Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Garden Tuesday: Speaking of Bugs

Ick, ick, ick!  It's been a couple weeks of dealing with bugs.  We finally got some rain (yay!), and "normal" temperatures, and it brought out the bugs.  Lucky me to discover their abundance.

For starters, that lovely spider web (yes, I know it's an arachnid, not an insect, but it's still a bug) in the crabapple tree belonged to the ugliest darn thing!  He was huge, bulbous, cream-colored, and menacing.  He came down with some of the upper-branch fruits that needed to be trimmed away.  He's gone now, but I'm having nightmares.

And the mosquitoes found their way to human flesh.  That scares me because of the West Nile virus, so we're just being extra careful.

I discovered two large ant hole openings near the back patio (building up their doorways for a storm).  Inside, I found hundreds of dead tiny ants, which came in during the last 3-4 weeks.  (The area is behind the TV/game station, and I get it once a month.)  So the barrier spray is working as it should, although the buggers are trying to get in.

But the most disturbing insect to this homeowner is the carpenter ant.  Talk about your nightmares! {shudder}  We "gave away" the playfort over the weekend; actually, it fell apart as it was being taken down.

We had no idea it wasn't going to be usable!  (Those carpenter ants are pretty sneaky, with their damage on the inside.)  The taker was kind enough to haul away the unusable wood and keep the plastic parts, so after we helped him load up, we took a look at the vacant area.  The hardwood mulch and the wooden structure had been a palace and playground for some of the largest ants I've seen in Nebraska.  We were going to rake up and reuse the hardwood mulch, but I think now it's going to be purged.

There is a smaller tree also in the backyard that I noticed this spring was infested with insects, which I now realize is the same carpenter ant.  It's dead halfway up, and the top portion did not leaf out well this year.  I had already planned to have an arborist out this fall to address that (take it down).

One call to Brad the bug guy, and he came out assess the situation.  Fortunately, he said they're far enough away from the house that they likely won't head for it, and our fall spraying in a month or so should be sufficient.  He said they may go to the fence (better than the house, but still not good). We've been through carpenter ants before, and termites, and they are quite destructive, so I hope they just go away.  HA!  I sprayed the area anyway with ant stuff.

At least the bugs are staying outside.  The ones I see inside have met their end; the flies that get in are gone quickly, and there are very few other carcasses I vacuum up.  (Except those tiny ants.) We're supposed to get 100-degree weather again tomorrow, but after this round, and with the next cool-down, I'll get out there and start preparing the garden for fall.  Little by little.

How are the bugs in your yard?  Share your garden pics and enjoy the others at  Garden Tuesday and Bloomin' Tuesday.


  1. Yuck on the bugs especially those carpenter bug infestation here..... glad you finally got some rain and cooler temps....dry here too but not quite as hot....

  2. Glad to know we aren't the only ones that have a bug guy and treat our ground with "stuff"'s almost taboo on many gardening blogs...the west nile concerns me too as our neighborhood has a lot of horses in it.

    1. Glad I had the bug spray in the garage! We get ants in the sidewalk cracks, so we had some leftover. Eeee! Makes me cringe to think about it.

  3. We haven't had many bugs since it's so dry this year. Even the mosquitos stayed away! Jean

  4. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your carpenter ants. I've heard they can do quite a bit of damage. Glad you called the bug guy and hope all is well.

  5. I am sorry to hear about the carpenter ants. Hopefully you will get rid of them and they won't return.