Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Garden Frights: What is Lurking in Your Flower Beds?

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?

 ~ The 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. 

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Can't wait to get rid of my mites! Thanks for the win.
Brenda