Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - (Page 42)

What’s bugging you? How to tell the good bugs from the bad BY LYNN COULTER D id you know your garden is delicious—even the flowers and shrubs? Would you guess that it’s a wonderful place to live, even when the sun beats down or the rain starts to pour? It’s true. Maybe your kids turn up their noses at blossoms for dinner, and you don’t want to be out in the elements, but for many bugs, your garden is a paradise. It’s packed with good things for them to eat and safe hiding places where they can build homes and raise their young. But that’s not necessarily bad news. We have both friends and foes in the insect world, and while some critters are harmful, others are “good guys” that benefit us, and we ought to roll out the welcome mat and encourage them to hang around. Gail Woody, a Georgia and Carroll County Master Gardener, is widely known as the “bug lady.” When she’s not working in project management for the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, she’s speaking to garden clubs and schools about her passion for butterflies (she calls them “flowers with wings”), among other insects. “There is a balance needed in our gardens,” Woody says, discouraging gardeners from using potentially dangerous chemicals to attack the bugs that chew on foliage and chomp on flowers. “Chemicals aren’t host-specific. They kill the good and bad insects” indiscriminately, which leaves the population of good guys versus bad out of whack. It’s better, if you must use chemicals, to start with mild ones, and with those that target your particular problem. You can always step up to a stronger chemical, if needed. COURTESY OF DAVID CAPPAERT, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, BUGWOOD.ORG COURTESY OF MGIMELFARB,WIKI COMMONS But Woody prefers combating pests in other ways, like growing plants that attract their natural enemies. “Did you know that long ago, every home had a kitchen garden?” These gardens included plants from the carrot family, whose flowers grew in clusters that resembled flattened parasols. Woody says these clusters, or umbrels, from the Latin word for umbrella, “have been known historically for their enormous biological importance as crop plants. They are very attractive to beneficial insects, the so-called ‘good bugs,’ that act as pollinators, soil builders or predators of pest insects in the landscape.” She recommends growing umbellifers to attract predators like ladybugs, which feast on aphids, lacewings and scale insects. Umbellifers also draw beneficial parasitic wasps and predatory flies. “Fennel is the top choice for ladybugs and is also the host plant for the black swallowtail butterfly.” www.georgiamagazine.org The good guys (clockwise from top): Although bumblebees are our primary pollinators, swallowtail butterflies, like this one, also benefit our gardens. Bumblebees, which are related to honeybees, are not usually aggressive, and will seldom sting unless their nest is threatened.This bee is visiting a red Echinacea blossom, but “bumbles” are also drawn to geraniums, hollyhocks, roses, sedum and other flowers. A ladybug, resting on a daisy, feeds on destructive aphids and other soft-bodied pests. A bug primer Which bugs should you encourage, and which ones should get the boot? Here’s a rundown: Good bugs • Beetles or ladybugs. These spotted adults and their larvae feed on soft-bodied pests like aphids. People sometimes buy them to release into the garden, which Woody says is fun, but virtually useless. “They will feed until the food supply ends, lay eggs and fly away.” Invite ladybugs to stay by planting pollen-packed flowers like cosmos, geraniums, marigolds and coreopsis. GEORGIA MAGAZINE 42 COMMONS.WIKIMEDIA.ORG/WIKI/FILE:LADYBUG_ON_A_FLOWER.JPG#FILELINKS http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - July 2010

Georgia Magazine - July 2010
Contents
Viewpoint
Mailbox
Picture This?
Georgia News
Calendar
Currents
Special Energy Report
Where the Wild Things Are
Still Going Strong
Reliving History and Exploring Nature
Around Georgia
Georgia@Home
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Cookbook of the Month
Snapshot

Georgia Magazine - July 2010

Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Magazine - July 2010 (Page Cover1)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Magazine - July 2010 (Page Cover2)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Magazine - July 2010 (Page 3)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Contents (Page 4)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Viewpoint (Page 5)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Mailbox (Page 6)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Picture This? (Page 7)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia News (Page 8)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia News (Page 9)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Calendar (Page 10)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Calendar (Page 11)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Calendar (Page 12)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Calendar (Page 13)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Currents (Page 14)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Currents (Page 15)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Special Energy Report (Page 16)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Special Energy Report (Page 17)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Where the Wild Things Are (Page 18)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Where the Wild Things Are (Page 19)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Where the Wild Things Are (Page 20)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Where the Wild Things Are (Page 21)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Still Going Strong (Page 22)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Still Going Strong (Page 23)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Still Going Strong (Page 24)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Still Going Strong (Page 25)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Still Going Strong (Page 26)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Still Going Strong (Page 27)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Reliving History and Exploring Nature (Page 28)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Reliving History and Exploring Nature (Page 29)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Reliving History and Exploring Nature (Page 30)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Reliving History and Exploring Nature (Page 31)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Reliving History and Exploring Nature (Page 32)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Reliving History and Exploring Nature (Page 33)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Around Georgia (Page 34)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Around Georgia (Page 35)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia@Home (Page 36)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia@Home (Page 37)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia@Home (Page 38)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia@Home (Page 39)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - My Georgia (Page 40)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - My Georgia (Page 41)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Gardens (Page 42)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Gardens (Page 43)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 44)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 45)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 46)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 47)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 47A)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Georgia Cooks (Page 47B)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Cookbook of the Month (Page 48)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Cookbook of the Month (Page 49)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Snapshot (Page 50)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Snapshot (Page Cover3)
Georgia Magazine - July 2010 - Snapshot (Page Cover4)
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