Friday, July 22, 2005

I love the smell of Malathion in the morning

Or early evening, which is when we were driven to spray said substance yesterday. I’ll probably lose my miniscule readership with this one, but, yes, even though mechanical means are always better than chemical means, I do occasionally have to spray evil substances in the garden.

You have probably had this happen. All seems hunky-dory until you look down at a bed, and—whathefu—it is swarming with crawly things, or suddenly every leaf has a big hole in it. What happened? It wasn’t like this a couple days ago. That’s how sneaky they are.

There are kinder, gentler solutions. With aphids and little beetles that just sit on the plants you can hose them off with the jet spray (yay—an excuse to use the jet spray!). If they’re too many or stick on too tenaciously, you can use an insecticidal soap, which is pretty harmless.

I have also heard that you can buy OTHER bugs and let them loose in your space and they will eat the bad bugs. I tend to be a bit dubious about this. You have to mail-order them (and I do not have time to do this when there is an infestation crisis), and who’s to say they won’t just fly off and eat the better bugs in someone else’s garden? My neighbor’s flowers and water features are mostly better than mine; their bugs are probably tastier too.

Anyway, yesterday, there was a horde of tiny caterpillars busily eating all the beautiful chartreuse leaves of my creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia Aurea ). I’m used to the lamium getting eaten and I threw out the ligularia, it was so disgustingly chewed-up, but no, not the creeping jenny. One must make a stand.

I looked this a.m. and there didn’t seem to be any wormies left.

Here is the spot in happier days (posted before):


Crystal said...

Beautiful Garden! I've battled every type of bug imaginable, and I hate mealy bugs the most, they can ruin a plant in no time.

EAL said...

They're all terrible. The worst ones are the ones you can't even see to kill.

Bill said...

In fact, fly off and eat other people's bad bugs is exactly what they do. We have neighbors who still thank us for the time A oppend a box of ladybugs-- and we have yet to see a one.