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Polistes Carolina

May 1, 2012

A beneficial insect

These red wasps have been in my garden from the beginning.

They like nectar and are an effective pollinator of some plants; however, the very best thing about them is they are top notch predators. They are continuously combing over, under, and in between leaves, especially lettuce, cabbage and other greens.

What do they eat? Worms, caterpillars, grubs and other soft bodied creatures that make a habit of eating what I am attempting to grow for my own consumption.

They behave nothing like they do when their nests are disturbed; they are easy going and generally avoid trouble, moving off as approached.

Be happy when they are in your garden- they are doing you a favor.

Nothing like a sip of pond water to wash down a tiny grub eh?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2012 10:41 pm

    Great photo.
    I have a live-in predator I’ve befriended: the house centipede. I understand they can live up to seven years, amazing for insects. They eat everything we don’t like: roaches, bedbugs, moskweetoes. fleas, you name it. Prime insectivores.
    And the cats find them … fascinating.

    • May 1, 2012 10:42 pm

      I’ve learned much more about the good bugs since i got into the bad bug attracting game a couple years ago.

  2. May 1, 2012 10:42 pm

    In 1902, C.L. Marlatt, an entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture wrote a brief description of the house centipede:

    “It may often be seen darting across floors with very great speed, occasionally stopping suddenly and remaining absolutely motionless, presently to resume its rapid movements, often darting directly at inmates of the house, particularly women, evidently with a desire to conceal itself beneath their dresses, and thus creating much consternation.”

  3. May 2, 2012 7:26 am

    They are absolutely beautiful little machines.

  4. May 2, 2012 10:30 pm

    Do marigolds work? don’t they attract pests away from other flowers, or somethin’? (from my eyrie in New York City…)

    • May 3, 2012 5:32 am

      Mostly myth-

      The roots of some dwarf French marigolds put something in the soil that kills certain nematodes but it take months. Most of what you see aren’t dwarf french varieties and the types of nematodes in our soil here are many

  5. May 14, 2012 5:12 pm

    Wow that is a great shot, fantastic color! You really have a lot going on in your garden 🙂

    • May 14, 2012 8:17 pm

      Water changed everything.

      Btw I like the guinea pictures

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