Thursday, 28 July 2011

Harlequin Bugs and Some New Soap

I'd noticed some pretty red insects sheltering on the back of my garden spade(that I hadn't put away) and thought how cute they were. Yesterday I was reading a gardening magazine from the library and spotted my new little friends! They are Harlequin bugs or beetles and they live by sucking the sap from citrus trees, potato and pumpkin plants. Hmmm. Not good. The solution was simple enough though, drop them into a few inches of soapy water and that's it. I knocked them off the back of the spade and even picked a few up off the garden. Sad but true...they were within a yard/metre of my lemon and lime trees, potatoes and pumpkin vine so they were definitely up to no good.....have you seen them in your vegie garden?

The other thing I did yesterday was try Rhonda's new soap recipe,

1000gms olive oil
250 gms copha
450 gms of rainwater
172gms caustic soda

You'll need to visit Rhonda's blog for her instructions. I found this recipe quicker and even simpler to use than her previous recipe, the soap this morning was easy to cut and stamp and I'm very pleased with the result. Thank you, once again, Rhonda.

The recipe makes twice the amount shown in this photograph for less than $10 Au if I leave it unscented, the essential oils are rather expensive.


  1. I'm not a bug lover so thank goodness we don't have too many 'bad' ones in the UK. Citrus trees don't thrive here so those harlequin bugs wouldn't fancy life in this part of the world. I saw your soap and wondered if you were making a soapy solution to spray them with! Just a thought!!

  2. Do you know that actually occurred to me overnight...I can see why people do spray with soap and it would be safe for the birds. Snails are next on my list and I know you have plenty of those!!


  3. Sue, this soap could actually be termed a horticultural soap - it's fine on plants and won't upset the birds.