The bug cage

14 Feb

I seem to have accidentally killed all of the snails that were occupying Hannah’s bug cage
by not feeding and watering them, and leaving the cage in the sun.  Oops.  I guess that whole hibernation thing is negated when it’s 40 degrees (104 f) out.  

The snails ended up in there because they were eating my lettuce and I don’t particularly enjoy the crunching noise their shells make when killing them.  The kids liked looking at them in the cage anyway. “Can I see the snails?” Daniel asked me every day.  You’d think that would remind me to feed and water them, but what can I say, I still have baby brain.  I don’t think it ever goes away.

About a week ago, while I was watering my beans and corn, I found a weird looking bright green grasshopper trying to eat my crops.  I chased him all around the yard, jumping on the ground with my hands cupped, hoping the little brat would be under there until I finally caught him and shoved him in the bug cage with all of the now empty snail shells.  Turns out he is a vegetable grasshopper.  Good thing I captured him.

vegetable grasshopper

vegetable grasshopper. Image courtesy of Queensland Museum.


 He probably would have made an awful crunching noise if I tried to kill him, so a life in captivity is much better (for me at least…).  

Our heirloom beans (climbing blue lake which have a green pod and white beans inside, and Australian butter beans which have a white pod and purple beans inside) are actually growing beans now, as opposed to leaves only, and then leaves plus flowers, so I check them every day for pests.  My garden is organic; I don’t blanket spray with insecticides, and if I do need to spray anything, it’s home made white oil with an earth friendly brand of biodegradable dish soap, and vegetable oil.  I’ve only had to use that on the grapefruit tree though.

Yesterday, we found a cheeky caterpillar on one of the immature beans.  Nearly the whole bean had been devoured! He/she went straight in the cage with the grasshopper.  Hopefully grasshoppers don’t eat caterpillars.  We did put a very small baby grasshopper (regular grasshopper, not a vegetable one) in the cage with the vegetable grasshopper, but it disappeared after only a couple of hours.  It was a bit too big to get through the air slots, which can only mean that we are in possession of a cannibal grasshopper.

The bean eating caterpillar

The bean eating caterpillar on some lettuce we gave it.

A year ago, Hannah found a caterpillar on her pillow, and we put it in the bug cage.  A couple days later, she turned into a moth and we let her go.  Needless to say, Hannah is crazy excited for our new caterpillar to turn into a moth, only this time “we have to keep it in the bug cage or I will miss it too much,” Hannah told me.  That’s even better, then he/she can’t proliferate with other moths and lay eggs all over my vegetables (which hatch into caterpillars and eat whatever they are on after emerging from their eggs).  

Now that we have vegetables growing, I think we need a bigger bug cage.  Captivity is the price they have to pay if they eat my vegetables (or even go near them). *insert evil laugh here*

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3 Responses to “The bug cage”

  1. LBcruiseshipblogger February 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    Gerbils will eat grasshoppers, maybe your guinea pigs would too.

    • Mommy Adventures February 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

      but then I’d have to catch it again if they didn’t. Plus I don’t think Hannah would like that very much. She’s a bit sensitive.


  1. The cage of doom | Mommy Adventures - February 18, 2014

    […] that caterpillar we caught eating one of my heirloom organic Australian butter […]

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