That's what I've become!
My poor garden. Just when I thought it was improving after my deligent battle against the onslaught of cucumber beetles, I am now dealing with a new crop of foes.
Squash Bugs on the squashes, cucumbers and melons:
And their eggs on the underside of leaves - that I've been scraping off:
In addition to chewing away at the plants, they can also transmit a disease called Yellow Vine Decline. They are soooo annoying and are like little tanks since their exoskeleton is kinda hard. They don't just smush when I stomp 'em, so I'm starting to drop them into a bucket of soapy water. So there you little demons! And I have few other tricks up my sleeve too, the wretches. They remind me of stink bugs and I really dislike stink bugs too!
Aphids on the okra (just one plant, thankfully, but it was covered all of a sudden. At least aphids are relatively easy to get rid of):
Tobacco Hornworm on a tomato plant. These guys can get up to four inches long! The one I found was munching away and was about two inches and seemed to not have a care in the world. The chickens thought otherwise!
And the cucumber beetles are still on attack, but I am keeping them from totally taking over. Not only do they eat away at the plant itself, they can transmit bacterial wilt that will kill the whole plant by basically causing it to shrivel up and die.
Poor Sophie has had to shield her ears from some of the colorful words spewing forth from my mouth whilst killing bugs. "You %#$@&#% bug!" I'm not a cusser, but the cussed creatures are turning me into one.
I think it's time to dust most of my plants and the ground around them with diatomateous earth. I put it all around the chickens to help keep mites and other pests away and now it's time to start using it in the garden. I just didn't have a clue there would be so many creatures attacking this year since last year all I had were Mexican Bean Beetles! I've been using a Neem insecticide that's considered safe, but it will harm bees, so I have to be careful to not use it on any of the flowering plants. The diatomateous earth will kill the aphids and most soft-bodied pests, but doesn't work if it gets wet - and we've been getting a lot of rain this week.
So... I've become a bug killin' machine. Mike took a picture of me last night as I was going after the squash bugs.
"Die you nasty creature!"