doesn’t find its way back.  Seriously, it does have a weird butt.  If you do a Google images search (for a photo with a better view than my amateur skills provide here) you’ll see it has fuzzy things coming out of its hind end.  Bugs are ishy, but the variety in nature is pretty darn cool.

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I had the hardest time trying to catch a shot of this bugger ~ it kept scurrying all over the place or flying away (reason for its blurriness), and I’m surprised I even got a photo of it at all. I looked in some of my books and on the Internet, and I think it might be a Striped Cucumber Beetle, but I don’t know for sure.  If it is… it’s not good.

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Here’s another bug I found hanging out on my cucumber leaves.  Why is everything going after my cukes?!  Must be a conspiracy.  I think this is another type of leafhopper. I might have to find out what I should do about them.  I mean other than smashing them by hand ~ that was unusually brave of me to kill Mr Candy Stripper that way.

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But not all the bugs I saw were enemies.  Some were allies…

I found this little sweetie crawling around on my cucumber leaves.  Definitely a welcome visitor!  Ladybugs are excellent at helping control aphids.  And as you saw in Adventures in Gardening Part 23 ~ Attack of the Ants and the Aphids, I definitely have aphids in my garden…~

Although this next bug is sort scary looking, I was happy to see one exploring one of my zucchini leaves.  Soldier Beetles are another great ally in the fight against aphids.  It is also a predator of Cucumber Beetles.  🙂    I did not take the above photo.  I didn’t happen to catch a shot of the particular one that I saw in my garden, but I wanted to show what they look like.

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It’s really good to know that I have a few buggy allies out there fighting the good fight with me!  Eat my garden’s enemies to your heart’s content guys, and bring your friends!  🙂

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And on the growing front…

Omygosh look at these cute tiny little beans growing!~

And my tomatoes are continuing to bloom away.  I only have 2 plants, but it would be so awesome if I got enough tomatoes to make a small batch of my yummy salsa. ~

Also, I thought my peas were pretty much done for the season, but now I see more blooms on those too.  Very happy about this!  🙂

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And I have a couple more strawberries just about ready to pick…~

My celery was getting totally crowded out by my zucchini’s giant solar panel leaves so I cut a few of them off.  Hope that doesn’t affect the production of my zucchinis, but I had to give my celery a fighting chance too.~

In other news…

I think one of the robin eggs fell out of the nest above my potting bench because I found these little broken shell pieces on my potting bench.  Sad.  😦~

I found some Johnny Jump ups springing up in an old empty abandoned pot.  They’re such cheerful little darlings and were really a fun surprise to find in the garden today.  ☼~

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 23 ~ Attack of the Ants and the Aphids

Ah geez just when things seemed to be going so well…

Absolutely gorgeous day, feeling on top of the world, humming to myself as I putter around my plants, lalalala… wait!  What’s this?!  ANTS!  Tons of them!  Everywhere!  Eek!

And what do you suppose there are all crawling on?

My beloved zucchini!!!  Grrr!~

I decided to dig around a bit deeper to try and check to see just what the heck they are doing crawling all over my zucchini and noticed it’s mostly on, in, and around the blossoms.But yeah, no idea what they are doing or why…

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So I go to my laptop and start looking stuff up on the Internet.  Conflicting information.  Something that I didn’t know ~ ants are good pollinators.  Really?  I’ve never heard that before.  Hmm.  So does that mean it’s good that they are on my zucchini?  Something about that doesn’t sound quite right to me.

Something I did already know ~ ants are a sort of aphid farmer, but when I looked around I didn’t see any aphids on my zucchini.

But I did find some on my lettuce… Looks like whole families congregating and attempting to suck the life out of my lettuce!

And sure enough… there were ants on my lettuce too.  Lots of them…Yeah, lets have us a salad shall we?  A salad of ants and aphids = YUCK!

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I viciously sprayed them with the water hose immediately after taking these photos.  Not the right time of day for it, but there was no way I was going to let those ants and aphids just have their way with my plants for even one moment longer!

So now I need to decide what if any other actions to take.  I have my garlic pepper spray, but I don’t know if that will work.  Guess it won’t hurt to try.  I am open to any and all suggestions anyone might have…

On the bright side, I found my first cucumber!  It’s so tiny and cute!And somewhat alien looking.   😉

And there are lots of little curly tendrils developing for them to grab onto the trellis as they grow… Is it too early to start hoping for enough cukes for pickles?  🙂

Hope is always a good thing!

I also hope I win this battle in the attack of the ants and the aphids…

~Gardening is my therapy~