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Garden Bugs of Alberta    by Ken Fry, Doug MacAulay & Don Williamson order for
Garden Bugs of Alberta
by Ken Fry
Order:  USA  Can
Lone Pine, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Spring is definitely in the air and before long those yearly garden pests will be winging, burrowing or crawling their way into flower, fruit and vegetable gardens. Authors Fry, MacAulay and Williamson have mined their various levels of expertise and compiled a colourful handbook packed with information that will guide readers in identifying the many varieties of bugs (both nasty and nice) that call Alberta Canada home.

The authors begin with a Quick Reference Guide that offers colour-enhanced drawings of the bugs that call Alberta home. In their Introduction, they go on to explain that 'no healthy garden is complete without a plethora of bugs - all bugs including the beneficial or beautiful critters and even the nasty ones'. As well, they divide these bugs into three different categories: Annelida (earthworms and leaches, etc.), Mollusca (snails, and slugs, etc) and Arthropoda, which dominate the globe and include, among others, spiders and centipedes, as well as the many species of flying insects, some of whom have been 'responsible for most of the major plagues and famines recorded in history'.

This informative overview then moves on to the Garden Bug Directory where, from A to Z, you'll find concise details about the over 130 species of good, bad and ugly Garden Bugs of Alberta. Each two-page overview presents everything you need to know: colour drawings of the bug, a thumbnail description as well as their life stages, photos of preferred habitats, how to attract them if they're one of the good guys, and the best ways to physically and biologically control them if they're pests you don't want hanging around your own habitat. There are also factoids on garden lore, insect-human relations and other eye-opening tidbits.

Whether you're a novice or an expert gardener trying to pinpoint those nasty little critters that have made an unwelcome appearance in your prize rose bushes, this guide presents you with solutions. Garden Bugs of Alberta is a handy, concise, and invaluable guide that no Alberta gardener should be without.

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