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Insects

Celebrating Insects

My four-year-old granddaughter sat for a good half hour the other morning completely mesmerized by a caterpillar climbing up a branch. She squealed in delight each time it inched its way up the branch, forming an arch, then straightening out.  She declared that green was her favorite color and asked if she could keep it “forever.”    

I have to admit it --  I wasn’t quite so entranced with the giant tomato hornworm crawling up my heirloom tomato plant, but her fascination and pure joy did strike a chord with me. We all need to be a bit more appreciative of the insect populations that surround us, not just the monarch butterflies and golden honeybees, but all insects -- even the tomato hornworms in our lives. The stark reality is without insects, the planet will cease to exist as we know it. 

Bringing Butterflies Home

Keeping a healthy, robust butterfly garden throughout the fall is an essential tool in not only maintaining our current butterfly population, but also to hopefully increase it. Here are just a few suggestions Embassy designers suggest to their clients.

The Butterfly Dilemma

I am sure that you have heard by now  --  “the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened and endangered species is warranted but precluded by work on higher-priority listing actions. With this decision, the monarch becomes a  candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act…(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Press Release, Dec. 2020)”  Essentially that means that as the number 8 candidate on the list, data on the monarch butterfly will be periodically reviewed until it either reaches the top of the list, recovers or becomes extinct. With the numbers of both Eastern and Western Monarchs dramatically plummeting across the entire North American continent, many question the ruling.

What's Bugging You Today?

Neither an insect nor a “true bug,” this fierce-looking arachnid is a common visitor to the garden. Black and yellow garden spiders (also known as Corn Spiders or Zipper Spiders) and their impressive orb webs (up to two feet in diameter), …

What's Bugging You Today?

By Sandra Nelson   My butterfly weed has been taken over by bright orange bugs. At first glance, I thought they were lady bugs attacking aphids–  about the right size and shape  —  but before long I knew something else was at work. Almost overnight they had changed into slender insects with long black legs …

What's Bugging You Today?

  By Sandra Nelson   Wasps, as a family, have gotten a bad rap over the years. They have been branded as destructive and aggressive, working together in mobs intent on harming every human within the reach of their seemingly enormous stingers.     While some wasps, especially social ones, are nuisance insects, a large number …

What's Bugging You Today?

  By Sandra Nelson   One of the more unusual species of the insect world, scale insects are both fascinating  and frustrating.     Ranging in size from microscopic dots when hatched up to a half of an inch as adults, all of the 8,000 described scale varieties share some common characteristics. As juveniles, scale …