Monday, September 12, 2011

stink bug: solution?

The stink bugs, the ones introduced to this country in the last 10 years, are just awful. We have no squash and the cucumbers were quickly disappearing. There is a spray, untested, that has been approved for agricultural use, but we would not use it here. We have found some other solutions. One, Homer made a mash up of a variety of plants the stink bugs never visit, and sprayed it on the cucumbers. Here is the result:

around it, other cucumber plants withered and died. This one is still going strong.

2nd, our pal George, who has been selecting seeds for productive, bug and disease resistant winter squash, gave us some seeds this year. Amazing, he still had a squash from 2009. It was unblemished, solid and full of seeds. He also gave us a package of seeds from his best squash from 2010. We planted 4 rows, and are keeping the balance of the seeds safe. The seeds came to us late in the planting year, so we hope to have something to pull of the vine before it gets too cold. They have resisted everything and have plenty of flowers. We will need to get hoops and fabric row covers on them this week if we hope to keep the plants alive. Temperatures are going into the 40's at night.

Another way to combat unwanted bugs is with spiders. There are spiders all over the farm now. This one is a bit larger than most, more colorful than the others, and spins a beautiful web when touched with morning dew.

In action. We wish it was a stink bug and not a cricut. This move is impressive anyway you look at it.

Just like that, mummified!

Of course, the chickens eat the stink bugs and their offsprinng (tiny things that look like the adults and stink just as much) without a moments hesitation. Here is what they get done in a day. Not much left but the deeper roots they can't scratch out.

We will figure out how to slow those stink bugs down, even without spraying everyone else to death. Including us.

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