Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound. Well, the good news is that my small cherry tomato plants are doing well and so far have avoided the ravenous green caterpillars that appear every year to try and eat my tomato plants before I get to eat the tomatoes.
So knock on wood. Nothing taste like fresh, self-grown tomatoes…they just melt in your mouth. Then there are my flowers which consist mainly of wild flowers and roses this season. They have done well, but along with flowers come the bugs.
Now of course I have sprayed and soaked the ground with special insecticide, but there is one bug that really gets under my skin...the Japanese Beatle. They eat like there is no tomorrow, on roses they focus on the actual rose versus the leaves, and they are tough critters to kill. I was doing pretty well till a few weeks ago when I noticed holes in my leaves where there shouldn’t be, and on closer observation, there were my invaders, eating their hearts out.
Now most insects when you spray them directly with a bug spray will generally keel over and die before they hit the ground, or fly off like they are on fire. Not these guys. They just sit there. I am sure if they could talk one of them would be saying to another… “Boy…that was a refreshing rain.” I swear I saw one take out a bar of soap and start taking a bath. With that being said the only solution is to take matters into my own hands, literally; I put on a pair of rubberized gloves and I go hunting. You have to be careful because at the slightest movement, they immediate roll off the leave and on to the ground where you cannot find them, plus you have to grab them very hard because their shells can take a beating.
So I find the leaf or rose they have zeroed in on, place one hand under the flower and grab them with the other hand. Then I press them hard between my hands just to make sure, since a finger pinch often is not enough to put an end to their reign of terror. I know it sounds a bit gruesome, but the alternative with the sprays does not seem to be very effective…but I do have to say, that once they get into my “jaws of death” they will never leave again. See, Stephen King has nothing on me. LOL
I see by the clock on the wall that it is time to go bug hunting again. As always, be good, play safe and remember no insects were hurt in the making of this article.
JR and Max