Picture Snob

July 6, 2009

National Pollinator's Week A Time to Help Our Helpers

The National Wildlife Federation has some tips for helping out pollinators, reminding us that "every third bite of food" comes from their help. They have some tips to make life a little easier for butterflies, bees, and birds.

1. Hang a hummingbird feeder32542.jpg
2. Build a bee house32543.jpg
3, Plant a butterfly garden32545.jpg

You can check out their tips for keeping our planet healthy. All things you can do in your back yard.

Marilyn Renaker at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 30, 2009

Green Light Organic Neem II - A Safe Insecticide


Neem Oil with Pyrethrin, which is made from chrysanthemums, can be safely used in vegetable gardens, fruit & nut trees & ornamentals. It provides immediate control of ants, aphids, mealy bugs, spider mites, and those pesky cucumber beetles who wreck my melons and cuke plants.

At Green Light Organic Neem II - 24 oz Spray #07824

Marilyn Renaker at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 12, 2009

7 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes-Kills over 230 Harmful Bugs


If your plants start to droop and wilt but have plenty of water, these beneficial nematodes may be the answer. They work on soil dwelling and wood boring insects which are hard to see.

  • These microscopic insects will seek out and destroy over 230 kinds of harmful insects, including cutworms, armyworms, rootworms, weevils, grubs, fungus gnat larvae, and many more.

  • They are completely safe for people, pets, and the environment, and are compatible with other beneficial insects.

  • Beneficial nematodes are shipped live in the box

  • They are completely compatible with beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantids and do not harm earthworms.

  • They are completely safe for people, pets, and the environment

At 7 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes-Kills over 230 Bugs

Marilyn Renaker at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 3, 2009

Orange Guard Water Based Indoor/Outdoor Home Pest Control - Safe and Made from Oranges


  • Orange Guard kills insects fast on contact
  • Kills and repels ants, roaches, silverfish, fleas and other insect pests for weeks.
  • You can even spray it on kitchen counters and on pets' bedding
  • For use around Food, Humans, and Pets
  • OMRI Certified
Orange Guard is a water based indoor/outdoor insecticide that may be used around food, humans and pets. Made from d-Limonene (orange peel extract) and inert ingredients, Orange Guard is EPA-registered and now available to consumers. Works naturally on ants, fire ants, roaches, fleas, silverfish, aphids, spider mites, leaf hoppers, scale insects, and other insect pests. I'm going to try it on the cucumbers and melon plants in the garden to protect them from the striped cucumber beetle which has hammered my plants the last two years. Hhhhmmmm. Might also try it on the dog's bed.

At Orange Guard Water Based Indoor/Outdoor Home Pest Control - 32 oz Spray #103

Marilyn Renaker at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 19, 2008

Mantis Tiller - chop up those hornworm cocoons this fall!

As we were gathering the last of the tomatoes for canning, we went at it with gusto, confident that all the worms, bugs and caterpillars had taken wing in their new forms and gone on to greener pastures. But, soon enough, we were rubbing shoulders (no horns - I checked both ends) with this one.

Could be a late season hornworm since there can be two generations of them in a single year. And, there must be more than one in the GardenSnob garden because many tomatoes had that characteristic, quarter-sized bite shaved off of them. This one is a purple/brown/grey color, though, not the typical green, so we'll keep searching for its proper identity. We decided to leave this little guy on the tomato so it can mature into a moth. We have enough tomatoes and it would be really cool to see the giant 5-6" moth.

One way to stave off next year's hornworms is to till your garden this fall, keeping an eye out for the cocoons which are reddish brown. Make sure you crush, destroy, pulverize them. The Mantis tiller might be just the thing for this job. It's light and maneuverable and uses a dependable Honda engine.


I've only heard good things about them and am tempted to get one myself. Although it's more expensive, I recommend the one with the 4-cycle engine because it's easier to start and a lot quieter. On sale at Amazon for $448.82.

And now for the fun stuff. How could we mention something as disgusting as a tobacco worm without giving a visual? Here's a really gross video for all the worm lovers but especially my 7 & 8 year old nephews. It shows a pretty girl eating a large tobacco hornworm on a dare. This is as gross as it gets! Don't say I didn't warn you.

Hot Chick Eating Juicy Tomato Worm - The most popular videos are here

The hornworm has taken quite a beating this season so let's see it in its hummingbird moth form. Looks graceful enough and the flower sure is pretty.

moth.jpg (Photo courtesy of Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota)

Mary Ellen at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

August 31, 2008

Asian longhorned beetle

asian_long_horned_beetle2.gifasian_long_horned_beetle1.gifAlright, first it was the Mexican beetle, now it's one from China. Will everyone just keep their beetles to themselves? Maybe we have one that we can send abroad to visit. Here's an article about this relatively new invader from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette:

A tree-destroying beetle that was discovered in Worcester early this month may have been in the city at least five years earlier than federal officials estimated.

A local pest control owner, Geoff Ford, says a sample of the Asian longhorned beetle has been in his insect collection since 1997, when someone brought it to him to identify.

