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Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:23 pm
by imafan26
Spittle bugs are the larvae stage of a frog hopper. It is also the stage when they are noticed first. The first time I saw it I thought somebody spit on the plant.

https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yar ... pittlebug/

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:47 pm
by imafan26
Got squash?
Squash and cucurbits are either monoecious plants that have separate male and female flowers on the same plant or gyenecious like cucumbers that can have mostly female flowers. Parthenocarpic plants do not require polination to produce a fruit and they have small seeds. All parthenocarpic fruit are gynecious but all gynecious fruit are not parthenocarpic. Gynecious fruit produce mostly female, but still require anothe plant with male flowers to polinate it to produce fruit.

Some parthenocarpic cucumbers that do not require or want a polinator are Diva, Suyo, Tyria, Tasty Jade, and Socrates.
Parthenocarpic zucchini = Parthenon.

Most of the modern hybrids are gynecious and have mostly female flowers but the packet will usually contain 10% of a polinator variety. To get adequate polination, you would have to hand polinate or plant more seeds.

Male flowers usually appear first to attract the polinators. Most flowers are only open and receptive a few hours and require multiple visits to achieve adequate polination.
While honeybees get most of the credit for polinating most of the crops. The squash bee is a better polinator of cucurbits.
Squash bees have more of a "nose" and hairs on their legs to carry pollen instead of pollen sacs. While they are gregarious, they are not social bees and live as solitary bees usually nesting in the ground near squash plants. They are going to be active in the mornings when the flowers are open and will sometimes be found napping in the flowers later in the day.

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollin ... bees.shtml

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:55 pm
by KitchenGardener
Thank you so much for posting about the squash bee. We have tons of honey bees who visit my garden and flowers, but I just assumed that I had never seen one of those fellows. And wouldn't you know that the very next morning I happened to look in a newly opened squash blossom and what did I see, but a squash bee! I'm learning so much about beneficial insects from this site, so thank you.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:20 am
by rainbowgardener
Anyone know what this one is?

This is magnified. It was maybe an inch long, like about twice as long and wide as a Japanese beetle.

It looks dark in the picture, but I think if light were on it, it would have some shiny, metallic bits. It was crawling up a corn stalk.
bug on corn.jpg

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:35 am
by applestar
Definitely a beetle of some sort isn't it? It has a distinctive wing contour over the abdomen that looks kind of metallic green, so my first guess is probably not it, but my first thought was a female stag beetle.

Just in case, here is a link I found:

Family Lucanidae - Stag Beetles - BugGuide.Net
https://bugguide.net/node/view/3103
Scroll down to this section: Illustrated Key to North American Genera adapted from(3)

Are there scarab beetles in North America?

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:24 am
by KitchenGardener
Perhaps either a:

Green June Beetle (can also be brown or black): https://www.insectidentification.org/ins ... une-Beetle

OR a

Sugar cane beetle: https://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG271/corn_sorghum/ ... eetle.html

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:51 pm
by rainbowgardener
green June beetle it is! I think this one would have looked a lot more green if the sun had been on it. Thanks KG!!!

I was planning to do milky spore this fall against the Japanese beetles; turns out these guys are susceptible to it also.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:45 pm
by rainbowgardener
I'm confused though. Look this thing up and I see it called June beetle or June bug.

What I always called June bug is this one:

Image

You can't tell from the picture, but it is much smaller, the same size about as the Japanese beetle.

When I did a google image search on June bug, both that one and the one I have now came up:
Image


This is a quote from the page that the picture came from:

June Bugs are emerging as summer's warmth is finally upon us. The green June beetle, only one of some 300 species of scarab beetles found in Southern California, flashes a metallic green underbelly as its buzzes about erratically. The mature scarabs flying about have spent at least a year underground in larval form munching at the roots of lawns or your favorite ornamental plants.

https://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/o ... -emerging/#

uses June Bug and green June beetle interchangeably.

This guy is WAY bigger than the little brown ones. And all of a sudden from seeing the first one, I have a swarm of them! The air is full of them! I have never seen anything like it... I think that is goodbye garden as they are leaf chewers!

