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Profiles of a Few Beneficial Insects
July 21, 2014
I do enjoy feeding the birds.
I keep oranges and grape jelly for the orioles and sometimes a few other guests like Red bellied woodpeckers.
I pull open the curtains Friday morning this this picture.
Yes I do battle with the fur-beasts, but I had to stop for this picture.
This past Saturday we celebrated some birthdays.
Karen, her mom, and her sister have birthdays in July.
Mom turned 90.
Karen and her sister turn 29.
Actually, Today (July 21) is Karen's birthday.
Happy Birthday, My Love.
Later this week, Karen and I will take our short respite up north to our Bed & Breakfast in Bay View, MI.
Yolanda will spend the time with her respite at 'Hope Network'.
Check out this good looking raccoon (pictures at bottom of letter).
I wouldn't call it black, and I don't know if it would be considered a dark morph, but what a beauty.
It's been hanging around off and on since late winter.
These days, it is out more in the daylight hours, which makes me think something is wrong.
Fireflies have been around for a few weeks now, and seem to be peaking.
They are also (larvae) beneficial insects.
This week, beneficial insects
I try to keep politics out, or at least to a minimum, but this is important.
Sara Ann of Missouri asked that I spread this to all Missourians and everyone else interested.
"Missouri Amendment 1" may sound good, but is written to benefit Monsanto and other Big Chemical companies.
Missouri is the home state of Monsanto and has several politicians (local and federal) in their pockets.
Once again, Courtesy of 'Organic Consumers Association'.
He’s been labeled "prodigious pork-meister" (Providence Journal), "Senator Earmark" (Wall Street Journal) and "Most Corrupt" (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington). Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Monsanto’s home state of Missouri, has also been called a magnet for PAC money from the agribusiness industry, raking in over $243,000 in 2010 alone.
Bitoech’s investment in Sen. Blunt has paid off handsomely. Teaming up with Monsanto lobbyists, Sen. Blunt helped craft the language for the Farmer Assurance Provision. Aptly renamed the Monsanto Protection Act, it’s a sneaky rider that strips federal courts of their power to stop Monsanto from planting unproven, potentially dangerous crops.
Without any hearings, the provision was slipped into the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act 2013, and recently signed into law by President Obama.
Read that again.
Lady Beetles: The familiar round, orange spotted ladybug, or Lady Beetles is just one of more than 400 species of lady beetles found in North America.
Most ladybug adults and larvae feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insects.
Adults are attracted to flower nectar and pollen, which they must eat before they can reproduce.
The larvae are the true predators.
Hoverflies: You may call them flower flies or syrphid flies.
Adults often mimic small bees with striped abdomens.
you can quickly tell the difference, hover flies can hover, bees can't
The grayish or greenish slug- like larvae have pointed heads.
Hover flies are attracted to flowers to feed on nectar and pollen.
The larvae feed on aphids in tight places where other good bugs can't go, and are especially helpful in early spring, before other beneficial insects are active.
An added bonus......
The Flower Fly also pollinate strawberries and raspberries, producing larger fruits and higher yields.
Lacewings: Often mistaken as a leaf eating nuisance, the Lacewing is anything but.
Pale green or brown lacewing adults have distinctive large, veined wings and feed mainly on flower nectar.
Lacewing larvae, however, are voracious predators that feed on aphids, thrips, scales, moth eggs, small caterpillars and mites.
Well worth attracting these good looking insects.
Wasps: Hunting and parasitic.
There are hundreds of Hunting and parasitic species of wasps, including many that are so tiny you can barely see them.
These mini-wasps often attack the eggs of pests, and are one of the most important insect groups that provide control of garden pests.
They can be attracted by growing by pollen and nectar plants.
Some lay eggs on their prey, or bring the prey to the nest.
Ground Beetles: Large, long-legged, shiny blue-black or brown beetles that hide under rocks and logs during the day, and are fast-moving when disturbed.
Yes, those bugs you stomp on and kill.
They feed on slugs, snails, cutworms, root maggots, and Colorado potato beetle larvae.
Attract them by providing perennial ground covers, stones, or logs.
Rove beetles may resemble earwigs without pincers, and feed on many insect pests and like similar conditions to ground beetles.
Predatory Bugs The list includes Minute Pirate Bugs, Ambush Bugs and Assassin Bugs, Soldier bugs, and Big-Eyed Bugs (pictured).
These bugs prey on many insects, including tomato hornworms, thrips, spider mites, many insects' eggs, leafhopper nymphs, corn earworms and other small caterpillars.
Pirate bugs are attracted by willows, buckwheat, corn and nectar and pollen from many flowers.
Predatory bugs are attracted to bunch grasses, shrubs and other permanent plantings that provide them shelter.
A Side Note:
Beneficial Insects not only feed on bad bugs, but are non select and will grab some of the good guys as well.
Yes, even larvae of the same species.
An example may be an Assassin Bug, snagging a bee, or larvae of a Lacewing.
A predatory wasp disables a spider for to feed to a hatching egg.
They aren't fussy, they snag whatever they catch.
The wonderful circle of life and the natural ways of keeping it all in balance.
It works, it really does.
Kick the big chemical companies out.
Vote with your money and your feet.
Well, it is time to fly for now.
Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) American First Lady
God's living word speaks of overcoming fear through him.
Here are a couple examples:
For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?
"Treat the earth well:
It was not given to you by your parents,
It was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our
Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."
Ancient Indian Proverb
Your friend indeed,
Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.
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