GOOD BUG vs. BAD BUG – January installment

Learn if the bug in your garden is a good bug or a bad bug.

When you are new to gardening, how do you know if that pretty little green bug whirling around your head is a GOOD BUG or a BAD BUG?

Aphid vs. Ladybug Which is the good bug and which is the bad bug?

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I have very few BAD BUGS in my area that I worry about except the dreaded SQUASH BUG.  But that is a story for this summer.

When you are just starting to garden, you want to protect your cute little sprouts from every bad thing.  Sometimes the bad things are bugs. No bug is really bad.  We just don’t like some of their behavior.

Today I am going to show you a couple of pictures.  See if you can guess which is the GOOD BUG and which is the BAD BUG.

Good Bug Ladybug on a habernero plantBad Bug Single Aphid by Andy Murray

The red bug is a classic ladybug. The green bug is an aphid.  This is an extreme closeup of an aphid.

BAD BUG – Aphid

Normally you will see aphids in groups.  Aphids will suck the life out of your precious plants.  They are also called plant lice. (Yuck)

Part of the reason aphids create so many problems is they are able to reproduce very quickly sexually and asexually.  You can read more here about these pesky pests.

Group of aphids

Now when you see this on your plant, you will know it’s time to take some measures to save your plants.  As with everything in nature, it will correct itself in time.

To help things along you can squirt some soapy water on them.  Just dilute a few teaspoons of dish soap in a small bucket of lukewarm water and use a sponge or spray bottle to coat them.  You are trying for a 2-3% solution.  A little dab will do you.  Do not coat the entire plant.  Just spray where you see the bugs.  The sudsy water has to make contact.

GOOD BUG – Ladybug

In this example, the ladybug is the GOOD BUG.  They actually eat aphids.   Ladybugs will even lay their eggs in a colony of aphids to ensure the ladybug babies have something to eat.

They are called ladybirds in Britain and occur all over the world.  Not all ladybugs are red and some can actually damage plants.  Here is some more info about ladybugs.

The natural approach would be to wait until ladybugs show up.  You can also purchase ladybugs to release in your garden.

Yay, ladybugs!

Stay tuned for the next installment of GOOD BUG vs. BAD BUG.

Do you know anyone else that is interested in learning to grow their own food?  Please send this to them!

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