Is Your Harvest Hiding Unwanted Guests? #GardenSense

cabbageworm
Sometimes I pick and run. Toss the beans in a bag. Snipped kale, lettuce or chives get bagged and into the fridge.
You’re suppose to wash it when you use it right? Harvest and store, wash when used is recommended to prevent mildew and spoilage.
How close do you look at those leaves? Do you discard the ones with holes?
Do you know frass (insect poop) from insect eggs?
Don’t feel bad. Unless you have studied entomology, you might not recognize the difference.
I should know better, but like I said, I was in a hurry.
So several days later I found these in the bag. Cabbageworms and little green frass balls.
cabbageworms
Yes, the bag was in the fridge.
cabbageworm
Insects are resilient. Most larvae and eggs can survive cold temperatures. In this case, even thrive.
A few years ago I ordered ladybugs online to put in my garden. Instructions said to keep hibernating beetles in the crisper, then revive at room temperature.
Even though it is best not to wash your produce before storing it in the refrigerator, inspect it. Discard anything suspicious.
If you need to wash it, spin or towel it dry.
Invest in a good insect ID book. I use Rodale’s Color Handbook of Garden Insects.
I don’t mind sharing a bit with the bugs. Sharing HAS to be done outside. I will be more careful from now on.
Do you have any insect stories you would like to share? Drop me a line at email or in the comments below. I’ll share your story here on Garden Sense at Daily Dish Magazine.

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  • Oh my! Recently I found a giant black winged butterfly or moth of some sort in my bagged, ready to eat salad from the market. It looked like a piece of red romaine. A good reminder to wash even prepared salad and keep your eyes open!!