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To squish or not to squish

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  To squish or not to squish

…that is the question!

When we see bugs in our gardens we immediately think, trouble.  But that’s not always true, in fact, there are many bugs we need in our gardens, they eat the bad bugs we don’t need! Take for instance this ugly little thing:

Lady bug larvae - photo by Lee Ruth buguide.net

Lady bug larvae – photo by Lee Ruth buguide.net

It looks somewhat like a tiny  spiny black and orange accordion!  These larvae are voracious aphid eaters.  We LOVE the lady bug at every stage!  DON’T squish!

Another scary looking creature is the Ground Beetle:

Ground beetle - photo from bugguide.net

Ground beetle – photo from bugguide.net

Ground beetles look like they’re armed for battle and those spindly legs aren’t’ the most attractive, but these guys eat all kinds of pests including snails and slugs!   DON’T squish!

This delicate specimen should be SQUISHED!  The White Cabbage Butterfly/Moth

Cabbage white butterfly-moth

Cabbage white butterfly-moth

The caterpillars munch your cabbage, broccoli and other leafy greens.

Cabbage white larvae

Cabbage white larvae

The pretty Cucumber beetle is definitely a Squishable!

Spotted cucumber beetle

Cucumber beetle striped

Cucumber beetle striped

Striped or spotted, these little devils will do in your cukes, squash and melons.

The Hoverfly looks like a little wasp.  It’s not, it’s really a fly in disguise.  It’s also a great pollinator and in the larva stage eats aphids, thrips and other small garden pests. 

Hover fly

Hover fly

If you’re squeamish about squishing then pluck the offending bug and plop them into a pail of soapy water!

BugGuide is a great site to peruse all kinds of crawly creatures.

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