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Heritage Village, Vineland, Ontario

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Rural Neighbours

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Meet Your Rural Neighbours

  New to the neighbourhood?  It's always important to get to know your neighbours and tell friend from foe.  Here is a guide to the Good Guys and Bad Guys.

 Part 1. Buggy Neighbours

 Good Bugs

These are known as “beneficials” being predatory insects, parasites, pathogens or nematodes that are natural enemies of crop pests.  These guys are so helpful, that the farmers and greenhouse growers buy them by the millions.  Suburbanites may be inclined to squish them when they wander into their home.  Don't: Think "green" and "biocontrol".  They are the bug po-lice that keep out the bad guys.  If you want your own "bug army" to guard your garden visit: Natural Insect Control (NIC)  in Stevensville, for a supply of ladybugs, praying mantis, natural fly parasites and other non-chemical solutions to what bugs you.  Some 1,000 ladybugs will set you back about $20.

  

Friend or Foe?

  asian.lady

The Asian Ladybug (Harmonia axyridis) has  become a nuisance as hordes invade Vineland homes.  In 2001, they polluted the Niagara grape harvest leading to a bad vintage.

Native to Japan, Korea and Russia, they were imported and released for bio-control in the 1960's to 1990's to eat aphidsthat were  ruining soybean crops.   Their season is October to December, after which they hybernate - unfortunately, in our warm homes.  Catch them in a jar and let them out or use a vaccuum cleaner - traps and toxic sprays are not effective.  Yes, they bite - but only once (each). 

 

 

 

 

  Bad Bugs

 

OK, you get the picture: there are more bad guys than good guys.  But now you can sound smarter when you see a bug and say:  "Oh, this one's a beneficial - must be an immigrant from the IPM program " (Integrated Pest Management).  

So you like bugs?  We have a treat for you.  Come to the Annual International 'Bug-a-licious' Insect Food Festival at the Butterfly Observatory (Niagara Falls).  Held each year on Ontario's Family Day long-weekend (mid-February), this is your opportunity to sample insect recipes from master chefs, using crickets, scorpions, grasshoppers, ants and stinkbugs and otyher delectables, prepared on site.  Birng your own bugs, if you wish.

Further Reading

 A.F.G. Dixon (2000)  Insect Predator - Prey Dynamics (Ladybird Beetles & Biological Control. Cambridge U. Press.

Ontario Minstry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs. Insects and Pests of Field Crops: General Insects and Pests

 Most images here have come from their gallery.   

 

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