Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Battling the Southern Army Worm

        This  morning as I searched through the tomatoes I pulled this one because the side I was looking at looked just about ripe, but when I pulled it this critter was hanging on the back. Unfortunately for this guy his fate was sealed and he perished shortly after being photographed. According to Google, this seems to be a southern army worm.  After identification I searched "what to do about Southern Armyworm" of course the first result is link to Bayer Crop Science  and their Belt® insecticide.  Uh, no thanks, besides my general distrust of insecticides I once rear ended a guy in a Corvette who gave me his business card while we were exchanging insurance info.  Below the line that read "Vice-President Bio-Technical Division Bayer Corporation" I am pretty sure it said something to the effect of  "I have enough money to have you killed".
         So rather than turn to science or even the bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis) that some recommend, I just can't bring by self to spray food my kids are going to eat with pesticide, I go all organic and just smoosh the little guy. Then  I remove a large portion of the tomatoes to ripen inside. This has made me realize that I need to find ways to fight these pests in the garden. This year my main bug control was simply to keep things as neat and nicely weeded as I could, but I will have to break down and spray with a little soap and water.  From here I need to work to increasing the beneficial insects like worms and ladybugs.

1 comment:

  1. Chickens help with the bugs, but they'll tear up seedlings and get part of your other veggies. It's a balancing act. My plan is to get some guinea fowl this year and to set up their coop by the garden. Supposedly, they eat all the pests (squash bugs are my biggest garden enemy), but they don't scratch up the ground and they don't eat the veggies. I guess I'll find out next spring.