This year, I wasn’t paying close enough attention to my front bed plants. They usually need very little care, because they are xeriscaped beds. The esperanzas (yellow bells) that are typically huge by now, we’re stunted. With the foliage all crinkled together, it was too hard to visually examine, so I ran my hand over the stalk, and I pulled away hundreds of aphids. In the evening I sprayed the plants with soap. For the next 2 days, I blasted them with water, in the morning and evening. The bugs are finally gone, and the plants are putting out new growth. I didn’t think about it until later, but I could’ve transferred some ladybugs from the back beds, and given them a nice meal, or two, or three! Ladybugs love to feast on aphids. It made me think of my favorite ladybug story involving my brother, who instilled his fear of all bugs, in all his kids. One day we were coming out of the grocery store (of course, our daily trip), when my very small niece was bravely trying to eliminate yet one more bug that might terrorize their world. My brother noticed she was about to step on a ladybug. He screamed, “Don’t kill the ladybug, they’re good.” My niece simply looked up and asked, “Are man bugs bad?”
One of my recent newsletters from Mother Earth News, has a good article on beneficial insects, so I’m brushing up on my bugs, and trying to attract more. Click here, to see pictures and info from the article.