Life Lived Outside
The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
May 28, 2020
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The Good Bugs  |   Weekly Special  |   Dwell at Kerby's
Along Came a Spider
by Joey Bokor

Some of you just read that title and shuddered a little bit. If you are afraid of little critters, spiders are probably at the top of your fear list. Bugs don't really bother me. I am officially the person who has to rid the house of unwanted critters. Fortunately, Abby does a good job as backup when I'm not there. It is a good thing I'm not afraid of bugs, because as I sat out in my garden enjoying a little shade on a hot afternoon, I looked down at my notebook and I saw this:

I managed to snap a picture, but it wasn't easy. This little guy is a Twin-Flagged Jumping Spider and he lived up to his name jumping and zipping across the pages of my notebook. He hung around long enough for he and I to have a little chat, for me to snap a few pictures and then watch him jump off into other adventures in the world.

But my spider encounters were not over. About fifteen minutes later, I look down at my sleeve and I see this:

This guy is possibly a Magnolia Green Jumper (apparently my yard is filled with jumping spiders. That seems like the start of a horror movie . . .) And he similarly obliged me with a picture. As these two little spiders scurried quickly in and quickly out of my space, it reminded me how important it is to take care of the good bugs in our yards too. We may need to spray occasionally to treat bad bugs, but the more cautious we are, the better the ecosystem of our gardens will be. Below, the article highlights some of the common beneficial insects in Florida. Many bugs, like spiders aren't all bad. Sure, there are some that are pests like aphids, mealybugs, and mosquitos. But the beneficial insects, including spiders, help to keep the bad-bug populations down.

So, the next time you are out in the garden, look for some of the good bugs and thank them for helping to keep your garden happy.
Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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The Good Bugs

Even the squeamish among us might be able to get along with these bugs. They do a great job of keeping our gardens free of bad bugs and allow our veggies, fruits and flowers to flourish. So the next time you see a bug, make sure it isn't one of these before you squish.

Lady Bug Even the squeamish among us might be able to get along with these bugs. They do a great job of keeping - Probably the most well known beneficial bug is the lady bug or lady beetle. They are cute little bugs with a rounded red shell that has anywhere from zero to twenty dots on it. Lady bugs may seem docile, but they are voracious eaters of aphids, so always leave them be. And look out for their larval form as well (picture is inset at right). It doesn't look anything like the adult ladybugs and is often confused for a bad bug.

Bees - We all know how important bees are. Without bees, we wouldn't have food. I think it is especially important to remember this when spraying things like our veggie gardens or fruit trees. Watch for active bees and never spray if they are present. The quickest way to reduce a garden harvest is to reduce the number of bees. To that end, consider keeping a little bit of your yard on the wild side to give bees and other beneficial insects a place to call home.

Praying Mantis - This larger bug isn't as commonly seen in the garden, but they are really cool when you do find them. They typically grow larger than 2 inches in length and when you do find them, they'll be hidden among the leaves of the plants just waiting to pounce on other passing insects.

Assasin Bug - This is another larger bug that grows up to one inch in lenth. Their size allows them to catch all types of insects and some of their favorites are mosquitos, flies and aphids. We promise they are only after bugs and aren't out to get you.

Dragonflies - When I was a kid, I remember my parents making me a little critter cage for me to collect my insect finds in. One of our favorites to try and catch was dragonflies. They come in such a wide array of colors, but they sure are hard to catch. You'll often find dragonflies near ponds, because one of their favorite foods is mosquitos, giving them the nickname 'Mosquito Hawk'. Their nypmhs are found in water and can help control mosquito larva too. That's the kind of bug I want to have around!

As you enjoy your garden, make sure you let some of these amazing and beneficial insects enjoy it too.

New Arrivals
Pink Mandevilla

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Crape Myrtle Trees

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Shop for planty gifts for your friends, family, or for yourself at our new online house plant shop. Currently, shipping is limited to Florida, Georgia and Alabama, but soon we'll be open to the entire country. Share your love of plants with someone today.
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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5:30pm
11am - 4pm