For our October 2013 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, we asked our readers to tell us: “What is the scariest creature you have ever encountered in your garden? What made it so scarey?” Here are a few of their answers.
~ The scariest creature I've seen in my garden is pictured here. Wondering
what it is? Well, I certainly was. It's actually two assassin bugs
mating. As if the image of this creepy-crawly times two was not creepy
enough, it's location on my daughter's swing set clinched our fear
factor ten-fold. Of course, my child found this bug curiously
fascinating - not scary at all. Leave it to the adult Master Gardener to
be creeped out by a bug. When I looked it up, I found that the assassin
bug "attacks its prey with a vicious stabbing motions, using the 'fang'
at the front of its head." While I was looking it up, my daughter went
back outside and gently transported it to safer ground. All I could say
was, "Oh, thanks sweetie." She's none the wiser, or is she?
scariest creature I found was a Cicada Killer. It was almost 2" long
and looked like a giant yellow jacket coming out of the ground. I
thought at first is was a plastic toy insect. Something one might see
especially as Halloween approaches.
~ The creepiest thing I ever found in my garden was while turning over my compost pile. I dug in with my garden fork and flipped over a large, matted section and saw a perfectly preserved bird skeleton. I quickly mixed it back in figuring the calcium was good for my plants.
~ I came face-to-face with a Black Widow Spider when cleaning out a brush pile. Shiny and aggressive -- she charged right up my shovel towards me. I'm not ashamed to say I screamed and ran.
What scarey encounters have YOU had in your garden?
From the submitted entries we chosen one winner at random to receive a 1-quart bottle of LavaMite
(http://www.lavamite.com). Congratulations to Brenda Lynn Kouyoumdjian of http://www.beehappygarden.com in Fairfax, VA! The prize retail value is $35.
LavaMite is an organic spray designed specifically to kill spider mites
without hurting the host plant. It can been used on many different types
of plants, including fruit and vegetable bearing plants, houseplants,
and more. Simply spray LavaMite onto the leaves of the affected plant
and all spider mites that come into contact with the spray will be dead
within 30 minutes.