DESCRIPTION: Adults are soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects. Varied colors: green, pink, black or dusty gray. Can be winged or wingless. Transparent wings.
LIFE CYCLES: Eggs over-winter, 20 or more generations over whole season.
TREATMENT: Water spray, insecticidal soap, Lady Beetles, Green Lacewings, dormant oil to control over-wintering eggs on fruit trees.
PROBLEM: Cabbage Looper [Imported Cabbage Worm]
DESCRIPTION: Larva: Velvety green, 1.5” worms. Adult: gray moths with silvery V-shaped spot on each forewing.
LIFE CYCLES: Over-winter in pupa and cocoon. Adult moths lay eggs that hatch into caterpillars. Up to 6 generations per year.
TREATMENT: Btk, hand pick, floating row covers.
PROBLEM: Colorado Potato Beetle
DESCRIPTION: Adults: Yellowish orange beetles, 0.5”, 10 lengthwise black stripes on wing covers, many black spots on midsection. Larvae: Dark orange, humpbacked grubs, black spots along each side. Eggs: Bright yellow ovals.
LIFE CYCLES: Adults over-winter in soil, adults lay in early spring on leaves, up to 3 generations per season.
TREATMENT: Btsd, Spined Soldier Bugs.
PROBLEM: Cucumber Beetle
DESCRIPTION: Yellowish-green striped or spotted 0.5” elongated beetles.
LIFE CYCLES: Adults over-winter in garden debris, eggs laid on surface of soil, grubs hatch and feed on underground stems, adults feed above ground.
TREATMENT: Row covers, cultivate soil, plant resistant varieties, plant nicotiana as “trap plant.”
DESCRIPTION: Larvae: Dull gray, brown or black, may be spotted or striped.
LIFE CYCLES: Pupa over-winter in soil, adult moths emerge in early spring and lay eggs. 3-4 generations a season, mostly night feeder.
TREATMENT: Paper collars around transplants, Btk mixed with molasses before setting out plants to attract and kill larvae. Diatomaceous earth.
PROBLEM: Flea Beetles
DESCRIPTION: 1/16" black, brown or striped jumping beetles.
LIFE CYCLES: Adults over-winter in garden debris, feed in early spring and then lay eggs in soil. 1 - 2 generations per season.
TREATMENT: Wood ashes, flour dust, let smartweed grow as “trap plant.”
PROBLEM: Mexican Bean Beetle
DESCRIPTION: Larvae: Yellow fuzzy soft bodies, 16 spots. Adult: 0.75” long, copper colored beetle with 16 spots.
LIFE CYCLES: Adults over-winter in piles of leaves and feed when sprouts grow. Eggs hatch into destructive larvae which feed for a few weeks.
TREATMENT: Hand pick and destroy eggs, larvae and adult. Spined Soldier Bug. Soy Beans as trap crop
PROBLEM: Root Maggots
DESCRIPTION: 0.25” – 0.5” yellowish-white worms, black fly adult.
LIFE CYCLES: Black flies lay eggs on soil at base of plant, maggots hatch and burrow into roots.
TREATMENT: Wood ashes, tar, floating row covers.
DESCRIPTION: Up to 10" long slimy, soft bodied mollusks in varied shades of gray to brown.
LIFE CYCLES: Slugs and eggs over-winter in soil. Can live a year or longer.
TREATMENT: Mulch around plant with gritty material like sand. Trap night feeders under wooden boards & melon rinds and remove in morning.
PROBLEM: Squash Vine Borer
DESCRIPTION: Larva: Wrinkled, dirty-white worm with brown head.
LIFE CYCLES: Over-winter as cocoons in soil, wasp-like adult moth lays eggs in late June at base of plants, larvae borrow into stem causing rotting and wilting.
TREATMENT: Cheesecloth at base of plant to act as barrier, succession plantings. If vine wilts, slit stem where hole is, remove borer, cover stem with soil.
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Boston Natural Areas Network
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