I keep finding most of the bugs in my garden on my eggplant. First, the flea beetles arrived. But, I was ready for them, and sprayed a bit of neem oil on the leaves. Then it was the colorado potato beetle that chomped out some big pieces of eggplant leaves (but didn’t live to tell about it). And then I found the aphids quietly hiding on the underside of the leaves. Oh, and there were also some small green worms. But, there were also armies of ants marching around (it looked like they were doing something important), and also a few lady bugs hanging out, taking it all in.
I have become a bit obsessed with my eggplant. I have even developed a new morning ritual. I inspect the leaves of each eggplant, and crush the few stray bad guys (mostly flea beetles) that remain.
But, I still have questions. What are the ants doing? I learned from watching a documentary on insects that ants will herd aphids. They “milk” the aphids by collecting a substance (called “honeydew”) that the aphids excrete. I wonder if the ants on my eggplant were responsible for bringing the aphids? If so, they must be pretty upset with me.