With the wet spring we experienced, I was concerned that there might be an increased number of pests on the farm this year. However, I’m happy to report that after the early slug infestation or “slug-a-geddon” passed, pest numbers were actually down. We seem to have the normal amount of Cabbage Butterflies, Cucumber Beetles and grasshoppers making a living at the farm. This isn’t bad though, because it supports our pest control team who were right in there to make sure numbers stayed at a normal level.
All of our birdhouses were occupied this year with Tree Swallows and Western Bluebirds. So we have plans this winter to build more nesting boxes geared to even more varieties of birds and I can’t wait to see them move in. From small Chickadees and finches to Merganser ducks along the creek, we would like to offer up as many nesting sites as possible.
Besides birds, other members of our pest control team are the frogs and Praying Mantis that inhabit the farm.
I have seen a lot of tree frogs all over the place this year (maybe the wet spring had something to do with that). When I pull up any plant in the garden, I make sure to shake it and dislodge any small frogs so they can move on to the next plant. It’s the same way with the Mantis. They are so well camouflaged that I just don’t see them until I dislodge them while watering or try to remove a plant from the garden. I know that for each one I see, there must be many more of them around doing a job that is so important.
If we try to keep a safe environment that benefits not only the “pests” but the creatures who rely on them as a food source, we have the best odds on keeping everything in check and making a safe environment and food source for ourselves as well.