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:47 pm
by rainbowgardener
Well, some good news on the green June beetle front. The swarm only lasted about three days. Since then I've seen the occasional one, but not tons. And today I found one, with one wing all deformed and its abdomen showing where it would normally be covered. The abdomen was pulsating. Since it is usually covered, I don't know if that is normal, but I sort of thought maybe it was full of parasites inside. I looked and couldn't find any mention of anything that parasitizes the adults (as opposed to the grubs), so maybe not.... But anyway, for whatever reason, it was in bad shape.

And incidentally I was wrong. The Japanese beetles are leaf chewers. These guys just attack ripe fruits.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:28 pm
by rainbowgardener
So my kale has been chewed up so much that there's little for me to harvest, even though it is growing very well. Leaves quickly get skeletonized.

I thought slugs, but I treated twice with Sluggo and twice with DE to no avail. I found one little cabbage worm, but never any others and no frass, etc.

Today I found this guy on it:
IMG_0780.JPG
anyone recognize him?

I only found one of him. I also found one leaf footed bug nymph on a different bed, near a squash plant. I dispatched it, but have to assume where there is one there are a lot more.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:00 pm
by imafan26
It is a harlequin stink bug. Harlequin bugs are important pests of cabbages in the Southern states. The lifecycle is complete in 50-70 days and consists of 3 stages. Eggs look like black and white kegs standing up on a leaf. There are 5 or 6 nymphal instars and each one looks a little different in pattern until around 7-9 weeks before they are mature. They gradually look more like the adult with each molt.

Plants commonly attacked by the harlequin bug include such crucifers as horseradish, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, mustard, Brussels sprouts, turnip, kohlrabi and radish. In the absence of these favorite hosts, tomato, potato, eggplant, okra, bean, asparagus, beet, weeds, fruit trees and field crops may be eaten.

Hand picking works and this is a good time to break out the dust buster since as you have noted where there's one....
Kaolin clay may be helpful.

Stink bugs in general, I find hard to control. Thankfully I do have a few birds that eat them and the geckos are good at picking off most of the caterpillars and bugs on my plants.
https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg ... in_bug.HTM
https://www.hobbyfarms.com/12-organic-wa ... in-bugs-3/

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:00 pm
by applestar
Yep. Harlequin Bugs I sometimes get them in the height of summer -- mid-July to maybe late August -- or after a hurricane remnant sweeps up from the south -- and they are worse than the caterpillars in some ways. I've mentioned them before... I can't recall if I said growing red cabbages and purple Brussels sprouts DID or DID NOT help. :|

Kale will recover once it gets cooler and grow through the winter in milder freeze IF you can keep sufficient plant mass alive until then.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:53 pm
by rainbowgardener
OK thanks everyone! Looking it up, you all are right, harlequin stinkbug. I found it on kale and apparently that is one of the places it likes to be.

However, I don't think it is the culprit that is eating holes into my kale to the point of nearly skeletonizing the leaves.

Harlequin like other stinkbugs is piercing/sucking insect not chewing insect. I found this for what harlequin bug damage looks like:
Image

My damage does look like slugs. I was thinking about maybe something else, just because the slug treatments didn't fix the problem. But I need to go out at night with the flashlight and check for them.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:13 am
by rainbowgardener
So my kale devastation is still a mystery. I went out just now at midnight with a flashlight. Looked at every single leaf on every single plant. I spotted one little slug down by the base of one plant, but that was all I found. One little slug surely couldn't be doing all that by himself!? I expected to find it crawling with them....

I also spotted one more unknown bug. This one looked about the size and shape of a black watermelon seed, with two thin horizontal orange lines across its body. Looking at pictures on-line, the closest I found was spittle bug, but I'm not sure that's right and I've not seen any evidence of spittle bugs.

