In Which the Bugs and I Arrive at an Understanding

When I arrived at the solution to the Leaf Footed Bug situation, I had determined that I would create a special plot with just sunflowers and okra that would be specifically for their use, and where they could live undisturbed by me. I wasn’t sure how soon I would be able to create this plot, and I carried on using the spray bottle with the soap and orange oil whenever I saw them in either the garden at the side of the house or the garden in the power line cut.

This didn’t feel right. There was a nagging thought in the back of my mind asking where the bugs could live until I was able to create their own plot. In my July 30 entry, I reported that the way to remove Leaf Footed Bugs from the garden is to hold a tub containing soapy water in it just under where the bugs are located, and spray them with soapy water. I said that the bugs will almost invariably fly down into the soapy water in the tub.

Shortly after posting that, I went out to the side garden to check for bugs. I saw some on one of the sunflowers and got ready with my tub and spray bottle. Before I had a chance to even spray anything, the bugs on the flower flew up and away, instead of down into the tub, and one of them even flew right into my face, hitting me on the cheek. This happened with almost all of the bugs I found in that part of the garden. I went down to the lower garden (in the power line cut), and pretty much the same thing happened down there. I had very little success in catching any of the bugs – maybe three out of eight or more at the very most, where previously I had caught at least eighty percent of the ones I tried to catch.

I had that nagging thought again, and this time I realized that it was important to pay attention to it. And I also realized that the solution was already there. I told the Leaf Footed Bugs (and Stink Bugs, and any other bugs that like to feed on tomatoes and peppers) that they could live on the sunflowers and okra plants in the lower garden where there were no tomato or pepper plants, only beans and cucumbers, and I told them that I would not bother them there but if I found any in the side garden, they would be removed. I had been experiencing some tension over this problem, and immediately upon making this declaration, I felt a sense of relief.

The following day, I found three bugs in the side garden. I was able to remove them with no problems. This was a noticeable difference from my experience of the previous day. In the lower garden, there were even more of the bugs there than I had seen previously. And the interesting thing is that they didn’t seem at all concerned about my presence there. Where the previous day they would fly away if I came within a foot or two of where they were, on this day, I was able to come within a few inches without getting any response from them at all.

I took these pictures of a family of Leaf Footed Bugs living on a sunflower plant in the lower garden. I actually do like these bugs. I just need them to leave my tomatoes and peppers alone. The second picture also shows the cool looking grasshopper that was hanging out nearby

Leaf Footed Family

Leaf Footed Family and Grasshopper

Yesterday there was one Leaf Footed Bug in the side garden. When I held the tub of soapy water underneath where it was located, it just dropped right down into it without my even having to spray it. And the number of leaf footed bugs and stink bugs I found in the lower garden had already increased by about a quarter since the day before.

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