Trying to plants peas in my (newly upgraded raised bed) garden, I was unrelentlessly attacked by black flies. They are terrible, mean, bitey things.
Black flies are particularly bad this year. I’ve been coating myself in bug spray to no avail.
Also, the mosquitoes are plentiful. In fact, I just found a mosquito *inside* my shirt. Jerk. (This Avon bug repellent does work against black flies, mosquitoes and ticks).
Wasps. A lot of wasps. Unfortunately, I am allergic to stinging insects so I can’t be the one clearing out nests.
AND… tent caterpillars. That’s right. These buggers are back.
While these little crawlies are mostly harmless, and they do make a tasty snack for birds, they will contribute to diseases in the tree they are taking residence in. If you care about that tree (fruit trees, ornamentals that you paid big bucks for, etc.) then removing them is important.
Using gloved hands, pull the caterpillars and their webs out of the tree (if you can reach it!). Bag and then double bag for the trash, OR throw the nest on a fire to kill them. Then spray the affected tree with insecticidal soap.
Garden Safe organic brand is good. You can also make your own.
2% Dr. Bronner’s pure liquid castile soap
Mix around 1 tablespoon of liquid castile soap to 1 quart of water, or 4 tablespoons of soap to 1 gallon of water. DO NOT USE DISH SOAP!
Other, optional additions:
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to help with adhesion to the plant; in hot sun, this might contribute to leaf burn, so use cautiously
- 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar if the plant has powdery mildew issues
- to prevent leaf chompy bugs, finely diced garlic clove