I'll try again with the Sluggo and DE and maybe see if I can buy Neem oil, since this is clearly a leaf chewer of some sort.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:22 pm
by applestar
Have you seen any blister beetles? Are your Swiss chard a(and beets) and peppers showing similar chew marks? They came after that mild winter and summer hurricane and did a lot of mischief in my garden. They didn't stay put but moved from plant to plant, but they favored beets and S. Chard and turned them into lace. The ones I got were dark grey with black abdomen. Don't touch with bare hands if you see them!

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:28 pm
by applestar
I couldn't resist picking these elderflowers even though they don't make up a full recipe's worth. There were persistent bumble bee and this -- wasp? -- on one of the flowers. At first the wasp looked like a yellow jacket, so I was very careful not to jostle or aggravate it, I put the umbels on my iPad Pro screen and carried to the patio table, then I shot them off -- iPad screen is anti-static (?) and things slide off easily. The bumble bee took off in a huff, but this wasp stayed even after.

I'm sure it's not a yellow jacket. Is it a pollen wasp? I'm trying to ID by the pattern on its thorax and wasp images don't match. Looking at its head, does it look more like a fly to you despite the wings and rest of the features?

Image

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:50 pm
by rainbowgardener
applestar wrote:Have you seen any blister beetles? Are your Swiss chard a(and beets) and peppers showing similar chew marks? They came after that mild winter and summer hurricane and did a lot of mischief in my garden. They didn't stay put but moved from plant to plant, but they favored beets and S. Chard and turned them into lace. The ones I got were dark grey with black abdomen. Don't touch with bare hands if you see them!
Nope have not seen blister beetles and my stand of swiss chard in the same bed with the kale is UN-touched! Not a mark on it, while the kale is being chewed to death.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:31 pm
by imafan26
Centipedes are not something you want to run into. They have a face and a body that only another centipede can appreciate.
The live in damp undisturbed areas in the garden under leaves, mulch, rocks, rotten logs, and sometimes, invade the home living in bathrooms, closets, and basements where there is some dampness. Although, they are scary to most people; have a nasty bite and can run very fast. They are beneficial insects. They consume roaches, spiders, and other small insects. Most of the time they stay outside but in the heat of summer water may be scarcer so they come inside. Centipedes are reclusive and rarely come out. If there are a lot of centipedes in the house, there may be a dampness issue in the house that needs to be adressed and you have a lot of other insects in the house. Centipedes would leave if there wasn't anything to eat. So it is a good time to do some summer cleaning put the damp rid in the closets, thin out the clothes and give away the ones you don't need anymore. Clean out the cabinets and shelves. Check for leaks and caulk around the house to keep pests from coming into the house. Fix the screens, clean out the basement , under sinks, and start putting out baits for roaches and ants. It doesn't hurt to put a stopper in the tub and sink drains at night to keep the roaches from crawling out of them. Put some bleach or pinesol in the toilet overnight. Make sure pet dishes are washed and removed after they finish eating. And take out the trash if you have food in it or better yet have a separate pail for food trash and take that out either to the compost bin or to the trash bin. In my case, the city only collects trash once a week so I freeze all my food scraps that I am going to toss out until garbage day. It keeps the smell and the vermin out of my trash can.

https://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7472.html

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:21 pm
by ButterflyLady29
applestar, it's a hoverfly of some type. I thought I had found it but the one I thought it was lives in a small area in England.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:00 pm
by applestar
I think you are correct. It's much larger -normal wasp and bee size- than the tiny syrphid/hover fly I'm used to seeing though.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:51 pm
by imafan26
White flies
White flies are very hard to get rid of. They have multiple hosts and since the adults flit around it is hard to kill them all with contact sprays like soaps or oils. Using more toxic chemicals kills off beneficial insects faster than pests so that opens up a whole other can of worms upsetting the balance between predator and prey which will have ripple effects down the line.

