Well, last year this really creepy bug came along - and there were lots of them. At first, I squished them. Then I decided I needed to figure out what they were. I had never heard of an assassin bug.
I read what I could find in my gardening books, then I did an internet search with images. Cute, huh? I found out they are very beneficial insects, so I quit squishing them. And after a while, I decided they weren't so creepy after all.
For some reason these bugs liked to congregate on a couple of my pepper plants. Across the garden I had a squash plant that was just covered in squash bugs so I thought I would do an experiment. I went out one morning and gathered up about 20 assassin bugs in a jar (I wore gloves, of course!) and dumped them out on the squash plant. I had no idea whether or not it would work, but a few days later, the squash bugs were almost entirely gone.
What a great discovery! Well, this spring, I have been watching for their return. A friend saw a weird little bug on my porch last week that I thought might be an immature or nymph assassin bug so I did another internet search that confirmed that it was. But I still don't have a lot of confidence in my knowledge and ability to identify some insects.
I know the squash bugs are here because I have seen a few and this morning I began finding their eggs on my squash plants. (See the gloves? I don't like to touch bugs!)
So I went on a more detailed search through the garden and found and squished about 20 squash bugs. I picked off the leaves that had the eggs on them and fed them to the chickens.
And then, in the midst of my search, there was that weird little bug again. And guess what? He was eating a worm! Yahoo! The assassin bugs are back!
It's funny the things we get excited about. I never thought I would be so happy to see such a creepy little bug!
Until next time - Fern