Although geraniums are common garden plants, they were originally found in South Africa but have been cultivated in the United States since Thomas Jefferson brought them over from France in 1786. Since then many varieties have been developed making them hardy and easy to grow plants in our gardens.
Japanese beetles were first discovered in the U.S. at a nursery in Riverton, NJ in 1916 and were believed to have hitched a ride with a shipment of iris bulbs from Japan. Since that time, the beetles have become a nuisance throughout the United States leaving most of the west coast untouched.
Once 1 beetle finds a food source other beetles are attracted and the large group of beetles can do quite a bit of damage to a plant. The beetles emerge from grass root eating grubs in the ground in June, live for 30 - 45 days, and only 1 generation is produced each year, so there is just a short window of time to battle the beetles.
This morning when I attended to my geraniums I found an assasin bug crouched on a leaf with a dead beetle nearby.
Assasin bugs are found in most of North America and use their strong proboscis to stab their prey to death, inject a tissue dissolving toxin and then suck up the bug juice.
Superheroes! Saving my Geraniums! Hooray!!
Their bite can be painful but they benefit us by eating many unwanted beetles, flies and caterpillars that feed on crops - and geraniums!
I'm glad the assasin bug has found a home in my planter!
Sharing a little bit of science in our everyday world .
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Science of Hockey
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Iron Age to Van Gogh - Native/Invasive species
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Delaware to Germany/Grow Hedges
Space-A Vacation/How Planes Fly
Snake in my Yard
Assasin Bugs/Japanese Beetles
Venus Fly Trap
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