Potato Bug!

27 August 2019

I Have Been Spending A LOT Of Quality Time in My Backyard…….

My Back Yard

I (Anne Curry) solemnly made a vow this year to eliminate all of the Bermuda grass and nut grass in the yard and replace it with a cornucopia of organic delicious vegetables.  That was the idea anyway…..

The reality is that both Bermuda grass and nut grass are well established in my yard and are very difficult to remove.   Both of them are on the top of the “10 Most Noxious Weeds” list and both are hated and feared by gardeners. 

The best way to eradicate Bermuda and nut grass (organically) is to dig them out.   I believe I have tried every other possible method of removal in the past and digging them out is the best answer for me, so every morning while it’s still (relatively) cool I am on my hands and knees sifting through every inch of dirt in my big back yard.  There is one thing though….working in the dirt at a certain depth, you are bound to run into a lot of crawly things, such as earwigs, sow bugs and grubs. 

One particular crawly thing I watch out for in my back yard is the potato bug (aka Jerusalem Cricket).  I’ve run into this bug several times in the past and it is the kind of creature that nightmares and horror moves are made of.  This bug is scary enough to make you want to give up gardening and start pouring cement – but that’s not the kind of girl I am.  If I run into a potato bug, I stifle my screams of terror, grab my long handled shovel and gently, carefully pick it up and put it somewhere else in the yard, a LONG way away from where I plan to be working.

I don’t know if potato bugs are beneficial or harmful to a garden, but we have a mutual understanding:  I will not intentionally kill a potato bug and they will not get their friends together in an angry mob and attack me while I’m on my hands and knees in the dirt.  They have kept to our agreement thus far…….

NOT my Hand!


  1. Posted by: margie hoff

    Potato bugs were childhood companions. Never thought of them as creepy. Of course, I also played with alligator lizards, garter snakes, pollywogs and bull frogs.

  2. Posted by: Anne

    Ah Margie, I think we would have been good friends growing up if we would have had the chance! I had turtles and horned toads – we would have had good times together! Never saw a potato bug until I was grown up though, the first time I thought it was an alien! Lol!

  3. Posted by: Jim Mills

    Everything house ever wanted to know about Potato Bugs.


  4. Posted by: Anne

    Thanks for posting the link Jim Mills!

  5. Posted by: Carol Devlin

    I love being in the garden too….my walking onions are starting to get those tops on them finally. I’ve put some in soup and put in the freezer. they are so tasty.
    We aren’t eating much of that though these days….95+ and humid.
    But I’ve been thinning out my garden too, ran into a few earwigs, lots of geckos, worms, grubs, spiders, black snakes and we have alligators but not the kind you can find in your garden!
    I usually wear gloves but I do love to mess in the dirt without them too….I moved lots of my cacti to locations that can handle the sun/heat.
    I can’t imagine thinking about snow. Brrrrr. I don’t have too many winter clothes left!
    We are in the middle of Hurricane Dorian now…..
    We’re ready for most anything…right now I think Florida is being spared. Lots of our friends have gone north or are still there. Snowbirds.
    We had a “hard times” dance Friday, to get everyone’s minds off the impending hurricane. Lots of fun. We played some John Denver tunes. The Lady and the Cowboy,
    Country Roads, Annie’s Song, I’d Rather be a Cowboy, Country Boy…….
    Stay well, keep the music going. Enjoy that garden whenever you can, cheap therapy!
    Love your blog,
    Carol Devlin

  6. Posted by: Grace Dewey

    I agree – that is one scary bug!! Yikes! When I was little we called a certain bug a “potato bug” and it looked nothing like that. Much, much smaller and a grey color.

    Your flowers are beautiful and I especially love the sunflower!

    Have a wonderful fall.

  7. Posted by: AnneMarie

    The first potato bug I ever saw was when we were putting in our lawn in Pomona. We thought we discovered a new bug! LOL

    Thanks for the shout out on the Hollyhocks! They look so pretty!
    You should see my Queensland pumpkins! WooHoo! Just picked them. The gift that keeps on giving. And the onions toooooo! Thanks a bunch.

  8. Posted by: Anne

    AnneMarie! Congrats on the pumpkins! Send me a picture!!! I didn’t plant pumpkins this year but looking forward to next year maybe. My friend was giving me a hard time for mentioning the hollyhocks and not the onions he gave me – I told him onions will be featured in another newsletter…haha…are the newsletters about music or about gardening??

  9. Posted by: Carolyn Churchil

    YIKES! I don’t mind bugs, but goodness the size of that would give anyone a start! Move to the Midwest, we don’t have those things here (and it would cut down on your driving … ).

  10. Posted by: Anne

    That’s a good pitch for the Midwest Carolyn – but I think the mosquitoes are pretty big aren’t they???? Haha!

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