Thanks to those of you who responded to my plea for suggestions concerning the sudden infestation I've had in my garden. The bummer news is that today, I discovered that the long, slender black bug, which my friends Beth and Sherm call a Blister Beetle, has found the tomato plants down in the garden below the barn. Closer inspection of my turnips and okra revealed that the orange spotted beetle, now identified as the Harlequin Beetle, has also found its way there.
I read all I could find on these voracious pests, and short of bringing in kill-everything-that-it-touches pesticides, my approach today was to make a mixture of a large quantity of cayenne pepper and nicotine in soapy water. I took my sprayer down to the garden where it promptly exploded and drenched me in my own concoction. Nonetheless, I was determined my plan of attack would not be thwarted, so I started again and drenched the hell out of every beetle I saw and all the plants in the neighboring areas. I have no idea if my attempt at eradication will work, but I did feel quite satisfied when I saw the veggie-munching bugs falling of the vines in what looked like an attempt to run for their lives.
I leave tomorrow to visit my folks in NC for a few days. My hope is that when I return the Blister and Harlequin Beetle clans will be pushing up daisies. I've got my fingers crossed, but realistically, I know there's an army of those suckers that I didn't get. Hopefully, their relatives will spread the word that my potion is no fun and they'll all go away.
Wishful thinking, huh??