Federal officials estimated the beetle was in Worcester since 2002 after a scientist examined what appeared to be the most infested tree.

For more information and more pictures of the life cycle of this pest, visit the website of UVM's entomology research laboratory.

Mary Ellen at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 23, 2008

Suit accuses restaurant of giving man big tapeworm

To conclude our week of worms, bugs and other gross things, here's a story to read after eating dinner.

A man claims a restaurant served him a tapeworm in his food.

Franz's lawsuit seeks $100,000 from Shaw's and its parent company, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, contending the restaurant's staff was negligent in serving him improperly cooked fish.

But Carrol Symank, vice president of food safety for Lettuce Entertain You, said the tapeworm didn't come from Shaw's. "We have done a thorough investigation and we're confident the restaurant is not the source," he said.

According to the Web site mayoclinic.com, tapeworms can measure up to 50 feet long. (article from Associated Press)

So, what does a tapeworm look like? tapeworm.jpg

According to www.MedFriendly.com, "adult tapeworms have hooks, spiny structures, or suckers on their head, which allow them to attach to the wall of the intestine. The rest of the tapeworm is made up of a chain of flat segments. In the human digestive system, tapeworms develop into an adult form with one or more sexual organs that are capable of producing eggs. Adult tapeworms can be 20 to 30 feet in length!"

Full read at AP

Mary Ellen at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Praying Mantis Poster, Live Insects & Video

Now this is one cool looking insect. No stomach upset here. praying_mantis.jpgAnd they are beneficial for the garden by eating all the other bugs that eat your plants.

Here's a poster print by Pete Oxford. praying_mantis_poster.jpgThe 40 x 30 print is available at Amazon for $69.99.

But the real thing is even better. Buy 4 praying mantises or an egg out of which 500 baby mantises could emerge from www.livemantis.com.

But, wait, there's more. Check out this clip of a female eating a male after mating.

Mary Ellen at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 22, 2008

Gusanito Factory Worms Farm Bin and 1,000 Red Worms

Think you don't have enough room to farm? Think again. worm_farm.jpgThis worm farm measures 16" x 16" x 28". Hey, isn't that smaller than the average TV nowadays? Set it up right next to your trash can and compost pail in the kitchen. Or if you have one of those new, fancy kitchens and the trash can is a drawer in the cabinets, put the worm farm in the garage or basement or downstairs bathroom. Better yet, keep a small version under your desk at work. I'm not joking - people do this! This worm farm comes with coconut husk bedding to get you started. Find it at Amazon for $79.95.

And don't forget the worms! red_worm.jpgYou can buy a pound of them from Amazon, too, for $39.95. 1,000 to 1,200 worms per pound. This certainly must be one of the stranger items for sale there.

Let's find some real pictures of those worms to keep the week's theme alive. Here's one from www.redwormcomposting.com, which has everything you need to know about composting with worms.


And here's another one from www.ourvitalearth.com, an online store with worm composting equipment.


Okay, that's enough. I've got the now familiar feeling in my stomach. Yuck.

Mary Ellen at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

August 21, 2008

Opening day at the blueberry farm

This is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year: opening day at the blueberry farm. This is a beautiful and secluded farm with approx. 3,500 blueberry bushes.

Thumbnail image for rows_of_berries.jpg Thumbnail image for blueberry_farm1.jpg

It has a designated handicap access row as well. We usually pick upwards of 30 lbs of berries every year for fresh eating, making jam and freezing for blueberry pies throughout the year. The blueberries were blue, crowds were few, and it wasn't even raining. The berries tasted great and we settled in for a few focused hours of picking and eating.

Thumbnail image for cluster_of_berries1.jpgThumbnail image for cluster_of_berries2.jpg

After a couple hours, we recognized another devotee who gave a stern warning: Watch out for maggots. WHAT!? Gross. Then he showed us a berry with a tiny hole

Thumbnail image for hole_in_blueberry.jpg

which, when opened, revealed a little, white, disgusting maggot.

Thumbnail image for maggot!.jpg

For more on the blueberry maggot (or blueberry fruit fly), read this info from the U of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Yes, it was true. Blueberry day was ruined. We started to pick again, but slower now, and no eating handfuls of berries. Barely registering 10 lbs of fruit, we quietly headed home to sort through them all and put the safe ones in the freezer, calculating silently how many maggots we had eaten that morning.

The chickens, on the other hand, loved the rejects, probably wondering who could have thought of such a delectable treat as a blueberry sheathed worm. This had to be something specifically created for them.

Just when you think you've found a fool-proof, pest proof, disease proof enterprise, along comes a maggot to bring things to a sudden halt. Farming is a tough business. Dave, the vegetable and fruit farmer down the street, reported yesterday that his crops have been hailed on several times this year, lettuce is rotting in the field, tomatoes aren't ripening because there hasn't been enough sunshine, 5 acres of pumpkins which should contain 40,000 lbs of fruit have almost none, and bees aren't pollinating because it has been so rainy. And, worst of all, he can't wait for this year to be over. Support your local farmer! The least we can do is buy the stuff that is growing this year. Click here to find a farmer's market near you.

Mary Ellen at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

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