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Insect Damage and control

12 years ago

I recently attended two interesting talks in Boscawn NH, presented by Dottie Perkins of UNH Cooperative Extension, on garden pests. What I esp liked was her organic approach to things and encouraging beneficial insects.

Last night a friend said her garden has been destroyed by insects this year - she thinks grasshoppers. I have seen a couple of grasshoppers in our yard but not many. I am now on tomato hornworm patrol and last night saw the first one with parasitic wasp eggs attached so he go to live (which probably won't be much longer). I am dismayed to see a lot of activity esp around white garden phlox by hummingbird moths ... which lay eggs that become tomato hornworms. But I don't have serious damage like she does.

My worst problem is striped cucumber beetles and squash bugs so I try to find eggs to remove/squish.

What seems to be odd is that the Japanese beetles seem to favor a particular weed. There's a few of this particular weed and at this point in the summer, the leaves are skeletonized. Adjacent bean plants aren't touched. I wonder if this weed is a trap crop?

Do you have plants that act as trap crops for you? Any advice on preventing/controlling cuke and squash beetles?

My husband recently mowed the meadow that abutts my vegetable garden. We had a 4' swath of lawn grass as a buffer. Now I'm worried that the hungry bugs that used to live in the meadow are going to take up new residence in my vegetable and flower gardens.

BTW Borage might be a little ugly looking but it sure attracts bumble beeds.

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