MrBote
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:34 am
Location: Florida zone 9

A different and effective bug control

This is the most reliable so far and a good part of the reason I plant pole beans. The pole bean canopy they love. A source of drinking water under it and they will stay close for the entire season. They do a more efficient job than spray and they seem to like just about any kind of insect. I do keep neem oil/soap around but these guys keep use of that to a minimum.

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They're everywhere. When I walk out the door to the garden, the leaves come alive with these guys scurrying in all directions. Since the containers are close to the beans, bugs don't fare well scaling the sides of the tall containers before being spotted. They can wipe out a string of aphids with one snap of the tongue and competition is fierce.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: A different and effective bug control

Cool! I don't even know what they are called, but I love it! :D
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MrBote
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Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:34 am
Location: Florida zone 9

Re: A different and effective bug control

applestar wrote:Cool! I don't even know what they are called, but I love it! :D
I just know them as lizards or some kind of chameleon. They change colors to their surroundings. That boxed fence behind them is a highway for them as well, with all roads leading right to my plot. If I spot something say, an army worm, all I have to do is wait like 5 minutes and sure enough, one of these guys will rush over and grab it. The water lure occurred to me a few years ago. I would water the garden and they started appearing simultaneously. Then I saw one grab a drink from a plant saucer. So, I stuck a plant saucer with water in it and they stay close now. Last rough count I managed 33, just around the pole beans. They are very territorial and the younger bucks have to stay on the outskirts, which subsequently is where my other containers offer their own pad away from the bruisers.

This one just lept over from the fence, as you can see he is still the same color as the fence is. After a few minutes, he will turn dark brown like the stick he is on.

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Previously, before establishing this symbiosis, I would be on constant pest control duty with a closet full of different remedies for this time of year. Now it is self maintaining which is remarkable for Florida.
Last edited by MrBote on Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: A different and effective bug control

I know they eat worms and caterpillars. I think they are eating beetles because I haven't seen the Chinese rose beetles even in my back yard. I did get some beetle damage on the Mr. Lincoln in that back yard but it was minor and only lasted a couple of weeks. I saw one cabbage butterfly. I did not catch it but it did not stay either and I had no damage on the broccoli or kale. Except for the peach scale, which is resistant to pesticides and reproduces prolifically, I don't see many other bugs. The last couple of years have been bad white fly years but I took care of that by cutting back the hibiscus. I have about 20 geckos in the back yard and an equal number in the front. The front yard also has a healthy population of skinks and once I saw a Jackson chameleon. I know they eat mosquitoes and gnats. I have seen them on my window screen catching them. I used to have a lot of them in the house too. But, I haven't seen or heard any lately. I think my new cat has been catching them. He also catches roaches. I missed that. My last good mouser died in 2003. Although my other cats except one, came from a feral colony, none of them were hunters.

On the flip side, they also love earthworms, whenever I turn over the soil in the garden to add compost they are poised to pounce on any earthworms I uncover.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

MrBote
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:34 am
Location: Florida zone 9

Re: A different and effective bug control

imafan, I do also have gheckos. I think they are called leopard gheckos because they have leopard spots, but are otherwise nearly semi-transparent yellow. They have mouse eyes and defined suction cups on their toes. I see them on the containers at night when I go out there with a light. Seems like we have a lot of common gardening considerations.

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