I saw the harlequin beetles starting months ago. An abandoned plot there with an overgrown radish. Another ignored plot that way with some once-beautiful brassica. I sprayed them with the hose.
They didn’t bat an eye. Or a wing, either, seeing as I’m not sure if they have eyelids.
Eventually the left-alone plots were cleared out or cleaned up. Eventually the beetles were repeatedly carried with the best of delayed intentions to the compost box.
Eventually they went looking for fresher, living, brassicas.
Like my kale. I didn’t count the squirts and squishes today as I ended each beetle‘s attempted relocation plan. I did count the bucketfuls of kale lost to them (2.)
I took these Brussels home and we processed them in the front yard. I’m not sure how far they can fly in search of food, or how many stowaways I had left after the clear and present danger of my thumbs, but processing the trees in the front yard at least gave my back yard a chance to avoid transference.
Until next year, Harlequin. Or perhaps you don’t populate where I’ll be in a year’s time and whatever I’ve encountered will make me miss you. As you are, at least, kind enough to be easily spotted.