Monday, June 18, 2012

Nightcrawler II. This time it's personal.

After reporting previously about finding a mysterious bug on my hops after dark I have come to the conclusion that it is really not welcome. I posted this picture on the pest ID thread on the Home Brew Talk forum (a very good place to go if you're having similar problems):

Along with this picture of the damage I think it's causing:

I was rewarded with and identification as a June bug (thanks Phatspade). This was confirmed by further research. I also got the impression that the best way of distinguishing between this and a Japanese beetle is that the segment immediately behind the head is brown on a June bug and green on a Japanese beetle: 

Not to be confused with a Green June bug which is all green:

What all of this means is that I will be eliminating them with extreme prejudice whenever I find them. Seems that they are more than capable of decimating hops. Their larvae are also pests. Apparently they feed on the root systems of grass and can destroy lawns. I think this is true of all three of these beetles.

Another pest I've found recently, that made the mistake of taking a stroll around the tomato cages, is this guy:

Further research leads me to think that this is some form of Hop Merchant. Although the caterpillars are not identical by any means they are both certainly brightly coloured and quite hairy. Finding eggs on the underside of my leaves previously, which were arranged exactly as they are described here, as well as rolled up leaves with small caterpillars inside leads me to believe that this is what they are or something very similar. Here's an example of a leaf that had a caterpillar living rent free:

I haven't noticed a lot of damage from them but certainly don't want to be encouraging them.

On a completely different bug note, I saw this brightly coloured fly and was lucky enough to get this pic of it (you might need to view it in larger form):

The colour doesn't come out as well as it does in real life (probably a combination of my camera and skill with it). While doing research on the June bug, I just happened to stumble upon a page that seems to ID this bug as a long-legged fly. According to this article these are beneficial insects as they eat others, rather than my hops. Probably here as a consequence of all the other bugs that seem to like it in my garden. Hope to see more of them.

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