Autumn: a Season of New Critters

Just when I thought the beginning of autumn would bring me a respite from pests and critters, I was inundated with new critters – many I’ve never seen that are eating my crops! Time for more research, it seems.

The one good guy is this green garden snake. As long as he stays outside, I’m okay with him hanging around. My garden has a smorgasbord of insects for him to eat. (I bet he’s the one making the holes in my raised beds.)

Green garden snake

Green garden snake

Last week, we found this on my sweet gum tree. When I asked my Garden Wilson (GW) how he planned to kill this land snail for me, he said, “With garlic and butter sauce.” Funny.

Land snail on my tree

Land snail on my tree

The cicadas are making quite a racket around here, and we found a newly molted one on my tree, with his molted “shell” nearby. Although I’m not a cicada fan, it is a pretty cool picture my GW took.

Newly molted cicada

Newly molted cicada

I discovered a brand new pest in my cucumbers and squash – a pickle worm! I had to research it to find out what it is. They are a late summer/fall pest that moves up from Florida (they don’t overwinter here). After eating the leaves of squash and cucumbers, they wrap themselves in a sticky cocoon, stuck between two leaves or within a leaf turned in on itself.

Pickle worm on cucumber leaf

Pickle worm on cucumber leaf

Because nothing I had seemed to kill them, we resorted to cutting off the section of leaf they were wrapped in, then stepping on them. I was desperate! Look at what they’ve done to my winter squash leaves.

Winter squash leaves eaten

Winter squash leaves eaten

Remember the snow peas I had growing up tripods in pots? Well, something started eating the leaves on one of them.

Snow pea leaves eaten

Snow pea leaves eaten

And this is what is eating them. I’ve never seen this before, and I can’t figure out what it is. Nothing I see online looks like this.

Snow pea eating bugs

Snow pea eating bugs

To save my other two pots of snow peas, I threw the entire pot of plants away – bugs and all. Anyone know what this is and how to kill it organically? I will need to know if I catch them on the other plants.

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