Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bug on Bug Violence

My roses are under attack. They're getting nailed badly by aphids again this year. And thrips, leaf cutters and leaf hoppers too. They're in a bad way right now.

In years past, I've tried insecticidal soap and neem oil with unimpressive results. I feel like the insecticidal soap is ineffective, and that the neem oil fries my leaves and petals. But I can't just let the aphids win! What to do?

Well, here's what I'm trying this year, praying mantis.

I bought an egg case from a The Lily Pad in the Olympia Farmers Market last week. The lady who sold it to me said that the eggs "activate" at 75 degrees, then hatch about three weeks later. With the weather we've been having this year, I'll be lucky if these little fellas hatch by August.

The egg case

I figure that even if they aren't successful in laying waste to our garden pests, they should at least make interesting new snacks for the chickens. I'll let y'all know how they work out - if they ever hatch.


  1. Have you tried lady bugs? They feast on aphids here, if the mantis doesn't work maybe lady bugs will. I've seen them at my garden store :) Good luck, go forth and feast Mantis!

  2. We have never bought lady bugs especially for the aphids because we usually have quite a few lady bugs around. In fact, every couple of years we have a sort of "plague" of them where they come into the house through every little nook and cranny. Maybe they're the wrong type? Is there a wrong type?