A Resolution Regarding Bugs
Yesterday, while walking past the cabbage bed, I noticed a number of small red bugs scurrying along one side of the insect barrier (Agribon AG-15) that protects the bed.
As I got down on my knees to examine them, I recalled my Resolution Regarding Bugs: that I must remain entirely objective when I encounter bugs in the garden; that I must not act impulsively in regard to any bug; that I must treat all bugs as innocent until proven guilty; that I must slow down enough to observe them closely; and that I must learn as much as I can about each one of them when it is possible to do so.
It didn’t take long to ascertain that these were box elder bugs, that they were on the outside of the insect barrier, and that there were at least three observable stages of development.
There are a number of box elder trees in the immediate vicinity, so these bugs are a common site. What I didn’t know until now is that they like orchard trees . . . and, yes, the cabbage bed was set between our two apple trees.
Box elder bugs are more of a nuisance than a threat, certainly no cause for panic. According to Organic Gardening’s Insectipedia, they may puncture and slightly deform fruits, but the injury is usually minimal. I can live with that: I have a few punctures myself. I checked the apple trees, but I saw no damage or even any evidence of them. Unless I find a great number of them in the apple trees, enough to do significant damage, I will simply disregard them.
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