GOOD BUG vs. BAD BUG – March installment

I hope you caught the earlier editions of this new series, GOOD BUG vs. BAD BUG.  If not, you can catch up here:  January Good Bug vs Bad Bug

February Good Bug vs Bad Bug

Bug vs Bug, Cabbage looper vs Parasitic Wasp

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The way to play is I will show you two pictures.  One is a “good” bug, one is a “bad” bug.  If you are not familiar with my attitude towards bugs, you can read my disclaimer here:  April’s Bug Beliefs’

You try to guess which one is good, and which one is bad….just by looking at the pictures.

Cabbage looper

Parasitic wasp by Esin Ustur.

BAD BUG – Cabbage looper #1

This is what I commonly think of as an inch worm.  They really don’t look very threatening, do they?  But you normally do not just have one.  You have 101 of these little buggers on your cabbage plant.   Each moth can lay 25-50 eggs per day.

When they hatch, they start munching on your cabbage, broccoli, or even kale plant.   They mostly zero in on cruciferous or brassica plants.

I think they are kinda cute looking, so I don’t have much bad to say about this BAD BUG.

GOOD BUG – Parasitic Wasp #2

Parasitic wasp does not sound very promising, does it?  Sounds downright creepy to me.  But they are very, very useful in the garden.  You should be happy every time you see them buzzing around.

The way these benefit you is they look for host insects to either lay their eggs in or on.  The eggs hatch and have an instant buffet available.

Some parasitic wasps are very specific and only attack spiders.  I bet some of you are cheering right now!

When I was looking for the pictures I wanted to use, I ran into a SUPER cool article about how after a wasp lays eggs in a caterpillar, the caterpillar’s saliva changes.

The difference in the saliva affects the plant and makes it less attractive to other moths.  This is FASCINATING stuff…and goes to show you that there is always more going on than we have a clue about.  You can check out this Science Daily article yourself.

Know someone else that needs to grow their own food?  Shoot them an email telling them about me, please!


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