Bugs & Critters

Passion Butterfly

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Up until this year, the usual lineup of flutterers has included the tiger swallowtail, the black swallowtail, and the occasional monarch butterfly. But this year, all of a sudden it seemed, I had a new butterfly in the garden I’d never noticed before. This new one, it was everywhere I went. I did wonder what […]

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Bumblebee Moth

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

When we first saw this huge moth feeding on the butterfly bush, my first thought was, “It looks like a cross between a hummingbird and a bumblebee!” It’s actually a Bumblebee Moth (Hemaris diffinis), also known as a Snowberry Clearwing Moth, to the best of my bug-identifying ability. The wings, which are partially clear, can […]

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Broad-Headed Skink

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I was pleased to get this photo of a broad-headed skink sunning himself on a flagstone in my garden recently. By his coloration (the red head) I could identify it as a male. They have that bright noggin in the spring to attract the ladies. The female broad-headed skink doesn’t have the red head. It’s […]

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Persimmon Attack

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

When I was a kid, persimmon attacks were common, particularly among the brothers in my family. Actually, exclusively among the brothers in my family. I’m under a different kind of persimmon attack now. And while the attack of yesteryear (being pelted with persimmons) is unpleasant, this new kind is bad in a different way. My […]

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Cold Winter vs. Insects

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Does a hard winter kill off insect pests? Every time there is a particularly cold winter with a lot of below-freezing temperatures, one comment I hear is from folks hoping at least it will kill off the bad bugs. By the same token, when the winter is especially mild, people are heard to say they […]

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Cicada Moult

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Never having seen a cicada in mid-moult, I was fascinated to find this one in my yard this weekend. Their sounds are the background music for nearly every summer (“Can you say that again!? I can’t hear you over the cicadas!”) and I’ve often seen their exuvia (the cast-off exoskeletons), but never witnessed how they […]

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Tiger Swallowtail

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

  The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the state butterfly of many states, especially in the southeastern US. They seem abundant this year. Or maybe I’ve been seeing the same pair over and over again. Either way, they’re welcome here. They float high over the trees, swoop through our garden, and they’re off again. They seem […]

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Black Swallowtail

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I’ve been wondering for some time whether or not the single clump of bronze fennel I grow in my garden has been earning its keep. I don’t really cook with it, and it has grown so large, stretching over six feet tall and several feet wide, at one end of the asparagus bed.  Was it […]

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How I Kill Voles

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I thought of titling this post How I Catch Voles, to avoid the use of the word kill, but the truth is, I don’t capture them and release them to the wild. I don’t enjoy vole-icide, but when, the other day, I went into the garden and saw practically an entire row of almost-ready-to-be-picked, extremely […]

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Cucumber Beetles

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Year before last, I had so many cucumbers I didn’t know what to do with them.   I collected baskets and baskets and made dozens of jars of relish, pickles, and jelly.  Just kidding, I didn’t make cucumber jelly. But I was tempted. Then last year, I blithely planted cucumbers again without a worry in the […]

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Leafhoppers

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

The other day I was hanging out in my potato patch, just watching lady beetle larvae crawl all over the place.  I turned over a leaf and saw this: The photo isn’t very good, and it’s hard to describe what’s going on in it, but it seemed like there were ants crawling all over a […]

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Transformation

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

Our yard and garden has been crawling with these tiny, alligator-y, black and orange critters. Do you know what they are? How about this? How about now? The first photo is the larval stage of the lady beetle. The second pic shows the pupa of the same. Of course, in the third shot, we all […]

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Click Beetles

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

This is the Big Eyed Click Beetle, of the family Elateridae. Handsome.  Unfortunately its larvae, wireworms, can be devastating to a potato crop and root crops like carrots.  Following the carbon dioxide released by the target plant it bores into them.  They’re very tough to get rid of, pesticide resistant, and provide a starter hole […]

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Discouraging Voles the Pretty Way

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I wish I could say controlling voles, or getting rid of voles, but I can’t.  The best I can manage is politely discouraging them. But it isn’t bad because the method I’m using has other benefits, flowers, for one. I’m planting narcissus (daffodil) bulbs along the perimeter of the garden.  Voles dislike narcissus, I like […]

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Bacillus Thuringiensis

by Daisy Bugs & Critters

I love cole crops.  Brassicas. Of course I’m not alone.  Brassicas are considered the most important edible species out there.  Broccoli, turnips, rutabagas, mustard greens, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage.  Yum. And also of course, bugs love ’em, too.  Lepidoptera, unfortunately.  Pretty bugs.  Moths and butterflies lay eggs on the leaves of brassicas, and the […]

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