Friday, April 4, 2008

Bug Hunter

Bug hunting is one of the secret tasks of a pecan grower. When you are thinking about becoming a pecan farmer, no one tells you about hunting for bugs. They advise you to get good soil, somewhere you can get water, lots of sun and rain. They say "You'll love it! It's great! The best job you could have!" No one tells you about the bugs. And the truth is, you worry about bugs.Take for example the Pecan Nut Casebearer. This little guy spends his winter in small branches he has hollowed out. Once he gets a feel of warm weather, out he comes! Looks like a harmless little guy, huh? Right now, he's out in the orchard somewhere, nibbling on new shoots. I'm trying to catch him. He's a slippery little sucker. He's the first of many bugs I'm hunting. And he comes in waves. I don't mind the grown up Casebearers. If only I could train them to lay their eggs somewhere else. They lay their eggs on baby nut clusters and they eat my baby pecans... killing them. Murderous little larvae! So I'm on the hunt...
We caught this yesterday... looks suspicious. Better get a closer look...
This one had me fooled. Lucky, I had the help of my favorite Aggie Entomologist, Mystery. He cleared matters up for me. He ever so gently told me I'd gotten it wrong, but to keep hunting. Because like death and taxes, Pecan Nut Casebearer is on it's way. There's no stopping it!

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