I keep finding this insect on various plants in my garden. Does anyone know what kind he is and is he good or bad?
Looks like and Eastern pine bug to me. Do you have pine trees?
Yes...I have two very large pine trees.
It's a good insect, an assassin bug.
Here is a link that might be useful: assassin bug
I agree it is a good guy.
Looks like a wheel bug to me. Great for the garden, but can deliver a nasty bite if harrassed so just be aware of them. A beneficial for sure.
These are everywhere this year. We got to see one in a last-stage molt into its temporary neon orange color. Yesterday, I was inspecting the corn. The shuck on one young ear was severely mutilated. Looking closer to spot any bugs that might have caused it I found an assasin bug tucked away doing his job. I didn't see any other bugs or worms. I thought no more of it and went about my business politely giving him ados. I really like these guys :D
I guess I'll allow him to stay, then. Thanks for the input.
Bon, I have them everywhere every year. I imagine you will too. Some years their population is larger earlier in the year (if there are lots of pests for them to eat) and some years it doesn't get big until later in the summer, but I've never once had a year when we didn't have them all over the place.
I see a lot more assassin bugs than wheel bugs until about late July. After that, we have them in more or less equal numbers. The wheel bugs are more aggressive and more likely to bite a person who is working too close to them so I steer clear of them.
That sounds beautiful. It makes me very happy. I've had a couple of close calls. Learning to look before I grab!
I don't know what got me, I was pulling blossoms off bindweed. Something must have been inside. SOMEDAY I will remember to wear my gloves.
Bon, In my garden, if I don't look before I grab, I end up too close to a snake or bitten by a scorpion (glad it isn't the other way around). You learn to look very carefully after a scorpion bite or two.
Amy, Ouch! Be sure they are leather gloves. I like goatskin because they are soft and liable. A lot of the pests that sting or bite will sting or bite through thinner fabric or nitrile-coated gloves, but they generally can't penetrate leather gloves.
Everything about biting pests, I've learned the hard, hard, hard way. I never was much of a garden-glove-wearing-gardener, but moving here to the Oklahoma outback where the pests are as thick as the grass taught me to wear my gloves.
Amy, those blossoms are endless aren't they? I decided to let the bindweed grow up the fence line, but I'm not letting it go to seed. I notice it's a perfect wind break. But once they cover it, I'll break out the roundup and BRUSH it on each plant, one by one. I just have too much bindweed !
I never would let bindweed grow on purpose--not for a single day. Its roots spread by both root and rhizome (like bermuda grass does) and the roots can go 20' deep. The longer you allow it to grow, the deeper the roots are growing. Can you kill it with Round-up? Sometimes. It isn't necessarily a quick fix. Often you have to spray repeatedly over a prolonged period of time because it is killing the top growth and not necessarily killing the root system due to its massive size. Want to read horror tales of bindweed? Do a search for Bindweed + Rocky Mountain Forum here at GW and read their horror stories. I yank out every bindweed plant that sprouts the minute I see it. If you want a windbreak on a fenceline, plant something beneficial---morning glories, moonvine, beans, gourds, black-eyed susan vines, cypress vine or cardinal creeper vines, hyacinth bean vines, etc. for the hummingbirds and other flying creatures. There's many plants that make great, fast-growing windbreaks but do not have bindweed's negative attributes. In clay soil, it is incredibly hard to get rid of bindweed no matter what you do, and it isn't just a matter of spraying it with a herbicide. I know people who gave up gardening because they got tired of fighting bindweed every day of the gardening season. It is that aggressive.
Another reason to avoid letting any wild plant grow in/near your garden is that wild plants are the food most pests are familiar with, so letting wild plants (aka weeds) grow near your garden can attract more pests. Pests carry diseases. One way to help keep your garden as pest-free and disease-free as possible is to control all weeds. One way to control them is to never let them get established. Pulling the flowers off the bindweed won't keep it from spreading---the roots spread just fine even if a flower never drops a seed that will sprout and give you a new plant.
