I lost a zucchini plant the other day, so took the opportunity to find out why it suddenly went limp. Anyway, the entire plant was removed with care, then laid out on the table in front of the shed for a thorough inspection. There was a fairly large hole in the vine that looked like something had burrowed into it, which made me think about the possibilities. Not ever having svb (squash vine borer) damage before, I called on countless hours spent reading other people's experiences in the past, and quickly decided that the hole I was looking at was actually the exit hole for the larvae that had been within....I couldn't believe it! This wasn't supposed to happen to me.....Afterall, I spend probably 12 hours per week scouring all of my plants for whatever insects may lie within the foliage, and have a very good record, too!
Then, about a week later, I was inspecting my lone zucchini plant and quickly spotted some squashbug eggs on the underside of some green bean foliage that had outgrown it's space. Just as I was about to reach into the foliage to remove them, I came face to face with the Grim Reaper of all cucurbits - the moth of the SVB. Not acting on instinct alone, I decided to think about the situation for a minute.....First and most important, I had to get a picture of it, if nothing else. I mean, a gardener just doesn't get this opportunity very often - maybe once a year? So, I got the shot I wanted, then snatched it before it even knew what had happened. A difference in color differentiates the male from female, and i'm not sure which one this is. The opposite sex is red in color.......
It was brought into the house, where it was carefully placed into a small vial of alcohol - which will make it's way to the regional extension agent in the very near future. I give him bugs from my garden each year, so that he can show them to local gardeners in gardening workshops given throughout the growing season. Chris really appreciates my little vials of entymological joy, and i'm glad to present them to him. He'll be pumped about this one!
Anyway, I am the self-proclaimed "Conquerer" of all garden insects, and have another trophy to add to my collection. This moth had no business messing with my garden, and paid dearly for its' trespassing. Hehe.....I was saying to it "Ain't so bad, ain't so bad...you ain't nuthin' ". Ha! Yeah, I've got problems......
One thing's for certain, harmful garden insects are plentiful right now, and I can usually find one of each (literally every variety) in one thorough sweep of the garden. Squashbugs are still showing up, and I guess at least 30 have been killed so far. A few have even been found on the cucumber vines.
Here's a nice shot of a leaf footed bug that was taken the other day, in case anyone needed to know what they look like. This harmful insect was disposed of after taking its' picture.
In other news, the garden is beginning to slow down due to the excessive heat - except for the okra and beans, of course. Tomatoes are at a standstill, and things should begin to pick up again in about 2-3 weeks, I figure. That's ok, it'll allow me to catch my breath for a while, and i'm sick of eating tomatoes right now.
As previously stated, the number of garden insects dealt with on a daily basis has increased significantly, and BT is being sprayed on the tomato plants on a weekly basis. Despite my efforts to locate and destroy all the eggs I can, some are still missed. Since a few juvenile armyworms are being spotted, BT is my savior.
Take care, and happy gardening!