Thursday, February 19, 2009

You're Really Bugging Me Now

Is it at all surprising that I had nightmares last night? Yesterday I attended two bug talks, did the layout for the InsectIndex column for the upcoming March/April 2009 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine, then I found a multi-legged critter scooting around my cat's dinner bowl late last night. On top of that there all the stinkbugs that have invaded my home and many others in the DC-area this winter. *sigh* I'm NOT a bug fan in the first place so all of this insect convergence and synchronicity is just giving me the back-of-the-neck creepies.

One of the talks yesterday was by Dr. Doug Tallamy whom we profiled in the Nov/Dec 08 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine. He got some plant folk in the room riled up with his tent caterpillar defense. In his opinion their entire defoliation of a tree is no biggie and should be tolerated as the trees re-grow their leaves fairly quickly. He thinks the tent caterpillars are a terrific bird food source and besides they are native to this area. He has a point and some research to back him up in that the trees do recover from the denuding, but upon further reading I find that if they attack fruit trees this disrupts the fruiting cycle and doesn't that mean someone else's food source is hurt down the line?

Back to the layout deadline grind and escorting more stinkbugs from my home.

5 comments:

susan harris said...

Well, tent caterpillars weakened one of my cherry trees enough this year that it succumbed, dead as a doornail, with the double whammy of a beetle infestation, too.

WashingtonGardener said...

Tallamy also noted that tent caterpillars are cyclical -- comes in waves for a few years then hardly around for several years. No consolation for those of us who've had trees being weakened by them as Susan has, the recent waves of these bugs along with our summer droughts have not been kind to local trees.

nikki smith said...

I saw they'll be talking about bugs, well butterflies, at this year's Capital Home & Garden Show.

I also saw that YOU will be speaking about small trees, large shrubs and urban gardening ... gave you a mention in my latest blog post.

http://www.whgmag.com/624-garden-trends-for-2009

Good luck, Kathy!

WashingtonGardener said...

Thanks, Nikki. Yes, we (Washington Gardener Mag writers) are supplying many of the Saturday speakers at the CH&G show. Thanks for the plug. And yes,more buggy talk will take place - shudder.

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Jessica
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