About 5 years ago we were home to a very large population of potato bugs, so many that we were worrying about defoliation of the plants. I got the impression that they needed to be moved. I talked to them and told them we were relocating them. We took them out and put them on wild night shade, where they stayed. I kept telling them we were trying to balance the garden and I would not kill them. So they didn't have to amass in such great numbers.

We spent 2 years practicing relocation and reassuring them that killing was out. The 3rd year I was a little overwhelmed with the relocation process and asked if they would please balance themselves. I could already see a very large population on the plants; many in the early stages on the leaves. I told them they were welcome in the garden, pointed out which plants there were too many on, and asked them to please balance themselves. I reiterated how welcome they were, that I wanted the potatoes, and that I really would rather they balance than me relocate.

Two days later, I was in near disbelief at the adjustment they had made. Plants that had been covered with the immature "soft" beetles were virtually beetle-free. My mouth dropped open. There remained a most manageable group. I was delighted and feel I have been able to reach a state of cooperation and co-creativity, and have the trust of our potato bugs. They have maintained the desired balance since. And we have, of course, had wonderful potatoes every year.

— M.C., West Virginia