I have been killing cabbage worms for several weeks now, dealing death twice a day — morning and evening — to the munching green worms of cabbage destruction. I had been crushing the green worms under my thumb. Okay, just the tiny ones. I'm too squeamish to crush the big ones. They get tossed far away or ground under foot.
Today, however, I saw the summer's first Japanese beetles in my garden, and that required a new plan.
I had half-hearted-ly tried to control them in previous years, but this year, with my renewed beautiful veggie garden in their new raised beds and my mom's phlox and other flowers from her garden transplanted to my garden.
It was time to get serious, and preferably without chemicals.
Later I will apply nematodes and milky spore to go after the next generation when in their grub stage, but for now I have opted for the bucket of death, which I am pleased to say looks an awful lot like this bucket. I put a few inches of water and some dish soap into my trusty blue bucket, gloved up, and went off to wage war, up close and personal.
Before, the death I dealt to my insect foes was quick, but now I deal in drowning, and it is surprisingly satisfying, yet also a little disturbing. I try not to look too closely as my captured foes go to their watery graves. I dropped cabbage worms into soapy suds, shook beetles from flower petals, and even knocked one right out of the air and into the bucket as it was flying. I stood vigilant and quiet, surveyed the battle field for the enemy, learned to identify the flight style and patterns of the beetle versus bees and wasps. Even scolded a bee for getting annoyed at my presence. Listen, bee, I'm defending your food source. Get out of my way.
The Japanese beetles are not getting my mom's phlox.
That's really all I have to say about it.