Butt-Heads of the Garden

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Well, let's face it...
not every visitor to your garden is a welcome one.
Here are a few to be on the look-out for: GRASSHOPPERS: These insects are Satan's gift to the world.
They are incredibly voracious and will destroy your greenery overnight.
They are prolific and the baby ones can eat almost as much as their parents to aid their growing bodies.
We feed ours to the black widow spider or the koi.
KATYDIDS: Pretty much the same working plan as the grasshopper.
The only difference is that the katydid is cuter- it has back legs/wings that look like a real leaf.
Sadly, they are just as destructive.
THRIPS: Those tiny green bugs with wings that live in your grass and weeds and consume your plants.
This is why it is so important to pull your weeds so thrips do not have an environment to live and breed in.
Their feeding can cause discoloration, deformity and death of plant matter.
There are over 20 known plant viruses currently transmitted by thrips.
APHIDS: We all know these butt-heads annoying our roses and plants.
Green and numerous, they can be a heartache for a tender rose bush or unsuspecting plant.
Aphids are often infected with bacteria, fungi or viruses.
Fortunately there are natural enemies of the aphid, the ladybug or parasitic wasp being the strongest.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than watching a hungry ladybug devour an aphid.
SNAILS/SLUGS: These vile creatures can undo all your hard garden work in just one night.
Voracious eaters, they love tender new shoots and most often work at night.
During the day they hide in damp places, such as under fallen logs, rocks or planters, away from the sun.
We have heard many different methods to discourage snails and slugs that are safe around pets.
One is to spread crushed egg shells around the base of your plant...
they cannot go across the sharp shells.
We have heard of the beer method, where you sit a small can lid of beer in the ground nearby and they are attached to it, go inside and die; We tried this and it did not work.
We also heard of the salt method where you spread a line of salt and when they cross it it kills them...
this was not effective for us, either.
The best method we have found is to use the gel-like snail killer, which is the consistency of toothpaste and is spread around the base of your plants, When the slug walks through it, there is something in it that makes their skin expand and explode.
Problem solved.
SQUIRRELS: Yup, they sure are cute but horribly destructive.
They love to chew wires, cords, electric wires, drywall, plaster, you name it.
They especially love tender young plants and fruit.
They can also carry diseases such as the bubonic plague and rabies.
Unfortunately the only permanent solution is not a friendly one.
Making your garden pest-free is an ongoing battle, but, oh so worth it when you can sit back and enjoy your beautiful blooms!
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