Them good bugs


May 22, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

I was out in the garden, looking at my artichoke plants, noting how they seemed to be doing fairly well this year. Most years I had aphid problems that killed off lots of the leaves, leaving plants that didn’t look too healthy.

Then one morning I looked and ants were running up and down the leaves, telling me … aphids. First thought was to try some semi-organic spray with pyrethrins to kill those suckers off.

Then I thought: let’s do a little research.

I found this site from Oregon State University: Crop and Garden Pests in the Pacific Northwest. Well, I thought, that’s pretty close to our climate and began studying the beneficial bugs that ate the pesky ones. I then went back out to the garden and said, “Whoa, I don’t want to kill any of these bugs. The ladybug larva was eating aphids, not the leaves! I left them alone and in 2 weeks I now have several beneficial insects, more ladybugs and much healthier looking artichoke plants. Plus more artichokes than I can eat. And no aphids.

So I thought here’s some cheerful news for UkiahBlog.

Just go to this site and learn the wonders of beneficial insects (natural enemies) and how to attract them. I printed the information for myself on matt photo paper. The photos are great: Most of the photographs in this pocket guide are from the Ken Gray collection. All other photographs are from the author.

The pdf to print out is here.


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