This year is the year of the insects. It started off with the flea beetles......the early spring scourge. It doesn't matter where you grow in the country you will have flea beetles. Eventually they will disappear as the heat comes. Then the aphids moved in......I took care of those with some insecticidal soap.....easy enough. Then as spring progressed we got the invasion (early invasion) of Colorado potato beetles, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles. Keep in mind that what you are about to read is graphic. It is not suitable for young children or the faint of heart.
One of the most rewarding parts of growing using organic principles is the squishing of insects that have the potential to injure or sometimes kill your crops. SO I have declared war on potato beetles, squash bugs and cucumber beetles. Daily I peruse the beds where the crops they prefer are growing and squish away. Cucumber beetles are satisfying to squish. These little yellow bugs (with black dots or stripes) will eat absolutely anything.......and in a bad infestation they will kill germinating squash and curcurbit seedlings. But they aren't that juicy and they are hard to catch because they fly.
Then come the potato beetles. In their mature form the beetles only crunch......not squish......but when they are in their brown immature form (and demolishing your potatoes and eggplants) they are very juicy and squirt bug juice everywhere......you have to watch not to get in in your eye!!!
But by far the most satisfying squish is the squash bug........granted they are hard to find and if you drive by 47 Daisies you will probably see me down on all fours in the rows of squash searching for these evil creatures.
While this all may seem a little sick and demented I have squished on the order of 100,000 squash bugs between this season and last and it never gets old.......the constant battle between the bug and the squash harvest. Some people drop them in soapy water but I find that after the hard search for these secretive insects the best way to take care of them is to squish, squish, squish.........the downside is an orange stain on your fingers and an overpowering stench of squash bug that surrounds you like a cloud..........
So the ultimate solution.....get row covers......I am off to irrigation mart tomorrow to purchase some for mid-season squash..........
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )