past their bedtime

This post has been buggin' me, and so have a whole lot of pesky flyers!! I thought about titling this post "I have a full-time job" because that is what it feels like. Mostly because of these:

Japanese Beetles (JB)

Spraying the occasional Japanese beetle found munching on my Calla Lillies with soapy water, was not a big deal. Not even if it spoiled the bloom faster than you can say "oh look, my calla lily is blooming". I found twisted pleasure in squirting them until they fell soaked in soapy film. Let me tell you what is a big deal, shredding the vegetables I've been nurturing from seed!!

It has been a full-time job trying to keep them from decimating the foliage on my snap peas, beans, and cukes. One of our raised beds has thick strawberry foliage, and it is a hot spot for them. I've been reading up on other ways to get rid of them, besides the well known soapy bucket drowning.

I use smaller disposable plastic food containers, instead of a bucket. I just can't pick them off, even with gloves. A smaller container fits underneath most foliage, to catch the JB when they drop like a rock. It also has a lid, for knocking down, scooping up and trying to stop them from flying off.

One thing I 
decided to try, is leaving the cess pool container of dead JB's in the middle of a garden bed. They say it works. I beg to differ, but it doesn't hurt. Other than my nose. In less than 24 hours they become SUPER disgustingly stinky!! There are homemade and commercial traps I haven't tried. They also suggest to stop watering your lawn. I am here to tell you that will never happen at my house, I married "a lawn guy".  The JB lay eggs in soil, overwinter and also hide in dirt. Apparently they like moisture.

I also read, 7pm is the best time to send them swimming. Um, not at my house. 7pm is apparently past their bedtime. Not a one to be found. The very next day, poof! They rise from the soil. I make rounds, hunting JB multiple times a day and have become skilled with my approach. Drowning two toppers, gives me great satisfaction. I score a male and female pair when they drop into my container of doom. Sounds evil, but so is ruining a potential beautiful bounty of beans. Not happening on my watch.


We have many different kinds of flies. Some of which we have never experienced before moving to sand country. Big ones, tiny ones, black ones, brown ones, and they appear in mass when conditions are favorable. The biting flies I mentioned in my last post, are medium sized fast flying black flies that bite. Harder than a mosquito. We have some horse flies too. Thankfully they are not bad, knock on wood. The latter ones are very dangerous, and can get you sent flying through the air. Not really the horses fault. They really hurt!

To combat flies (beside fly spray) we are trying the Rescue fly traps our daughter mentioned that have rave reviews. I always wonder if traps don't attract even more of what you are trying to deter, but they are inexpensive and worth a try. We just hung the pop traps up yesterday, so Jury is out.

Harmony's mom also mentioned the homemade "penny in a baggie" fly deterrent method her horse friends use. How have I never heard of the penny method?? I am going to try this as well: 

"To make your own fly repellent, get a gallon-sized zip-loc bag, fill it half to 3/4 with clean water, and drop 3 or 4 pennies in the bottom of the bag. Once the bag is firmly sealed, it can be hung from or nailed to an eave near a doorway to keep the nasty critters from entering. The best explanation on how this works is, simple light refraction going through the bag of water that confuses the fly. A fly bases movement by light and the refracted light coming through the water in the plastic bag confuses the fly causing him to move on to a place that is easier on the eyes."

Flying Lint

It is always fun for me, when Brad discovers and shares something in nature. He knows how much I love nature! I ran to get my camera, but could not get a decent shot. My phone did a better job:

They really look like lint floating through the air, but are tiny wolly aphids. I have only seen them in one specific area, for now I am not spending time on these.

