Been out clearing the long grass from along the bean fence this morning as the runners are starting to sprout and with all the "cover" the snails are snacking on the new shoots as they appear. While out there I spied a pretty formidable number of Green Shield beetles fornicating on my potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, silverbeet and rhubarb.
Nobody fornicates in my vegetable patch and gets away with it. The chooks were pretty impressed. They were lined up along the fence taking all the GSBs I could find. They got a few snails as well. I doubt I have made much a dent in the likely population explosion, but some of my garden will be safe from long sharp proboscis damage for a while at least.
In the meantime, I will be able to put out some snail bait and the beans will thank me for it too.
I was told by Kay Baxter to plant Cleome as a catch crop for the little buggers... Have planted some as I have seen a few around already too in Mangatawhiri...
They decimated my tomatoes last year, and they are NOT invited back!
I planted Cleome last year and sorry to say it never made any difference. But hey on thinking maybe the GSB's would have been worse if I hadn't. Cleome self seeds easily and I notice I've got some new seedlings appearing now. Yaaaa !!
Well done! We too have had those stinkers! At least whilst they are fornicating we are colledting two at a time! Fed to chooks too. Read somewhere you crush them and that leaves a smell that puts the others off?
The smell puts me "off" too Powai. One good aspect of catching two of them together like that is the certainty that the egg layer will not produce another generation.
My early "intervention" in the reproduction of GSB's seems to have paid off. At this time of the year, just as the beans and the corn are in full swing, the blighters come along and do their best to destroy the hard work I put into the garden. On my daily patrols over the last few weeks, I have found very few adults, a dozen or so "teenage" GSBs and some colonies of newly hatched. The chooks have been helping me clean up these small populations, and the consequence of this, is that I am now having difficulty finding any at all.
Now it is possible the word has gone out and they are simply hiding, but let me tell you, I have xray vision when it comes to seeking GSBs, so I am confident I have finally made a huge dent in the potential population for this year. If I keep up my surveillance, they might just be a thing of the past............unless they fly in
My Horse radish seems to be their favourite mating place.
I do the daily squash & seem to be a bit ahead of the wee shytes so far this season.
I have squashed so many now that I am immune to the stink.[^]
Seems I spoke too soon. Now my neighbour has cleared out her jungle, all the damn GSBs have swooped on my beans. Chooks got about 50 of them tonight.
"Know your enemy". Here are a few tricks that help when hunting for those stink bugs.
The green adults hang around in pairs.....as soon as you see one dont grab it .....look with in a radius of about 50 cm and there will be its mate (unless you catch them in the act)..once you locate BOTH then get them
Their main defence is to drop..so once you locate both..either grab them or place a jar underneath a tap the plant then quickly put the lid on.
They like to sit in the sun..so if you go hunting in late afternoon you will have better success. Look on the sunny side of the plant
If they see you coming or your shadow passes over them they will duck in behind the stem and hide..so sneak up considering your shadow
Only the females will fly..so if you see one flying away..eyeball it till it lands and go and get it..its more important to get the females(eggs)
They tend to go for your ripest fruit....and after a while you will know where they are..beans are a classic..tomatoes..and ripe berries
Flyspray works really well......throw a sheet over the plant or bush..and spray up and under the plant..the idea is to create a gas chamber. Remove the sheet or tarp after half an hour
The small spotted coloured ones are babies of the adult green ones..indicating you have not got rid of the adults...munt them as well
Oh I have a far better way than a jar with a lid on it. I have a soft drink bottle. The top cut third off and inverted in the base. This creates a funnel which acts like a non return trapdoor. I use the "drop-off" tactics to good effect here without missing a beat. They thing they are escaping. Hahah! I keep going til I find no more on that patch. Yes, I'm aware of the afternoon sun trick and there are spots they prefer to others so I can get in those places each day.
I also find that if a couple are fornicating in a particular area, there will be quite a few hopeful males hanging around with a small radius, so they get caught too.
When I have exhausted the possibilities each day, I fill the jar with water and let them expire. They succumb very quickly if the water is warm. Then they get tipped out on the grounds and the chooks do the rest. Before I got chooks, I used to leave them for some busy hedgehogs to clean up. It's my afternoons recreation!