This is what Michel wrote to me a few days ago:
Thank you Gilles for all the valuable advice I have been able to read, especially in the book “my natural vegetable garden”.
Since 2 days, insects are attacking my plums, and I also find them on the leaves.
Can you tell me what these insects are and how to remove them (see attached photos)?
Currently I destroy them manually by crushing them between my fingers.
Thanks in advance.
And here are the 2 attached pictures:
It is… a nymph (the stage between the larva and the insect loves… thank you Aurélie for this correction) of a ladybug (could be confused with a Colorado potato beetle larva if you don’t look closely, but the ladybug larvae have black dots only on the back, while Colorado potato beetle larvae have only black dots on the sides – see the photos in the article dedicated to the beetle)
So I immediately replied to Michel to stop the massacre (and gave him a red card).
Well… let’s be clear, this isn’t about publicly condemning Michel (I’m preserving his anonymity, of course, by removing the signature and location in his post).
And we all make mistakes!
So, don’t overwhelm him in the comments (in any case, I won’t publish disrespectful posts if there are any).
No… The idea here is rather to use this example to warn you of your own fears…
Because that’s what it’s all about in the end.
Not knowing this insect and seeing damage to these plums, Michel reacts in fear and destroys … his savior.
Because this larva is actually clearing out a colony of aphids (as evidenced by the coiled, swollen leaves), which are the real culprits of the damage.
The ladybug larva has nothing to do with it (it is mainly carnivorous).
Exactly, this little video just sent to me by Maria-Louise (according to my personal support service) comes at the right time.
A beautiful thistle, full of vigor, has attracted a colony of aphids (leaving the cultivated plants…), which itself has attracted many ladybugs… which will have “cleaned up” the colony of aphids in a few days …
Do you understand the importance of preserving a large biodiversity?
So please, if you don’t know an insect, don’t destroy it!
Which also applies in a more global way… Because very often, faced with a “harmful” (it is we who qualify it as such…), it is often best to do nothing (I develop this idea here – this article is very short, I invite you to follow this link) … and let nature take care of balancing things.