Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Opposition

It's my understanding that Iowa City doesn't have a really huge problem with Japanese beetles, at least not yet, not as much as we're going to. There's only so much one can do about it. I've been, on occasion, going through the roses, grapes, and hibiscus at work, picking beetles off and then stepping on them, but of course it doesn't really make that much of a difference and it's too much work to be particularly emotionally satisfying, as far as that goes. I don't know if we're doing anything more than that to deal with them, though. I don't think I've ever seen, or heard of, anybody spraying anything other than herbicide (we do have weeds, in spots) on the nursery lot. Though perhaps we ought to.

The rabbits are more of a problem: they're capable of eating a lot more, they've been with us for a lot longer, and there's less we can do about them. I saw a whole family of them a couple days ago: two adults and one baby. They don't seem to be increasing in numbers, exactly, but they're not particularly under control, either. Maybe it doesn't matter: I don't think there's anything we could do to keep them out, and for obvious reasons we can't really have bear traps nestled among the pots of hydrangeas or whatever. As far as it goes, I don't know for certain that they're doing any real damage to the plants. I just assume they're up to no good.

And what do they need such good eyesight for? Hmm?

But anyway. Back to the pests. We don't usually have a lot of spiders, but the ones we get are often pretty good size.

This one ate one of the nursery lot guys in June.

No, not really. I took this picture in Tipton, Iowa. I was curious about the story behind it ('cause you know there's got to be a story of some kind behind it), but a little too shy to ask. Tipton's good for weird lawn ornamentation: while we were there, I also saw a pastel pink and blue winged horse, like a big "My Little Pony" but winged, concrete, and sitting in somebody's front lawn. It was a so-wrong-it-must-be-right kind of moment. If and when we go back up there, I'm going to find that horse and take pictures, because y'all need to see it. I feel really dumb for not getting pictures when I saw it in the first place.

Notable omission: I meant to get a picture of bagworms for you, but couldn't come up with one fast enough. There are issues with them, too, in certain isolated spots, mostly on the lot landscaping (as opposed to the items for sale), as far as I know. The nursery lot guys are on top of it. On the plus side, no whitefly (yet), and no aphids (anymore), so hooray for us.


Jane O' said...

I guess as much as we all dislike pest, they're here to stay and we just have to learn how to deal with them! Japanese beetles are a big problem here but didn't seem to be as much problem for me as for others. I don't think they like my herbs!

Wicked Gardener said...

I SOOOOOOOO want a giant spider for my fence. Where do I buy one????? :D

Benjamin Vogt said...

I've got bagworms and aphids up the whazoo. WAY up it.

Any Jem lawn ornaments? She's truly, truly outrageous.

Anonymous said...

That spider was way cool!!!

Have had a few japanese beetles on my third floor balconey. Caught one of the SOBs eating one of the buds on my imapatient. I promptly fed it to one of my tarantulas

lisa said...

If you see a lot of damage from rabbits, you can always spray a long-lasting repellent. So far, I find this to be effective (and good-smelling), but this has proven effective over a longer trial period by me...however it smells disgusting. (Luckily the smell fades well overnight). Or you could always keep them busy with a pellet gun...just sayin'. :)