October 29, 2016

Bugs – Good or Bad?

Follow along as we identify bugs in our garden.

This is a nest of Fire Ants. They are not usually a problem in the garden but they do farm aphids for honey dew so you may find them on your plants. They do bite.

Found on the west coast of the USA the yellow spotted millipede is a friend in our gardens. It feeds on plant litter breaking it down to become nutrients in the soil.

Garden spiders are both friend and foe. They eat good and bad bugs and bees.

There are many types of Bumble bees that frequent the gardens, all of them are good but if you unknowing brush across them you may get stung.

Ladybugs, again there are many varieties of ladybugs, both the adult and the larvae feed on soft bodied insects. 

The Spotted Cucumber Beetle always bad, this bug feeds on the leaves and petals of dahlias. It loves eating white and yellow flowers.

Earwigs, early in the life of the dahlia plant these guys cause a lot of damage to the foliage. the damage looks like slug damage without slug slime left behind. Earwigs are omnivores they will feed on slug and snail eggs as well as pollen, petals and foliage. One of the biggest issues with them is that they like sleeping in the flower petals.

Aphids and Ants. Ants are of themselves are not a problem. When they farm aphids they become a pest, moving aphids from plant to plant. Aphids in large numbers can damage new growth and bud formation. even in small numbers they can transfer disease from one plant to another. 

Moles tunnel in the garden sometimes causing enough root damage to wilt a plant. Moles feed on insects and worms not plants. The tunnels that moles dig are used by voles and mice both will feed on dahlia tubers.

Garden slugs can be tan to gray in color they grow to 2″ long and love eating young dahlias.

Green slugs come in shades from tan to dark brown they grow up to 4″ and love eating young dahlias.

The Spotted slug likes eating young dahlia plants and other slugs and slug eggs.