Insects have a way of attacking both indoor and outdoor plants. One day everything is just fine and the next day the bugs have arrived by the thousands. The best way to handle the problem is to catch it before it becomes a full blown infestation. Often the easiest and most effective is to give the offender a cooling bath with a hard blast of water from the garden hose. This will usually send the little creatures on their merry way.
Hand picking is one of the best ways if the insect is large enough to pick up and remove. Japanese beetles are a prime example of pick-able insects. Drop the six-legged creepy crawlers into a pail of soapy water for a quick drowning. Or hold the pail under them and gently tap the branch or flower and knock them off into the awaiting bubble bath.
Invite the neighborhood slugs over for a beer bash one evening. Place a bowl or pie pan down into the ground until the rim is level with the dirt. Fill the pan with cheap beer. Slugs are not known for being beer connoisseurs - they are perfectly happy with rot-gut beer. They drink, they get drunk, and they drown. (I am talking about slimy garden slugs, not the guys; well, of course you can invite the guys, but just dont tell them about the bowl of beer! Also you better serve this refreshment after the dog has been brought in for the night - apparently most dogs have a taste for beer too.) For those of you who prefer not to buy alcohol, try mixing yeast with water and sugar.
Slugs can also be put on a diet by using your egg shells. Place the eggs shells in a blender with water. Turn the blender on for a few seconds then pour the watery egg shell mixture around the slugs favorite meal this works just as well as a sprinkle of diatomaceous earth without the cost. They do not like to crawl over these abrasive substances.
Now, don't forget those caterpillars. They look like they could use a little appetite suppressant. No problem, Bt (Bacillus Thuringensis), a bacteria sprayed on the leaves of plants causes caterpillars to stop feeding! Just make sure you are using Bt on the bad caterpillars and not one that will grow into one of our endangered butterflies. Those ugly hornworms chomping on the tomato plants can be hand picked but the ones with those white rice-sized things all over their body - leave them alone. They are really great big nursery incubators for the parasitic wasps, one of the friendly good guys. Those nursery carriers can no longer eat and are dying a slow death.
Those ugly hornworms chomping on the tomato plants can be hand picked but the ones with those white rice-sized things all over their body - leave them alone. They are really great big nursery incubators for the parasitic wasps, one of the friendly good guys. Those nursery carriers can no longer eat and are dying a slow death.