Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Aphids, Ladybugs, and other cool bugs in my yard

These pesky critters are on my Iris plants, and I used these as my photogenic models since taking pictures of the aphids close up hiding in my lettuce would require a but more hassle- so since aphids look the same no matter what plant they are on, here you go, in all my digital macro glory.

Love them or hate them you gotta be a bit awed by their tenacity, the little buggars are born pregnant, so all you need is soem crazy ants herding a couple on you plants and bingo.

I knew once the weather warmed it was only a matter of time, but sheesh, I think my lettuce has become their heaven. On my ornamental plants, herbs, and large leafed vegetables I user Safer Insecticidal soap spray on nre growth and use a nice spray from the hose to wash them off. With the lettuce its alot harder since they are hiding on the undersides I can't easily spray with Safer or the hose. So I fought back- with ladybugs

Armstrong sells a small bucket of about 1,500 (according to the label) for around $10. I released them a few weeks ago before a drizzle and they stayed on the plants then vanished. I was all depressed and then this week voila, I go outside in the mornings and I see lots of ladybugs happly scurrying around my plants. I'm also finding their larvae, which is awesome since the larvae gorge on aphids even more then the adults.

I also found a couple baby preying mantis while pulling weeds, they are so adorable, about the size of my thumbnail but perfect little hunters already. They are very fast, within a few seconds of my trying to pick one up they'd jump and change color to whatever they stand on so its really hard to find them again. I didn't want to stress them so I didnt look for them again to photograph. I was thinking of buying a mantis egg case since they sell those at Armstrong too, but since I'm finding babies I don't want to overwhelm my yard with too many predators, they just decimate the bug population, starve, then I'll have pests all over again.