Evening Garden Cruise Pest Hunt

| April 25, 2012 | 8 Replies

On my evening garden cruise pest hunt, I investigate my garden with a flashlight. My neighbor, C.L., (you’ll see him in my episodes of “Late Bloomer”) has been telling me to come out at 2:00 in the morning and see what’s crawling around, that I could gather the snails and slugs in a bucket. I want to be sleeping at that time of night, but, in a dusk cruise around the garden, I saw one slug on a purple cabbage. I’m afraid I had no pity for it, or the other 15 or so slugs and snails I rounded up.

At 10:00pm, when it was fully dark, I went for Round 2 of evening garden cruise pest hunt. It was a convention!  You know, snails move very fast! No sooner than you drop them in – in this case I was using a paper bowl – than they are scooting right back out.  There’s a patch of my neighbor’s grass no more than 6’x5,’ right next to the end of my cabbage patch, surrounded by concrete and asphalt, and I picked up 20 slugs in five minutes.  They all seemed to be headed my way.  I’m sure I would be pretty crazed if I knew just how many were down in there.  I sprinkle Sluggo all around the garden, but they seem to navigate around those little pellets.

In the 7:30 garden cruise, I spotted these tiny white flies on my heirloom rose bush.

Now, you have no idea how hard I’ve worked to get these roses to thrive. I salvaged two rose bushes from my neighbor, Mr. Gerber’s, yard before he passed away and the lot was bulldozed. They were heirlooms and the scent was unforgettable. He never did a thing to these roses, and they were spindly and shoots went up 6′ high. Not for me. I’ve transplanted them about four times in four years, trying this spot and that. This past January, I went to a rose workshop, so I would do everything right. They start off nicely after pruning, with healthy leaves, but before the buds would open, some creature would bore down in there and they would turn hard and brown before they opened.

Then, the leaves get eaten up by one thing or other. I used a Spinosad spray for the borers, and after one treatment, I got one nice bloom that smelled intoxicating, but now they are not looking so good. And there’s the flies. I could barely see the white specs with my naked eye – well, the sun was down – so I grabbed my macro lens. I sprayed them again tonight.

Then, I discovered another one of these. I’ve seen them before on what’s left of a sunflower leaf.  I think it must be excrement from a very hungry caterpillar, the one that just ate the leaf. It’s like a little pretzel. (*This turned out to be what’s left after small birds peck at the leaves, and that’s their poop.)

Then, I discovered what my neighbor calls rust on my iceberg rose bush.  I had noticed it on my neighbor’s roses, but was hoping it wouldn’t travel.  Wrong.  I guess I’ll have to buy something to treat that. I removed all the infected leaves.

This Sunscape Daisy, Nasinga Purple, was closing up shop after the sun went down.

Earlier in the day, it had been proudly displayed in the sun.

Take an evening garden cruise pest hunt and see what you will find. For more photos, check out the Late Bloomer Show Facebook page. If you have advice for me regarding pest management – for an organic garden – please let me know! Thanks for checking in! – Kaye


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Category: Critters, Flowers, Vegetables

Comments (8)

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  1. edythe preet says:

    Hi Kay – one of the best non-toxic treatments I’ve ever encountered is SO simple: spray bottle filled w/ water and a couple of glugs of plain old dish soap – works like a charm on ants: spray the liquid on them and they not only shrivel up IMMEDIATELY and die, but new ants just don’t come around…don’t know if it works as well on aphids but worth a try!

  2. Rob says:

    Gorgeous photos even if they are of bugs.

    • edythe preet says:

      Kay – you should plant some arrugula seed – costs a bundle to buy the leaves at a market BUT grows like a weed in one’s garden – one of those ‘the more you pick, the more it grows’ greens…plus arrugula doesn’t attract bugs, resists just about all diseases,
      makes tasty peppery/sweet flowers, produces gazillions of seeds, plants itself after the first planting, and LOVES the beach weather

  3. Hey, thanks, Edythe! I planted some in a large, shallow pot. I’d like to do more. You’ll see this in my lettuce episode and post!

  4. Annette says:

    Kaye, this is such a cool idea. It’s like having coffee with you in the morning, just sitting around, enjoying each other and talking! Annette

    • Thanks so much, Annette! And I want Late Bloomer Show Facebook page to be interactive where gardeners post photos, get and share advice! I want to spread the word in a big way! Ask your friends to watch “Late Bloomer.” – Kaye

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