I’m no expert, but I have been gardening locally for 35 years and formerly worked as an IPM Tech for the UAF Co-operative Extension Service.
I also received my master gardening certificate back in 1996, and people use to call me the ‘bug lady’.
That was a loooong time ago, but I still can’t help observing the visitors to my gardens, lawns and trees, and those of others around the community.
This summer has revealed a lot of insects, some that I haven’t seen in a long time. Maybe the extreme heat and the heavy rains of June are the reasons why.
If you’re a gardener like me, you probably know what I’m talking about. But sometimes a distance of 20 miles makes circumstances different.
Aphids are common on many plants, but black ones, not so much. Thrips are having way to much fun on the lilacs, and they’re beginning to make their way
onto the potted flowers. I hate when that happens! Both can be controlled thru various methods. A swarm of green leafhoppers visited my house the other day, as well as some grasshoppers, a sign that someone was mowing a field of grass nearby. And to my surprise, a few capsus bugs dropped to the ground off of a tall blade of wild grass in hopes of being undetected, but I saw them…..Too many can cause problems for someone growing grass seed for market.
This time of year, the deep green in deciduous trees and shrubs seems to have vanished, as leafminers have left their whinding trails behind.
Sitting around the camp fire the other night, we were imagining how scarry it would be if suddenly all the insects lit up neon.
But there is one insect I look forward to every summer and it arrived a few days ago, right on time and right when I needed them. Swooping all around me as I sat on my John Deere, mowing the lawns and cutting back the brush, they arrived on cue devouring the mosquitos and gnats my mower and I had stirred up.
‘Hello dragonflies!’ Zooming in just inches from my head, I never worry because all they’re after are the pests attacking it.
Mother nature has a way of keeping things in check, doesn’t she. If aphids or tortrix caterpillars become overly abundant, perhaps she will allow the yellow jacket population to multiply to feast on them. It’s possible.
Walk in the woods and take a new look. It’s surprising what’s happening around us.