Lots of calls about bugs come into the Extension Office this time of year. Some bugs are on the porch, some bugs are in the house, some are on animals, and some are on our plants. Let us think about what happens when we try to get rid of some of these bugs. Although some people do not care for any type of bugs, there are good bugs and bad bugs. The good bugs are referred to as beneficial insects by the leaders in Entomology. Beneficial bugs often help keep the bad bugs under control. If we use different treatments to kill insects that are bothering us, the treatment will usually kill the beneficial as well as the bad bugs.

Treatments are non-selective in most cases. So, what do we do? First, identify if the bug is a beneficial or a bad bug. Then, we can figure out if there are enough numbers of the bug to justify a treatment. If we treat every time we see a bug, we may kill beneficial ones or disrupt a healthy ecosystem, which may have taken care of itself without spray if we just give it a few days. Visit our website at https://extension.uga.edu/county-offices/jackson.html, under the Agriculture & Natural Resources tab where there is a link to Beneficial Insects, Spiders and Mites with more information.

Remember you can always contact the extension office for a little help. Phone: 706-367-6344. Email: uge1157@uga.edu.

Greg Pittman is the Jackson County Extension Coordinator/Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent.

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