Let me start by saying that I am not normally a violent person. If there must be a death, I prefer bloodless deaths (i.e. avalanche scene in Mulan). And I took 2 years of horticulture, just to get out of dissecting a frog. Seriously.
Today, instead of flaunting my flowers, I am flaunting my ability to squash bugs without ever touching them. My daughter said, “I’m sure lots of other people use the same method, they just don’t publicly acknowledge it”. She is probably right, but I have decided to share my method on the off chance that you are in need of a touchless bug removal system.
I have been battling squash bugs for a little while this summer. Since I prefer bloodless deaths, I try to remove and destroy as many eggs as possible. They often lay their eggs in the V of the squash leaves:
I either tear or cut that portion of the leaf off.
You can either scrape them off or remove the stem.
You want to make sure there is not any collateral damage, so you don’t want your insecticide to be too strong. To make Insecticidal Soap Spray, combine 2 tablespoons Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap with 1 quart water in a spray bottle.
And use the leaf to catch the bug: Then I place the folded leaf on a stone: And use my shoe to smash it: I put all the leaves, stems, and crushed bugs into a plastic bag like the one that blew into my yard on trash day:
When your plants are done producing, remove them immediately to lessen the chance of another infestation next year. Because instead of dying plants and ugly bugs, you want to see bees pollinating your squash flowers: So that you have an abundant harvest: I am not proud of either my squeamishness or my new prowess, but I do hope this helps you if your garden is ever invaded. Now go visit Tootsie Time to view gorgeous gardens from around the world.
What organic methods of pest control do you use in your garden?