Back from the long weekend, garden is good except for one small problem--my Brussels sprouts are looking wilty. On closer examination, there were lots of these little red bugs. But the little red bugs weren't hanging out solo. I caught five pairs of them, all doing the deed in the shelter of my brassicas!
The Problem Solver says they're Harlequin bugs, and their goal in life is to suck cabbage-like plants dry (cabbages and Brussels sprouts, for my purposes). They come out when it's hot, and rather than fighting them Rodale's suggests "If you notice a spike in harlequin bug activity in your garden, it's a signal to pull your cool-season crops and focus on warm season plants."
OK, I like that. Easy-peasy...for the cabbages, at least--they're about ready to be pulled anyway. And I'm thinking that once I pull the cabbages, I'll be able to get to the Brussels sprouts more easily and I can just spray the little suckers off everyday when I go to water.
Possible flaws with the plan? Well, obviously, they're breeding, and, as I learned today, the little hoochies can fly....