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Texas Bug Book: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Revised Edition

52 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0292709379
ISBN-10: 0292709374
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Texas Bug Book: "Definitive ... This book is a must-have for any organic library!" Texas Organic News "Overall this [book] is probably the best of its kind. Given the excellent photography and affordability, it is definitely worth the purchase." Whole Earth "Texas Bug Book, unlike many of the characters it describes, is a keeper--highly recommended as a perfect companion volume to set beside your native plant books." Native Plant Society of Texas News "If you plan on ever stepping outside, or staying inside, or going to bed, Texas Bug Book is a wealth of information you can't possibly live without." Austin American-Statesman "This book is recommended essentially to all humans above the age of three. It conveys a wonderful message about our ecology and hope for living within our environment." Choice

About the Author

HOWARD GARRETT is a landscape architect, certified arborist, horticulturist, and organic practitioner in Dallas. He promotes his organic gardening program, The Natural Way, through his WBAP-820 AM radio show, weekly column in the Dallas Morning News, monthly Dirt magazine, natural organic Web site www.dirtdoctor.com, and regional and national speaking engagements.

MALCOLM BECK, of San Antonio, is the founder of Garden-Ville Fertilizer Company. Winner of the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in 1997, he writes and speaks extensively on organic growing practices.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; Revised edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292709374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292709379
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Homer on July 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Texas Bug Book is a glossary of the most common pests and beneficials around the garden. For each critter, they explain its life cycle, favorite foods, benefits and detriments. There is plenty of information on how to attract the beneficials and how to discourage the pests organically. Most of these bugs are not limited to Texas, so this book would benefit any organic gardener.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By C. Scott on September 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
I never knew bugs could abe so interesting. The authors combine factual information on insects with entertaining stories of buggy encounters. This book reaches my kids on a level they can understand (they are 8 - 12 years old), yet provides me with plenty of good factual information that helps with gardening. The kids were thrilled to discover that the funny things they had seen "growing" on the fence were actually lacewing eggs. We are eagerly anticipaing their hatching. I also appreciated the recipes for home-made, natural insecticides.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Stacie Fano on July 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
When my two and four year olds starting bringing me bugs from outside, I decided it was time to determine if they were harmful. This book had excellent photographs that helped me identify the bugs. I used it as an educational tool for my two little bug hunters. I am happy to report we have had no dangerous bugs gathered.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jim Richmond on February 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'll start off first with the positive aspects of the book. It has a fairly approachable design, with a good amount of pictures, graphics, and text. In otherwords, you can pick it up and start flipping through it, or go right to a particular insect or topic. Another plus is that the authors appreciate and stress organic gardening and pest control principles. I'd give it 5 stars if that was all that was needed to make a great book.

Unfortunately, some of the drawbacks of the book ruin the overall impression and useability. Perhaps the worst is the heavy use of personal notes from the authors ("A Howard Story", and "A Malcolm Story"). They constantly appear throughout the book, and get really annoying to constantly see. Although some are interesting and useful, the book would be greatly enhanced by removing at least half of them. In their place could be many more insect entries. For example, a bug that has caused big problems in my Texas garden is the melonworm (caterpillar/larva of the Diaphania hyalinata moth). There's absolutely no mention of it. There are other interesting insects that I've come across that are also not included (spinybacked orbweaver, midges, etc.)

By adding so much extraneous filler from the author's personal notes, they leave out many bugs that a person might want to identify. I've repeatedly tried going to the book first, but almost always have ended up seaching online. That more or less defeats much of why a person would get this book in the first place.

Another complaint is the inclusion of errors and poor grammar. For example, another caterpillar/moth that does damage to crops is the five-spotted hawk moth (tomato hornworm). But the picture they show is completely wrong (a Vine sphinx instead, which bears no resemblance).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Melody A. Fitzgerald on October 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a must for fans of Howard Garrett. He and Malcolm share their experiences with bugs in Texas. They show great respect for nature. This book has given me a new appreciation for the world of insects. Many fascinating details and stories are included. Of course, for the bad and the ugly, they tell us how to rid ourselves of them in a way that is safe for our environment. A great accomplishment from 2 wonderful organic experts.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nadine Haefs on April 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is important to know what bugs are beneficial and which are harmful. This book does just that! Not only does this book include many great photos, it also provides wonderful recommendations on how to manage the ones that are pests.

As for the only spiders one should be weary of in North America: the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow, this book has great photos for proper identification. Furthermore, valuable information is included on the nature of these two spiders and has great suggestions on what to do should you happen to encounter one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TXShimmyGirl on July 2, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. It has been really helpful in identifying several types of bugs that live in my yard. I use it on an almost weekly basis to help identify this bug or that. I think it's a must have for any Texas gardener.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Schwedler on August 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been an organic gardener for years and this book is one of my "Bibles". You cannot maintain an organic garden or landscape without knowing the beneficial bugs from the harmful ones. My husband and I really enjoy being able to identify what's in our landscape and seeing them in action. The world around us is a remarkable, complex place and sometimes you have to look at bugs to have it really hit home. This is a great book, along with all of Howard Garrett's others.
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