Odd year for bugs - no spiders?

ffreidlMay 24, 2012

So my poor tomato transplants are getting attacked by whiteflies, aphids & flea beatles. This is the first year I've had this problem, and while contemplating the situation, I realized I haven't been seeing any spiders this year. Usually I have a few in every bed. This year, haven't really seen any.

I'm in the Northeast. Anyone else experiencing this?

I wonder what could be the cause. Too warm winter? I'm also noticing fewer worms (and younger worms) this year.

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2ajsmama

Not here - I've got lots of spiders (and ants) inside and out, much more than previous years, and the ants are earlier too.

I have noticed fewer worms though.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 12:58PM
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ffreidl

I've definitely noticed more ants this year. Had them in my beds for the first time making a happy home in the straw mulch in April.

I might need to borrow some of your spiders. Wonder where mine went - there's a banquet waiting for them on my tomato plants.

Anyone else want to chime in with their recent bug observations?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 1:07PM
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2ajsmama

I've got ants making nests (with eggs!) in some of my beds. Any idea how to get rid of them before I plant my tomatoes? I really don't want to go digging in there. I did find a small hill near one of my kale plants - they killed it.

I wonder if the ones in my house are coming b/c of the aphids on my peppers? Though I haven't actually seen any on the peppers, the plants have been in my FR all spring and that's where they are. Though they also could just be coming in from that end of the house - where the strawberries are planted.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 1:16PM
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michelliot(z7 ny)

I've already had an aphid and red spider mite barrage this year. Usually I don't see them until well into the summer. At this point, the plants are small, so I gave them a detailed soap bath last night. Hopefully I covered everything and I'll probably give another one in about a week.

After about an hour and a half I rinsed my crops with plain water. I've seen mixed reviews regarding that.

I'm in NYC and due to the extremely mild winter I expect an early and more prevalent insect onslaught this spring and summer. The mosquito dive bombers have shown themselves as well.

Such is life,
elliot

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 1:27PM
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ffreidl

ajsmama - I don't really know how to get rid of them. I just dug up the mulch where they were living and tossed it out of the bed. In my case, that seemed to do the trick - they were pretty panicked and decided not to come back. But if they were really determined, I don't know what my next solution would have been. Probably ant traps.

michelliot - I think you're probably doing what you're supposed to be doing. I always had a hard time gardening in the city - seems like spider mites really thrive near all that concrete and brick.

Well, I wouldn't mind the bug barrage if the good bugs were also out in force, but so far - in my garden anyway - that appears not to be the case.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 5:33PM
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jeffwul

Tons of bugs here by the Chesapeake, had a real issue with aphids, mites, flea beetles,nd earwigs early. Spiders, ants, ladybugs, wasps out in force too though, they just don't move as fast!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 5:41PM
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2ajsmama

These ants are actually building nests with extensive tunnels under the burlap at the unused end of the potato bed (which I was considering liming and planting veggies). Maybe the lime will drive them away or kill them?

There was another smaller nest in another vacant (waiting for cukes) bed near the house - I was covering the beds with black plastic bags to kill the weeds that had started sprouting, hopefully that will get them to move out of that area.

but we've got lots of hills in the front and back yard too, DH is going crazy and now that they're coming in the house *I'm* going crazy!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 6:03PM
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harveyhorses(7 Midlothian Va)

I have all of them, I guess I kneeled on a spider, have a nasty bite on my knee, and they are putting webs up all over. Ants are very annoyed with the rain we have been getting. They had started an occupy campaign in my sweet potato bed, but when I tilled it prior to planting they seem to have decided the house was a good option.
Are they really neutral in the garden? (I am NOT doing a catch and release of the house invaders)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 6:27PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I have plenty of insects of all types, including spiders. Seems like more ladybugs than usual. Are ants nuetral in the garden? I think it depends on the type. In my locale there are these tiny little ones that have small colonies and they seem to prefer to live at the base of a plant, often in the company of root aphids. I do what I can to get rid of those. But in my previous garden, 30 miles away but in very different soil, the ants never seemed to do anything so I left them alone.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:50AM
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2ajsmama

Haven't had many ladybugs this year. In fact, haven't seen any at all in a couple of months.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 11:10AM
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