Lifted a pot on the balcony yesterday, and what did I find, but an enormous, big, fat, grub, with a brown head – I picked it up and it waved it’s little legs helplessly. Steeling my heart in the knowledge that its rapacious mouth would make short shrift of some plant or other if left in situ I dumped it in a pet bottle. It’s curled up in there now, awaiting its fate……….Google tells me it is June bug: http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/forums/insects-and-invertebrates/12231-whats-grub-stag-beetle.html. Sadly not some rare moth or butterfly that I can happily set free again… Capturing it was so easy I thought I’d I’ll just sift through all my pots by hand and pick them out, just a teensy, weensy bit obsessed honest. So decided to have another go today, its freezing, but no matter, the hunt is on. So with my new gardening gloves on I toddled into the great, frigid European outdoors and digging like a mole enthusiastically started sifting through the earth. Nothing doing in the pot that had the passiflora in it, but maybe didn’t dig deep enough? Nothing in the herb container, but halt, digging through the second herb container there are lots of little grubs. These ones smaller, whiter, but someone infinitely more threatening looking. If you have ever seen a cockroach watching you from the ceiling of a room, you know what I am talking about, and if you haven’t read Kafka, and all will become clear. He did know what he was talking about. So the little white grubs, had little white legs in front, and some others were small maggoty with a brownish head, puny compared to the one I found yesterday. Into the bottle they went to await their fate with the June grub. And I have now had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of all life cycle forms of last years summer existence Otiorhynchus sulcatus – pics on http://www.lallf.de/Kleingartentipps.20.0.html pictures 2 and 3…………they eat everything. The bugs eat the leaves, the grubs eat the roots – the two are the insect relatives of Jack and his wife in the old nursery rhyme:
Jack Sprat could eat no fat, His wife could eat no lean, And so betwixt the two of them, They licked the platter clean
The platter in this case will be your rhododendrons, and your roses, and your herbs and any other plant you hold dear. And its happening in a garden near you, right now – ARGGGHHH!
Ordering the nematodes tomorrow – time to use some good old biological warfare…..do I put the bugs I found into a little pot and add the nematodes, infect them and then when they are dead bury them in the soil to free more nematodes?
Extreme threats call for extreme measures… In my defense, I rescue earthworms when they are stuck on the pavement in the sun with nowhere to go, if I see demented looking people on the street, or old men in wheelchairs and slippers on my road at 3 in the morning, I will run out to help. But where the livelihood of my plants is concerned I need to take sides.