Monday, August 8, 2011

Bugs & Insects, good and bad

OK, for those of you who are squeamish about bugs, I suggest you skip this post! I used to be squeamish too, but I had to get over it! When you farm, you are surrounded by nature doing it's thing! Insects claim the most species on Earth so might as well accept that they will be around! ;-)

I saw one of these the other day! It's a Robber Fly.  It eats other bugs voraciously! Although they probably eat honey bees too if they catch them. This photo is not my own.

Pic of dead June beetles. Why are they dead and such large numbers you ask? I drowned them in a bucket of water... Just plain water. They can't fly out of water since they seem to need to kick off in order to fly or be falling off a branch/leaf to fly. They are very attracted to the over-ripe figs we have and I grab them with gloves, since the june bugs have sharp exoskeletons that hurt! Then put them in the bucket. Once they die, I spill the bucket under the fig tree. Then let the ants scavenge the remains. The exoskeletons will stick around for a while, so you'd have to crush them to help aid decomposition. We don't have chickens to eat these bugs. Though I don't know if they'll eat these, they're kinda big; they are at least 1.25" (3.175 cm) long.

Here's a good bug! A honey bee! She is pollinating the cucumbers

We are having problems with Flea Beetles nibbling on our Eggplant, see the tiny holes?

Next 3 pics are of the spider mites that have taken over our Tomatoes.  While I was gone for the Alaska Trip, they took over. Not enough moisture encourages these buggas. Not enough deep water will bring them over. I spray my tomatoes with water each morning, but my Mom didn't while I was gone.
I used my son's microscope to see if the Neem/Tea Tree/Orange oil concoction had worked. It appears the adults have been killed, but as you can see there are LOTS of eggs! This was educational for my son too! I took the photo with my old Cannon PowerShot A20 through the microscope eyepiece.
More eggs, and in the bottom middle you can see a baby mite. It was moving. It appears to have just hatched. I guess I'd have to either keep spraying more of the concoction I made or rip out the tomatoes. So sad.
Here's more. They seemed dead. Not moving about at all.

©2001 Janice Kubo


BLD in MT said...

Ah, spider mites are the pits! Cool photos though. I hope you manage to get them under control.

AJK said...

Hi BLD! How do YOU deal with these pests? We get them EVERY year because of our hot weather and low humidity. Do you have any remedies you use? I'm always on the look out for better organic solutions (pun intended ;-) )