Category: Insects Pests and Diseases

European Chafer Beetles

European Chafer Beetles
19 Feb

Although they arrived from Europe, they’re well at home now in BC’s Lower Mainland and many other regions. This lively beetle (Amphimallon majalis) has an annual life cycle that is worth understanding in an attempt to control it. The beetle spends its childhood and teen years as a grub in the soil, feeding on the…

Do Ants Farm Aphids?

Do ants farm aphids?
6 Mar

We hear so much about ants “farming” aphids that we thought we should answer the question, “Do ants farm aphids?” It’s natural for human beings to try to explain an observation of the natural world in terms of human emotions and experience. While it is common knowledge that “ants farm aphids,” this personified view leads…

Companion Planting with Umbelifers

20 Dec

Cilantro and dill are both good examples of umbelliferous plants. When these plants bloom, the flower structure is in a shape called an umbel — scores of tiny flowers arranged on a more or less flat or umbrella-shaped plane. Other umbeliform plants include carrot, Ammi, parsley, parsnip, celery, and fennel. Using these plants for this…

How to Protect Seedlings

How to Protect Seedlings
24 May

Organic gardeners share one challenge that has many faces – how to protect seedlings along to the point when they are strong enough to defend themselves. Because seedlings are so tender and tasty, and low to the ground, they are easy pickings for a host of animals, from the very tiny to the enormous. Everything…

Brian Campbell on Pollination and Bee Diversity

Brian Campbell on Pollination and Bee Diversity
22 Feb

In our 2015 Growing Guide is Brian Campbell on Pollination and Bee Diversity: Lack of pollination is an unfortunate trend in the plant world. In the late 1960s, the first global review of pollination deficit was conducted. At the time, one out of every ten insect-pollinated flowers was not setting seed because of insufficient numbers…

Snails and Slugs

Snails and Slugs
15 Sep

These gastropods (Snails and Slugs) are a fact of life in damp coastal BC. Two factors, however, can be used to minimize their impact on your organic vegetable garden. First, they shun sunlight, and are mostly active at night. Second, they require ample moisture to thrive and breed. So the organic gardener’s best control is…

Planting to Attract Predatory Insects

Planting to Attract Predatory Insects
15 Sep

Planting to attract predatory insects is one of the key tactics for pest control in an organic garden system. Insects, like plants, come in all shapes and sizes, and play many different roles in the environment as well as in your garden. As sure as some insects are pests others are positively beneficial. Aside from…

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management
15 Sep

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Healthy organic gardens are full of bugs. Gardens, and even farms, are ecosystems that maintain their own balance. Thousands of species of insects and other invertebrates make their homes in the soil and on the plants we grow. In a balanced garden ecosystem, pest species are the exception, and infestations are…

Planting a Bumblebee Garden

Planting a Bumblebee Garden
15 Sep

Planting a Bumblebee Garden by Brian Campbell Why garden for Bumble Bees? Bumblebees are a keystone species. This means much of our ecological system hinges on the survival of bumblebees. Not just native plants rely on these furry pollinators, but also many other organisms; over 250 insect species use bumblebee colonies for one or more…

Wireworms

Wireworms
15 Sep

Wireworms represent the larval stage of the click beetles of the family Elateridae. There are around 9,300 species worldwide, but it is a small handful of species that cause problems in our fields and gardens. Click beetles are 1-2cm long, quite narrow in shape, and can be brown, grey, or black. Most obviously, when turned…

Wood Lice

Wood Lice
15 Sep

The Lower Mainland of BC tends to enjoy very damp spring and early summer weather. This dampness creates the ideal habitat for Woodlice – often called sow bugs or pill bugs. These are the small, grey, segmented animals that can be found beneath rotting wood, garbage cans, plant pots, and so on. They gather, sometimes…

Carrot Rust Fly

Carrot Rust Fly
15 Sep

The Carrot Rust Fly [CRF] is a weak flying insect pest that feeds its young on 107 different plants in the carrot family, including carrots, celery, parsnips, celeriac, parsley, and dill. The insect (Psila rosae) earned its common name due to the rusty coloured scarring left by its larvae as they feed on carrots, rendering…