wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Stop Bugging Me

36 Comments

This horrible creature – ten-lined June beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata) – loves my yard, especially the potato patch.  A few years ago we had some of these (1.5″ to 2″) beetles hanging around the place, but things must have been going very well for them since then, as they are now extremely prolific. Not only do they fly around the yard at night like little helicopters and try to land on my back when I have the dog out for her last pee, but they get into my garden, lay their eggs, and when the grubs hatch out, they eat the potatoes.

 

Here is a pathetic little potato, mostly eaten by one of these ten-lined beetle larvae. I was discouraged by my struggling potato crop, since not much was growing in the very dry soil. Even after watering it every day, the soil was dry except for the first half inch. So I decided to pull up the potatoes and cut my losses. Why water these potatoes just to feed the bugs?

A few days ago, I pulled up half my potato crop and found about thirty of the grubs. I put them on an upside down garbage can lid and placed the lid at the base of a tree I had seen raccoons climb up a day or so before. The next day the grubs were gone.

Two days later, I dug up the rest of the potatoes, and again, found all these grubs that you see on the garbage can lid. I left them there, on offer to any raccoons that might be passing through the yard at night. I know the raccoons are here every night because I hear them, I see them, and I see the holes in the grass where they have been digging to try finding these grubs without my help.

With any luck, these grubs would become racoon food and save me the trouble of stepping on them to squish them. I don’t want them to suffer, but they are destroying my garden, and it already needs all the help it can get.

Do you have these terrifying insects in your yard? I hope not.

*****

 

Update: A few hours later I looked at these grubs and saw that a bunch of yellow jackets had found them and were eating them alive. It seemed cruel to me, but I didn’t feel sorry enough for them to try to save them.

Early in the morning, all traces of the grubs were gone, so I am assuming that the raccoons ate them.

 

 

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

36 thoughts on “Stop Bugging Me

  1. Eek! I wish I’d read this after breakfast.😩

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I keep my fingers crossed that somehow these bugs will be eliminated in your yard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Pit. The easy way would be to use poison, but I don’t like to do that, especially if I plan to eat what I grow in that same ground, and I don’t like to kill other things that might come into my garden (birds, insects) so I’m going to just keep picking out any grubs I find and hope that eventually there will be fewer of them. Right now it seems hopeless, but maybe persistence will win.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good grief these are awful. Do they have natural enemies? One article said nematodes?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I’ve never seen a beetle that large! Yuck, I hope you get them under control, Anneli. Maybe a pest control company can help. 😫

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pet control will poison them . One of our neighbours used to get the pest control guy in to spray his lawn for leather jackets (those long-legged mosquito-like things) and every year, after the pest guy came, I would find dead birds in my yard a day or two after he’d been there. I don’t want to kill birds.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh geesh, absolutely not! Sorry I mentioned the pest control thing. I use it here for bugs and scorpions.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No problem. I understand. You’re in a different situation. You pretty much have to do that, and it’s not like you’re killing any birds inside your house. Just be sure you don’t inhale too much of that poison yourself. You probably have to wait a while for the “stuff” to settle after it’s sprayed, right?

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  5. It’s hard to feel too badly for these critters 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Digging up the grubs will probably interfere significantly in their reproductive cycle. Nice that the raccoons got an easy snack. Apparently they taste like chicken. 😉 I won’t use poison either. Good luck with your grub-digging duties.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You could put them on the grill instead of the potatoes. Sorry, just a bad joke.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, no. This is a sad plight for the potatoes. I think getting to the root of the bugs, their grubs, and letting the raccoons eat them is a perfect solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s like survival of the fittest in your garden, Anneli. We don’t grow potatoes so we don’t get those guys. My big problem is slugs. Ugh. If I plant too early I get slugs; if I plant when the rain dries up, my growing season is too short. I think the answer is green houses.

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  10. These slugs are so disruptive..yucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had my son make me a very small mini-garden outside our rental (we’re on the ground floor). He overturned the first 10-20cm of the grassy soil and I bought some tons (or so it seemed as per the following invoice!) of pure soil from a reputed garden company. My timid start of planting some veggies was an absolute desaster. The roots of my veggies were bitten off, the plants died and when I dug them up I found some grubs (nowhere as many as you, just one here and there). I threw them out onto the lawn for the passing birds and the occasional hedgehog. I replanted all of those seedlings (at a cost as this is Switzerland and everything costs more than enough) but THEN we had the horrible weather with storms ripping out everything from the box, breaking the stems and causing havoc with what didn’t get killed already. I had to water the toms every day, something I forgot about in my former life where I was the total slave to my garden (France and England), the ongoing rain ruined them totally and my whole ‘harvest’ of 7 plants was what had fully room in my two hands. The plants are now ripped out and I buy my toms in the shop… lesson learned! The one (2nd and/or 3rd buy!) squash plant is still, at the end of its season about 50cm long, not a flower or fruit in sight – I don’t know what’s happening there! The only ‘success’ story is a Nostrano cucumber plant which gave me so far 3 modest sized fruits, one of which I brought to my auntie yesterday…. Freude herrscht!

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    • I had the same problem this year with the squash plants getting no fruit. It got flowers, but not one fruit. I think there were not enough bees around. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the trouble. Maybe we should just plant flowers. But then, I start to worry about worldwide crop failures and I think I should grow a potato or two – and I end up just feeding the grubs!
      But I understand the “Freude herrscht” feeling when you find a couple of things that grew in spite of your bad luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. W0nderful close up photos of these bugs. Do they only eat potatoes?

    Liked by 1 person

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