I realize the cursed bindweed can't be stopped by pulling blossoms, but it is already a problem. I live next to a city easement/drainage ditch. It came to me from there. DH had sprayed Dawn detergent on the vines and they were brown, but still had blooms. I can't always pull it...and actually, if you disturb the root system, it just makes 2 more plants where it was disturbed. Someone told me to spray poison ivy with dawn, hose it off, let dry and then hit with round up. Poison ivy has protective oils and supposedly you wash that off with the detergent so the round up works better. Bindweed has kind of a "moist" surface, so we thought Dawn first and then vinegar and salt might work. Still experimenting. Last year when this crap appeared, I read everything I could find on it. I am testing growing a pumpkin among it and Africam/Mexican marigolds. I can say the pumpkin is growing fine, but it isn't allopathic to bindweed. Too early to say about the marigolds. I suspect the only way to kill it in the yard will be to smother it, and it blooms in the ditch and blows into the yard.
OOH.. Do keep us updated. I would love to know what works and doesn't.
I found out that wheat when established is allelopathic to bind weed (and bermuda). I was just growing wheat in my front planter to get the feel of growing it. I had to weed the bind weed out as it was getting established.
Then, I saw it. Once the roots of wheat is established it NEVER returned. Now, I have alfalfa in that same spot. The bind wind is coming in with a vengeance even though the alfalfa is well established.
I have some bind weed that is taking over the new garden area that has yet to be worked. I plan on leveling the surface and sowing wheat in it to overwinter. Hopefully, it will help. I really don't want to be using round up within the garden. But I will, if it gets bad enough.
You're right about it coming back fiercely after being pulled.
We tried round up on the fence last year, It either didn't kill it or new stuff grew right back. Wheat sounds good. Wonder how hard it will be to get my husband to do THAT. I can see the eye roll now.
Round up resistant? Heavens... "Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." Gah!
Round-up resistance is a bigger problem every year, and I think it is getting worse quickly, perhaps because so many weeds are exposed to glyphosates because of Round-Up Ready crops.
The resistance is one reason I stay away from herbicides for the most part. They might seem like they solve a problem---and they do, temporarily, with many weeds. But what is the price we pay?
I'm going to link an article I read a couple of years ago about the increase in the number of acres that now are infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds. It is shocking, and the data in it is a couple of years old. I haven't seen more recent statistics.
Here is a link that might be useful: Glyphosate-Resistant Weeds
Chickencoupe, what kind of wheat were you growing that was allopathic to bindweed? Was it winter wheat? The heaviest bind weed problem I have is next to the drainage ditch (city easement) and under the power pole (electric, phone, cable easement). We had raised beds there last year and bindweed tried to take over. I don't want to till the area because there are phone lines buried there. (DH cut one last year setting a T post. :( 3 days without internet and AT&T wanted $250 because we cut it) If I can figure out how to plant it I would do a wide block of wheat in the fall. I could get rid of bindweed, grow my own straw, hopefully harvest wheat, and then plant dent corn and beans there next summer. I mentioned it to my husband and he didn't even roll his eyes. He hates the stuff as much as I do. I've been reading Georges old threads about corn on the 3 sisters thread, so I am dreaming of enough room to grow corn to grind.
Amy, it was Bob's Red Mill Hard Spring Wheat. I just picked a 1lb up at the grocery store. Germinates well. I'm always growing greens for me and the bunnies. Did a trial on that plot and was astonished.
I weeded the bindweed until the wheat was firmly established. And the bindweed came back after the wheat was removed... but it took a few months.
That is great, something I can get at rhe store. It is confusing though, because wheat is one of the crops that has a problem with bind weed. Maybe, like you say, because early on it can't fight it off. Thanks for the info!
Yeah. It may be the interweaving growth pattern of roots keeping it at bay. Still, it taking months to return seems indicative of some type of allelopathy to wheat roots.
If I can enlist my husbands help, I am thinking about covering rhe worst of it with black plastic and card board. My reasearch says to smother it for 3 to 5 years! If I cover now, I could plant winter wheat or some other cover crop to shade out weeds in spring. I'm too old for a physical battle with this stuff.
3 to 5 years!!! LOL Might as well be a decade or two.
Son: "Before Mom died she said to lift the black plastic and cardboard in that one section of the garden. I don't remember why that was there, but it's always been there. Do you?".................................
Sister: "No. But it's prolly sumpin' creepy!"
Fick. Bindweed, Gah!
Some wheat varieties are allelopathic to bindweed, others are not, so you have to choose your wheat wisely.