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Bug Boundaries and Insect Invitationals

| 6/22/2017 11:06:00 PM


Most people who know me well are aware that I put a lot of time into my little piece of paradise (aka  garden) during the growing season. I love raising my babies, replete with chatter, adoration, and cheerleading. Suffice it to say, I’m not overly pleased with the specific insects that love the same plants that I harvest to feed my family.

While I definitely lean toward having a balanced ecosystem in our garden — one where there’s room (and purpose) for everybody — I haven’t quite gotten to the place where I’m willing to sacrifice a plant to the insects in order to keep a plant for us… and, so I pick.

I have a couple of ambiguous-looking containers sitting out at the ready for my picking (see bottom photo). They originally held plain water with a bit of dish soap mixed in. At this point, I’m not sure what a chemist would read on her meters if she were to dip a probe into the liquid inside. My containers have been the death trap for a multitude of pests and the solution is now an odorous slurry of past lives.

While I honor, enjoy watching, and cherish many of my crawling and flying friends, there are some with whom I simply insist on drawing a line — the line around our property. If they stay outside that line, I hold them no ill-will. If they cross it into our space, it’s the container for them. These pesky voracious li’l buggers include Colorado potato beetles, Japanese bean beetles, slugs, cabbage moths, and mosquitoes — though the latter only when actively feasting on me and they don’t make it to the container. I put all stages of the others into the solution, from eggs to adult.

I use no pesticides in our garden. This is an active choice on my part. Even though some people prefer the time-saving, I would rather have food free of such chemicals. My method can be tedious if I’m feeling rushed. That’s why I tend to be more meditative about it.

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