Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The First Bugs of the Season

On Sunday at church, I overheard my friend who gave me some strawberry plants tell another friend about watching for special caterpillars that love strawberry plants.  I heard her explain that if you see a strawberry leave curled together with some webbing then there's a strawberry leafroller caterpillar inside.  I have had strawberry plants in front of my house for several years now and have had none of these.

But, there's always a first time.

Today I looked at the plants in my backyard (the ones from my friend) and found 3 leaves rolled up with the said caterpillars inside.  

I have to admit that I transferred one caterpillar to a tree and killed two of them.  I also think I lost another one in the dirt so I'm going to be on the lookout tomorrow for another rolled leaf.

I think I've come to a conclusion about bugs.  They're different from place to place--even if those places are a 30 minute drive a part.  I wonder if the caterpillars came with the plants (as tiny eggs).  I'm not exactly sure.  I did read in one article that they winter as pupae.  Perhaps they like the type of strawberry in the backyard better than the ones I have in the front.  But, for whatever reason they're here and now I need to deal with them.  After reading two articles on the web, I gather that there isn't a lot I can do except remove them and keep an eye on them.  So, that's what I'll do!  

The past few days I've been trying to do one thing each day to my garden.  Yesterday, we planted chives and morning glories in the two pots I had out front.  Today, I planted green onions, red and yellow onions (though a quite late in the season), and some garlic.  But, I hadn't looked at my strawberries closely in several days.  That was my mistake.

My lesson for myself in this is to keep my eyes and my ears open even if I don't think there will be a problem!  Because I just may!

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