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Top 10 Garden Pests

PROBLEM:Aphids
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.”

PROBLEM:Cutworms
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.

PROBLEM:Slugs
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.