Garden friend or foe

Thu. Mar. 12, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Friend or foe

To squish or not to squish, that is the question when confronted by insects in the garden, or more recently in my house! I posted to Facebook about an insect I wasn’t sure was good or bad. Turns out bad but I couldn’t find the little fella again. You’ll learn more on him in a moment!

Two-spotted stinkbug

To squish or not to squish, that is the question…

The Lacewing larvae is like a little aphid-eating lion!  Do NOT squish this wonder bug.

Lacewing larvae – University of Iowa
Lacewing – good bug
red aphids on heliopsis. Notice the soldier beetle

Aphids come in a variety of colors and they are NOT our friends.

Another squishable is the Emerald Ash Borer which has destroyed multiple millions of Ash Trees.

EAB – may be too elusive to squish… but worth a try

It may be pretty but it is extremely destructive.  For more information click HERE.  If you have EAB and want to treat for it, I would suggest calling on an Arborist.  You can consult with Faith Appelquist of Treequality.  Check out this video from my show Dig In Minnesota:

While this guy looks like he should be squished…

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar

and, it’s true, he/she may eat some of your plants…  When you see what this caterpillar becomes, I think you’ll find it worth it!  The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

There are a few types of swallowtail, including the Black Swallowtail.

Black Swallowtail butterfly

We’re all concerned about the honeybee and the fact that it’s numbers have diminished significantly.  Hold on to hope, we also have the Mason Bee. It’s a little solitary bee that ‘s a wonderful pollinator and rarely stings us.  Definitely a plus in the garden.

Mason bee

The Japanese Beetle is also a nasty pest that really made an impact last year.  While I would put this on the squish list, I will tell you, rather than squish it, throw this green goon in soapy water. 

‘music box’ rose. JB in July of 2019 photo by Teri Knight

And now to our final bug. This one should be squished with care. It’s called the Brown Marmorated Stink bug and it does!, stink that is.  This little horror will eat your vegetables, your fruits and your ornamentals. 

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug:

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Oh, and it will also invite itself into your home for the winter. And this is where my little two-spotted stink bug comes in. This is NOT a squishable in the house because, they really DO stink. Flush ‘em or usher ‘em out the door.

My two-spotted stink bug…. in the bathroom… ushered himself somewhere else in my home……………………………………….. ick.

Two-spotted stinkbug