Monday, September 22, 2014

Pests a plenty....

     It must be that time of year for caterpillars to show up.  And, they have.  REALLY! 
Swarming over my green beans and gnawing through them.  On my carrots.  On my broccoli. Big black ones, and some that are grey with yellowish-orange stripes.  I don't remember them showing up last year.  I tried giving them to the chickens, but they ignored them.  So, I'm stepping on them.  YUCKY!!  GROSS!!

Squirrels, too!  I'm finding squirrel hoards in the garden.  All of the rain has brought them all to the surface.  Problem?  They are under my tomato plants.  In 3 places.  INSIDE the bird netting.   So, yes, I've been lax in keeping the netting pulled down and tight.  My bad!
I haven't found any of the tomatoes eaten, nor bothered, so maybe squirrels don't like them?

Yesterday, I watched a Thread-Waisted wasp working hard on digging a hole for her egg. She worked for an hour.  She covered it up with the rock just like the one below and to the right of the hole in pic above, and flew off to get a bug.  I wish I'd had my camera as she showed up with a small caterpillar, laid it down, moved the rock covering the hole and took it inside.  She laid her egg, then came out, picked up the same rock and wedged it into the hole. Then, she brought smaller rocks and sand and covered the rock.  Then, she would flick dirt and pine needles over the area.  If I didn't know it was there I'd never have seen it. What camouflage.  Then, she'd start on another hole.

Today, I only got this picture of her, or another like her.  She let me get within a foot while trying to photograph her.  She worked FOREVER on this hole, and I finally gave up while waiting for her to go find a caterpillar.   

Actually, she's not a pest, at least to farmers.  She eats nectar from plants like a bee, but she takes pests away for her eggs or to eat, so she's one of the good guys. 

She'd scare you, though, if she flew at you because she's scary looking.

She sort of reminds me of..... me.....


  1. Wow! Amazing how hard she works for one egg, then just to cover it and leave and trust she's done her best for it.

    1. Yup. It was cool to watch and I really wish I'd had the camera when she brought that caterpillar back.