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Thread: Bug tweezers

  1. #1
    Supporting Member garage nut's Avatar
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    Bug tweezers

    As you might have gathered by now, I just love potting around in my hothouse and in summer I also have a small raised bed where I try and raise some beets, potatoes, onions and carrots. Bases on the howling disastes of my onions of the last season needless to say I have no onions in the ground.

    My potatoes seem to be a bit more of a success than last season. But when I inspected the plants (only 10 of them) I found them covered with fairly large spiny bugs.

    Bug tweezers-bugs.jpg

    A quick search on the net revealed they are "Stink Bugs" and a real problem as the suck the juice from the plant and kill them in that way.

    The solution....

    1) Poison spray....not an option for me as I try and grow organic, otherwise what is the point of growing your own vegies.
    2) Build a trap...to slow for me as it feels like they are sitting on me when I know they are sitting on my plants.

    My solution... a huge bamboo tweezer. I have some ornamental bamboo that grows in my garden. The larger shoots I cut off and dry to use as supports for my tomato plants, but back to the tweezer.

    I simply drilled 2 holes right next to a "joint" and the cut the bits out to form a crude tweezer, Then with a bit of filing the tips were formed to be big and flat enough to catch the BIG bugs and squash the small ones. The big one were also sent to bug heaven in a humane way.

    Bug tweezers-bug-tweezers.jpg

    If anybody has a better/easier solution to rid my plants of these bugs I would be very happy to give it a try.

    I think I will also use these to hold nuts on hard to reach places or a screw in a very narrow gap.
    Last edited by garage nut; 12-26-2018 at 11:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Jon
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    I don't know if it will work for these specific bugs, but I do know that some plant-eating bugs take great advantage of the fact that leafed plants of course have dry leaf undersides. So they will hang out on the bottoms of leaves, lay their eggs there, live there for generations, etc.

    The trick is to just regularly spray the UNDERSIDES of the leaves, usually with a pump sprayer with the spray handle held upside down. Then you clear off the top inch or so of soil and throw it away; some bugs lay eggs in the soil. If your plants are potted, you can also invert the plant and dip the entire thing into a large bucket or garbage can of water. You can make a circular slitted cardboard cover for the pot, if you're afraid of dirt and such falling into the water bucket.

    This free method of mechanical removal saves you from using pesticides (organic or not, they all have issues). Again, not sure if it will work for these bugs, but it's a good trick to know.

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    garage nut (12-26-2018)

  4. #3
    Supporting Member garage nut's Avatar
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    Thanks, will give it a try. I spray the plants with a weak solution of water and dishwashing liquid to keep the aphids under control, but never tried it on my potato plants.

    Sometimes the simplest solution is the most effective one.

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    I feel for you with having a stink bug infestation. You must be nauseated with the smell after squishing them! I didn't know they liked potatoes. I have only dealt with potato bugs in my gardening experience and we handpicked the off.

  6. #5
    Supporting Member garage nut's Avatar
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    I have not had any smell yet, it made me to do some more searching. It could be that these are actually "Leaf Footed Bugs", but they are a family of the Stinky Bug.

    Definitely not Potato bugs.

    After the first culling, the numbers seem to drop to between 3 and 5 every morning, so nothing that can not be handled with a pair of TWEEZERS.

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    Thanks garage nut! We've added your Garden Tweezers to our Farm and Garden category,
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