Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What Do Ants and Duct Tape Have in Common?

What do ants and duct tape have in common?
Squash bugs!

I had a suspicion and confirmed it this morning.
Typically, I am in the garden every day, duct tape 
wrapped sticky side out around my hand, turning over
leaves to remove eggs and nymphs- 
sometimes an adult or two.

This year has been much easier.
Was it the cooler early Spring?
The extra rainstorms?

What I did notice was an overabundance of ants
climbing the stalks of my zucchini and yellow squash.
All over the leaves they marched about accompanied
by an odd number of very light spiders.

Then I found it- Ants eat squash bug eggs and nymphs!
Perfect- thanks ants.
But please stay IN the garden and not in the house!

 For folks concerned about ants, here is where ants are beneficial, they actually eat the squash bug eggs if they find them. We can stay ahead of a major infestation of squash bugs if we all kill every squash bug we see.

This is a photo of the zucchini I pulled out of the garden yesterday,
a complete surprise.  It wasn't nearly this large the last time I saw it.
Yellow squash is quickly following so we'll be grilling in no time.
This one is large so it may be turned into some delicious bread!


Sunnybrook Farm said...

That is good to know, I haven't seen ants eating the squash bug eggs. It could be a specific type of ant, you can start raising them and make a million dollars! I will have a look and see what my ants are doing.

Harry Flashman said...

Good for the ants. I only kill fire ants, I leave the rest of them alone. As long as they stay out of the buildings, as you point out.

Gorges Smythe said...

For everything there is a purpose, He tells us. Of course that purpose often escapes US! lol