The best defense is still a strong garden patrol
Mealybug destroyer larvae (the one that looks like a giant mealy bug), other lady bugs, and the whitefly parasitic wasp really loves to eat white flies.
I found that mealy bug destroyers really like corn. Even though my garden is small, I really like corn too. The corn attracts the mealy bug destroyers that come after the aphids in the corn and their larvae consume the whiteflies on other plants in my garden as a bonus. To keep them coming, I have to avoid spraying toxic chemicals instead
Hibiscus, plumeria, chili peppers, and some weeds are white fly magnets. I scout my hibiscus regularly because it is usually the first to be attacked. Since I don't want to get rid of the hibiscus or plumeria, I usually cut back the hibiscus if it is heavily infested and The plumeria and peppers gets blasted with a jet of water twice a day under the leaves. It does not killl the adults but I am able to dislodge the eggs and young and reduce the population enough for the garden patrol to manage the rest. I check under leaves of other plants like the gardenia and citrus trees (usually they have sooty mold if the populations are large and they get a trim to open up the air flow in the canopy and to remove the most infested branches as well as the water blast.
White flies are cyclical. There are always some of them around but they get especially troublesome every two years. When there are a lot of white flies around the predator population also rises and they start consuming the whiteflies. When the predator population gets very large, there aren't many whiteflies around so the predator population starts to decline. When most of the predators have fallen to their lowest levels, the white flies make a comeback.

Keeping the plants healthy by providing the right amount or air, water, nutrition, and light that they need makes them more resilient to survive. Heavily infested weak plants should be rogued out, bagged and trashed. Plants should be inspected weekly especially when they are actively growing for any kind of pests and appropriate measures should be started early to control their numbers while preserving the beneficial insects. Planting nectar and pollen plants to attract beneficial insects as well as providing habitat by planting trees and shrubs and providing nesting places and water.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:24 pm
by imafan26
IPM = Integrated pest management. The goal of integrated pest management is to grow healthy plants by managing the ecosystem using a common sense approach to pest management. IPM focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties.

1. Plant selection: Choosing the right plant for the right place
2. Optimize plant health. Healthy plants make poor targets. Make sure plants get enough water, nutrition, air, light and are suitable for your location.
3. Scouting plants and look for early signs of pests or disease
4. Identify the problem and select the least toxic intervention (Hand picking, pruning out diseased parts or removal of unhealthy plants, water to blast off pests and watering at the proper time of day to reduce disease. Select resistant cultivars. Make sure plants are spaced properly and are appropriate for the location, soil type, light and plant at the appropriate time of year. Light and reflective mulches can deter some night feeding insects. Sometimes planting slightly off season and rotating plant families if you have problems can reduce pest pressure. Select plants that grow well together and interplant with hosts for beneficial insects. Use the least toxic methods that works. If you must use chemicals, read and follow the label instructions and try to isolate the plants to minimize impacts on beneficial insects ( remove buds at least 2 days before treatment and continue to disbud while the chemicals are active. Most beneficial insects feed on nectar and pollen. Take preventive measures to control fungal diseases in humid and wet conditions.
5. Set a threshold for treatment. Give the predators time to control the pests. If you see pests are parasitized, do not treat.
Tolerate some damage, predators will leave if there is nothing for them to eat.
6. Build up a healthy garden patrol by providing habitat and nectar and pollen plants as well as host plants, nesting areas and water.

https://www3.epa.gov/pestwise/htmlpubli ... sheet.html
https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/w ... ponics.pdf

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:12 pm
by applestar
I found stinkbug eggs ALL OVER the garden today :evil:

Adults -- Currently mostly running into smallish brown colored stinkbug with sharply pointy shoulders. I always hold them in my hand to verify the proboscis, but I needed a refresher on how to tell them apart from Brown Soldier Bugs. I had forgotten about the line/spot where the wings meet at the tip. Must remember that.

Image
https://wvutoday.wvu.edu/resources/1/1309285290.jpg

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:21 am
by applestar
Here are those "stinkbug" eggs -- I assumed Brown Marmorated because those are the resident No1 population, but they could be Squashbug's or something else's. (We'll never know since these at least have been drowned in soapy water :twisted: )

Image

...and THESE are Harlequin Stinkbug eggs. They are such jokers, even their eggs are irritatingly intriguing and they look like they are giggling.... :evil:

Image

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:54 pm
by rainbowgardener
OMG ... "I always hold them in my hand" !! I have gotten a lot more bug tolerant over the years of gardening, but that one gives me the shivers just to think about.

