The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. ~Vladimir Nabakov

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Golden Tortoise Beetle

I found myself doing a little research today as I walked by my flower planters outside and noticed that my potato vines had whole bunch of little holes in them.  I regularly pick off the dried up flower buds and clean up my baskets every other day or so and I'm quite sure these holes were not there.

As I lifted the leaf all around and through out the entire planter I finally found the little critter.  To my surprise it was quite beautiful golden little beetle bug.  It just sat there like a gemstone on the stem of the leaf.  

I gently picked it off and placed it in a glass container with a lid so I could further inspect it. 

While searching on Google the bug began changing colour and became a tinge of reddish.   It tried to find an opening and flew upwards each time I rotated the glass jar and the colour became more dull red while few black spots appeared on the back.  It looked nearly identical to a common lady bird beetle. 

This is the exact same Golden Tortoise Beetle as in the above image after it changed it's colours.
Researching these bugs, they love to munch on potato vines, morning glory, will creep into your tomato plants and eat the young tender foliage.  I've also noticed my young lilies growing near by had been chewed to make the leaves' edges all zigzagged.  

I decided to search out a pesticide to have them removed, naturally or make them go away somehow.  Apparently they do not like to be near common lady bird beetles as they are more aggressive and will eat their larva.  I found this simply fascinating as these little critters mimic & morph into their own enemy.  

I found a way to make home made insecticidal soap through a great article in Green Living to get these beetles to stop spreading mainly due to the fact we have a garden at the back of the house and these beetles spread to the gardens like wild fire. 

All purpose pesticide is a soap based insecticidal.  It has been used for centuries as it disrupts the insects cell membranes while killing the pest by dehydration.  It is important to use the correct measurements and not too much soap or one takes the risk of killing the vegetation as well.  The below measurements have been proven to be safe.
  • Purchase a liquid soap, not a detergent at a health food store.  Combine 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid soap to 1 quart of water.  Combined these two in a large container, mix thoroughly and transfer to a spray bottle.  Use as needed.  

Also, spices and roots that are very strong smelling such as onions, horseradish, garlic, cayenne, hot peppers, ginger, rhubarb leaves and few more have also been known to repel insects.

Note:  For an all purpose pesticide soap spray follow the additional remedies.  
  • Take a handful of the above mentioned spices, add boiling water to cover soap spray (above) let cool and use as needed.  When using fresh roots, add boiling water to cover roots in a mason jar, let cool and sit overnight, strain and add to the soap spray (above), use as needed.  

As I prepare my midnight tincture, I hope these little pesky yet gorgeous bugs find their way somewhere else.  So much for planting morning glory. If this is what I have to look forward to, not thank you, even if I love the stunning flowers & rich foliage.  

While researching insecticidal spray I also discovered a solution to my other pesky problem.  Bunnies in my garden. Rabbits & deer hate the smell of garlic so create a garlic spray in similar method of pouring boiling water over crushed garlic, let sit over night to cool, strain and use as needed.  

Hope you've enjoyed this and learned something new.  

Much love,



Anonymous said...

absolutely incredible little bug!!!!

Anonymous said...

fascinating creature! I love your stories....