Friday, January 15, 2010

Earth-Friendly Garden Quiz-January Question #2 -Mosquitoes

Earth-Friendly Garden Quiz-January Question #2

Last weeks question: The common housefly is probably the world's most common pest.  But not all flies are detrimental. Which of the following are good for the garden? a. crane fly, b. robber fly, c. syrphid fly, d. tachnid fly, e. all of the above?

The answer: All are good! Crane flies-sometimes called mosquito hawks-look like giant mosquitoes, but they don't bite people.  The adults usually feed on nectar, although some species eat other insedts.  The larvae eat decaying plant matter.

Robber flies swoop down and grab flying insects out of the air. Their long legs have spurs that immobilize the prey, which can include just about anything-even bees. As larvae, they live in rotting wood or in the ground, eating insect eggs and larvae.

Syrphid flies, also called hover flies, look like bees and hover over flowers.  As adults they eat plant nectar, making them perfect pollinators.  As larvae, they eat aphids, mealybugs, and other garden pests.  To attract the adult, plant daisies, marigolds, and sunflowers.

Tachnid flies are large gray flies that lay eggs on cutworms, caterpillars, or the eggs (or larvae) of harlequin bugs, Japenese beetles, and other common garden pets, which their larvae then eat!

Answer courtesy of the Sierra Club Earth-Friendly Garden Knowledege Cards

Only one person answered last weeks question correctly.  You still have a chance to win a book on sustainablity.  The person who is first to answer the most question WINS!

Question 2.

What are some ways to reduce mosquitoes in the garden?

Hint: NO pesticides!

Just make you comment below for a chance to be a winner!


Happy Digging!
The Garden Goddess
http://www.down2earthgardens.com/

3 comments:

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I can offer two ways: don't leave standing water around (in saucers, buckets, etc) and live by the seaside, where the wind, fog, etc seems to moderate the mosquito populations. Oh, and don't use chemicals so you don't kill off your frogs and other amphibians and reptiles and birds etc that help to eat larvae and control populations...

(I'm way NOT into spraying, can you tell?)

Meredith said...

No standing water, as jodi said, but also: (1) put up a bat house in your yard to attract these great mosquito predators, and (2) plant lemongrass and/or sprinkle lemon juice around your patio area -- don't know why, but they hate the stuff.

And of course, also as jodi said, absolutely never spray anything chemical, especially no pesticides. Insect population balance is essential to getting any insect pests under control, and that only occurs where the ecosystem is healthy and diverse.

NellJean said...

Woo, I'm glad to know about the lemongrass. My dog and cat love it. I'll spread it all around this spring.

I came here by way of Blotanical, where you're briefly 'Featured Blog' -- I urge you to go there, click on Your Plot, then read the FAQs under the Help tab.

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