Squashing Bugs

When I came home from work Tuesday, Hank said I probably should check the garden. He saw lots of bugs when he harvested vegetables for dinner.

Unfortunately he was right. 

Crap. I never have bugs.

Orange and black bugs covered the curly and Italian kale, sucking life from the leaves.

Prehistoric-looking bugs were clinging to the stems of my potato plants. Ditto.

Crap again.

I filled a yogurt container with soapy water and collected my garden gloves. I didn’t even change out of my work clothes.

I started with the kale bugs. First, I dropped the critters into the yogurt container to drown them. But the gloves slowed me down so I did it barehanded. After a while I stopped dropping the bugs into the yogurt container. I squashed them with my bare fingers, feeling a great deal of satisfaction when it appeared I got them all.

The bugs on the potatoes? They were too creepy to touch. I crushed them with my gloved hands. Then, I mixed up a concoction of red pepper, garlic, soap and water to spray the plants. The nozzle clogged so I vowed to visit our local gardening shop to find something safe to use.

This is what I learned from the woman behind the counter: Short of using some nasty stuff, I should pick the bugs, which are actually squash bugs, off the plants. She said lots of people were having the same problem, including her. It had something to do with our recent rains.

So that’s what I did when I got home last night. I swear I squashed a hundred. I will check the plants today to see if there are more. I can’t let them get the better of me or my garden.



One thought on “Squashing Bugs

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear Mrs. Livingston, I can relate to your bug delimmas! I returned to Western Massachusetts from a week long vacation to find my 60 tomato plants defoliated. As I crouched to look at the once extremely healthy and now sad immitations of tomato plants, I heard this loud crunching. Low and behold the leaves were moving. The garden had become the breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snack of the hornworm caterpillar!
    Apparently wasps lay their eggs on the hornworm hosts- supposedly revealing a healthy garden. Much to my gross-out-ed-ness! I hand picked every last one of those crunching buggars off the plants, and man did they hold on for dear life. I had a 5 gallon bucket full! We only harvested a few red tomatoes as a result, but we ate plenty of green tomatoes that year! Apparently if there is 1 – every garden within a mile will be infested. It was quite a challange keeping them in the bucket-those suckers move fast.
    We also had an ongoing battle with the dreaded orange slug- happily some beer and salt took care of those. The potatoe bug and her orange eggs – were an ever present entity in my garden too. I can remember giving up the gardening gloves and hand squishing thousands of those little devils and their eggs.

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