plant diagnostics

Unconventional Packaging

Bug Container.jpg

On average, during a typical day in June, I will about half a dozen  ‘plant diagnostics’ sheets will land on my desk. Most queries are about identification of a particular bug that is attacking a garden plant followed by recommendations on how to control them.

I find the world of bugs fascinating, and I’m not repulsed by zip lock bags full of writhing caterpillars. But some of the bug samples do arrive in some unconventional ‘packaging’.

Just this past week, bugs were delivered to me in a blue surgical glove, a vodka bottle and Credit Card receipt with the bugs smashed onto the paper.

I don’t mind the different ‘containment’ devices that gardeners use for their pest samples, although bugs that are smeared on paper are rather tough to identify!

However, live bug samples wrapped in Saran wrap or enclosed in paper have a history of occasionally escaping and wandering about my office. As I mentioned, I don’t get creeped-out by bugs, but some people who pop into my office aren’t big fans of these ‘free range’ critters.

Now, if you are curious about a particular bug or disease pest in your yard, proper identification of the critical first step. 

Just remember that if you are submitting a bug sample to us through our Professional Diagnostics Service, an empty Vodka bottle makes a better vessel than does a few layers of Saran wrap…although drinking an entire bottle of Vodka to make room for a bug is NOT a good idea.

~Jim Hole