Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Garden Pests

You work hard on your garden and you expect to reap the benefits at the end of the season, but sometimes even with all your hard work and careful planing someone (or something) else comes along to eat the fruit of your labor. Garden Pests.

Here is a handy dandy table I made showing common Garden Pests in North America! Next I will make a table of Garden Benefiting Bugs! 

Gardening Pests

How they harm your plants


Drain all moisture from plants

Attract Lady bugs which love to eat aphids, or spray a concoction of a dormant oil spray (like Organocide) and a few generous shakes of Tabasco. **Do not apply the mixture during the heat of the day. Tabasco + hot summer sun may burn the delicate leaves of your plants.**
Blister Beetles
The adults sometimes feed on flowers and leaves of plants.
Hand-picking **Do not let them touch your skin! They secrete a toxic chemical that will give you blisters.**
Cabbage Worms (and other caterpillars)
The pests chew large, ragged holes in the leaves of cabbages, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.
Use a lightweight row cover in early spring as a barrier to egg-laying butterflies. Spray with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), especially when caterpillars are small. Be sure to direct spray to undersides of leaves.
Carrot Flies
Crop damage is caused by the creamy-yellow larvae feeding on the outer layers of the carrot root. Leaves turn rusty red to scarlet with some yellowing.
The best method of prevention is to erect a barrier around the crop at least 60 cm high. Also, plants such as Rosemary, Sage, and Marigold are used to deter the carrot fly.
They chew plant stalks until they are cut through.
Apply beneficial nematodes to soil just prior to planting. A protective collar of cardboard circling each seedling and extending 2 inches below and above ground is an effective barrier. A band of diatomaceous earth around seedlings may deter egg-laying adults.
Japanese Beetles
They chew leaf tissue from between the veins, leaving a lacy skeleton.
Deter feeding by adult beetles by spraying plants with neem oil. Use parasitic nematodes in lawns and garden beds for grub control.
Tarnished Plant Bug
As they feed they inject a toxin into the plant tissue that stunts or otherwise deforms growth.
Attract natural enemies to eat the bugs. Keep the garden area free of weeds, and remove organic debris from the garden at the end of the season.
Tomato Hornworms
Feed voraciously on the leaves and fruits of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes.
Use Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) when caterpillars are small. Hand-pick and destroy large caterpillars. **If you find a caterpillar with what looks like grains of white rice attached to its body, do not remove it. The "grains" are the pupae of a parasitic wasp that attacks hornworms.**
Stink Bugs
Stinkbugs feed by sucking plant juices.
Hand-pick stinkbugs in early morning when they are slow moving, or spray/dust with approved insecticides.
Snails and Slugs
Feed on leaves of plants.
Fill shallow containers with beer and sink them into the soil to trap slugs and snails. Surround plants with copper barrier strips -- they give slugs a slight shock on contact.
Spider Mites
Symptoms of their feeding show up as silvering or a stippled effect on the leaf top, but the precise symptom varies with the plant.
Keep plants well watered and wash them off frequently.
Squash Bugs
Adults and nymphs feed by sucking juices from leaves, causing leaves to wilt, dry up, and turn black.
Choose squash varieties resistant to the pest. Lay shingles or boards in the garden at night; bugs will hide under them during the day, and you can collect and destroy hiding bugs first thing in the morning. Crush any egg clusters you find on the undersides of leaves.
Suck plant juices from the leaves and stems.
Spray plants with a stream of water from a garden hose to dislodge the majority of the pests before applying insecticidal soap or other approved product.

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