Kudos! I do admire the attitude of acceptance of nature and being a part of things that that takes.

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:42 am
by imafan26
I saw a stink bug yesterday so they must be out. Luckily, I don't see that many of those. The leafhoppers on the other hand are another story.

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:04 am
by imafan26
Asian Flower Beetles
I caught one of these on my corn today. I usuallly see hordes of them on overripe papaya. They are about the size of your thumb and have a hard shell with white markings. Once they have gorged they get quite slovenly and sluggish it is the best time to brush them into a zip loc bag and seal it . I leave the bag out in the sun for a few hours and they are toast. Then I toss the bag in the trash. They usually only go after fermenting and damaged fruit so the best way to make them leave is good sanitation and removing overripe fruit. This is a type of scarab beetle that invaded Hawaii in the 1950's. Recently the rhino beetle has been attacking coconut trees and people are calling mistaking this beetle for the larger rhino beetle. Rhino beetles attack and can kill coconut trees. They live and breed in mulch so sitings of the beetle should be reported to the Department of Agriculture. It is difficult to control since landscapers will dump mulch anywhere they can to avoid tipping fees. Transporting of contaminated mulch allows the beetles to spread. The first rhino beetles were seen at Hickam AFB and has now been seen in other communities.

https://idtools.org/id/beetles/scarab/fa ... name=15220
https://hawaiinaturejournal.weebly.com/h ... wer-beetle

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:35 pm
by imafan26
Someone at work was talking about this green bug that was infesting his peppers. He said that neem wasn't working.
Green stink bugs are more common than the marmolated stink bug here. In spring and summer it seems like every sucking pest is out looking for a hapless plant to feast on.
While people want to be organic, few realize the limitations of organic pesticides. They don't work well on hard bodied insects like stink bugs. Keeping the plants as healthy as possible and planting insectary plants and providing habitat for beneficial insects is a better control. Natural enemies can do a decent job of control if they are given half a chance and a healthy plant is better able to weather an attack than a weak one. Hand picking is one way to control them. Look for the egg masses under the leaves and remove them. Control weedy hosts or grow trap plants that will attract them and hopefully stay away from the other plants.
The other hard bodied insects that will be out now are leaf hoppers, psyllids, beetles, grasshoppers, locusts, and weevils. Some insect eating birds will feast on them, and geckos do a good job of catching them too. Bt will work on most caterpilllars.

https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg ... nk_bug.htm

Re: Creature Feature

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:51 pm
by imafan26
Mosquitoes are hard to control. The ones here only need a 1/4 inch of water to breed. They start to get really bad 3 days after the rain has stopped or if you live near water that doesn't have good circulation.
The recommended controls are to empty saucers and anything in the yard that may hold water like ornamental bowls, hub caps, tires, and pans. People started ripping out bromeliads because they could breed mosquitoes, but it is not a problem if they are watered regularly. While they do hold water in the cups, mosquitoes need standing water to breed and if the water is changed daily they don't breed. I put a little bleach or soap in my water barrel to keep mosquitoes that get past my barrel filter from breeding and it works petty well. Not much gets past my filter. I put pieces of mosquito dunks in the fountain and other places that I cannot easily empty.

I don't get bitten very much but since Dengue fever, west nile (isn't here just yet, but could come on migrating birds from the West Coast eventually), zika virus ( cases have all been from people who travelled, but not one acquired locally), and mallaria are all mosquito borne illnesses you don't want to get. I usually wear long sleeves and pants with a hat out in the yard. If it has rained recently, I put on deet when I go out the door. The community garden has a lot of mosquitoes and there I have to make sure I get the deet on my face since they like to bite my face and neck since I usually don't spray deet in my face. I am considering getting a moscuito net hat for the garden. I saw one online.