Oak Galls

Now that they are on my radar, I continue collecting the oak galls I can reach. When I remember to bring a baggie on my walks. I look ridiculous, I have straps hanging all over me, camera's, and now bags. Next Spring I will take this task on earlier.

my collection from one walk


We are a haven for wasps. We have beams that create a lot of corners, and all houses have peaks etc. I keep a vigilant eye out for nests, and Brad knocks them down as fast as I complain. Wasps stay busy, and build nests fast. Last year the wasps got so bad, I stopped using our deck for yoga (my favorite place to practice). I would duck in/out the door to water etc. Much to my surprise, a very kind blogger I had just "met" sent me some homemade nests to try.

Most of you follow Far Side, and I can't tell her thank you enough! Her nests absolutely work!! I know there are many nay sayer's on the 'net on how well fake nests work. Maybe they were expecting to get rid of all wasps? That would be impossible. I was just hoping to have less wasps, and not right outside my doors. And I do!! Blogger friends are the best! 

three wasp nests, scrubbies and homemade card
created by the talented Far Side

There is one very common flying pest that shall remain unmentioned. We have not fallen victim to their blood sucking ways. Perhaps because we hung these again this year. Timing is everything and they really work!!

Hope this gives you a few ideas to combat flying pests you may encounter. Have a great pest free day!! I have to get back to work now.


Shirley said...

Ha! Bug warrior! THey sure can make life miserable. I am so glad we don't have an infestation of JBs here- probably the summers are too dry- at least this year!
Yes those fake wasp nests work really well. We had a nest going, so I found a package of paper fakes at the dollar store for a cople of bucks and set then up where we knocked the nests down- works like a charm.
Far Side is indeed talented and very kind of her to send you those gifts! One of my treasured Christmas ornaments is a loon carved and painted by her and Far Guy.

Val Ewing said...

I patrol for the JB. They love my 4 o'clock flowers and I delight in knocking them into soapy water. Funny that they are not down in the veggie garden, but I don't water that but perhaps once a week. I tried a new method to fight the drought. I leave purslane in between the rows with some other cool weeds and they keep the ground from drying out.

I have a spray I made for the equine and I toss a few mothballs in the outhouse to keep the wasps from building in there.

Far Side is the best. I think her wasp nests are cool. I need to ask if I can purchase to knit ones for my budding entomologists so they can use them as ornaments on their Xmas trees!

Flies. Just yuck.
However the biting ones aren't too bad for me unless it is going to storm. I don't know why that is.

All great things to mull over. LOL...your galls. Ever since you wrote about them, I've been finding them too. ")

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well you certainly are busy hunting your insects and disposing of them. I hate bugs too. We have an ongoing fight with them too. I like Far Side's invention. I'll have to look into that. Good luck with all the spraying and I hope they all die!

Linda said...

Oh, the bugs. Hate them. I just ordered "stable fly traps", and will tell you how they work. Like you, I do worry that an attractant will bring flies from elsewhere here. You use a homemade attractant for these.

I used to kill yellow jackets with a meatball laced with flea and tick killer, and lure them in with yellow jacket attractant. It worked really well, too. I haven't done it this year, because they haven't been as bad, probably due to the increase in birds.

I found that our misters created many more flies! When water pools, it becomes a breeding ground. It was AWFUL!! So much for misters.

Love the traps from Far Side! I would like to know more about them!

aurora said...

No clue what is different this year with the JB. First year I have noticed them here. They were a none issue at our previous home. I stopped leaving the stinky container of doom in the garden bed. It was attracting flies. Iris are the fav flower of choice, followed by Calla Lillies. There are so many JB!! I cannot believe they just keep appearing...and I keep dunking them.

All wasp nest credit goes to Far Side. I had not even heard of them, until I read her related blog post. Link above, search word "wasp". She crochets them, coats them with Modge Podge (makes them more weather resistance) and fills them with plastic bags, then stitches them closed. Other types of material can be used. I am just so thankful to be able to use our backyard without constant fear of getting stung.

Val Ewing said...

And I shall do the happy dance for you!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Good to hear they are working! So far they are working here too! I hate those smelly biting JB's we usually get them in the Fall after the soybeans have been harvested...they like beans:)