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What’s Eating Your Garden? Guide to Vegetable Garden Vermin

Every vegetable garden enthusiast deals with bug concerns from time to time, and learning how to manage the little leaf-munching hazards without using synthetic chemical pesticides is an important step in growing a healthy, efficient garden. To assist gardeners with this job, we have actually put together this easy-to-use guide to veggie garden pests.

To make our guide to veggie garden bugs both easy to use and straightforward, we’ve included vital details about 15 of the most common– and damaging– veggie garden pests and great deals of information on how to secure your garden from the damage they trigger. As a last resort, we have actually likewise included our preferred natural item controls for each garden insect. Use this guide to veggie garden bugs to grow a high-yielding, gorgeous, organic vegetable garden.

Recognition: Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped pests. They can be green, yellow, brown, red, gray, or black. There are both non-winged and winged aphids, depending on their types and life-stage.

Plants impacted: Aphids feed on many species of prospective host vegetable plants, consisting of tomatoes, lettuce, kale, and cabbage. Their prolific nature makes them sure-finds on every guide to vegetable garden pests.

Description of damage: Aphids suck plant juices, causing distorted, warped growth. They normally feed in large groups on new plant growth or leaf undersides.

Preventative measures: Promote advantageous predatory bugs by consisting of a great deal of flowering plants with small flowers in the garden. Find out more about utilizing beneficial insects as bug control here .

Physical controls: You can remove aphids from plants by spraying them off with a sharp stream of water from the hose pipe. Hand-squishing aphids is simple, or cover plants with drifting row cover to safeguard them from bugs.

Recognition: Adult asparagus beetles are 1/4″ long. They’re black with velvety yellow spots and a red mark right behind their head. The larvae are army-green, grub-like animals with a black head.

Plants affected: Asparagus beetles only eat asparagus plants.

Description of damage: Both larvae and adults chew asparagus spears and ferns. Serious invasions can cause total browning of the foliage and a reduction in the vitality of the next year’s crop.

Preventative steps: Adult asparagus beetles overwinter in garden debris, so lower ferns and clean up fallen leaves in the asparagus spot in the fall.

Physical controls: Safeguard emerging spears with. drifting row cover. and keep it in place throughout the gathering season. Look for small, dark eggs on spears and hand squish them. Knock the larvae off the plants daily with a soft broom– as soon as on the ground, spiders and other helpful pests will discover and consume them.

Organic item controls: Neem. — or spinosad-based products are efficient controls advised here in our guide to veggie garden bugs.

In the following video, our horticulturist shows you what asparagus beetles look like in all phases of their lifecycle. Plus, she offers suggestions on how to get rid of asparagus beetles naturally..

Recognition: Imported cabbage worm caterpillars are 1″ light and long green with a faint yellow stripe down the back. Adults are white to yellowish-white butterflies with as much as four black areas on the wings.

Plants impacted: All members of the cabbage household, including cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, radish, turnip, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts can succumb to cabbage worms.

Description of damage: Cabbage worm caterpillars chew holes in leaves and flower clusters. They can cause complete defoliation if infestation is extreme.

Preventative steps: Hang birdhouses in garden as birds take pleasure in consuming cabbage worms.

Physical controls: Cover vulnerable plants with. drifting row cover. from the time of planting until harvest as host plants do not require to be pollinated to be productive. Hand-picking the caterpillars is also reliable.

Recognition: Adult carrot rust flies are really little, shiny black flies with an orange head and legs. The larvae are tiny, beige-colored maggots. This insect is not discovered in every guide to vegetable garden bugs, it’s ending up being more problematic for numerous garden enthusiasts and should have to be included.

Plants affected: Adult flies lay eggs near many vegetable crops, including carrots, celeriac, parsley, celery, parsnips, and others.

Description of damage: Carrot rust fly larvae feed upon crop roots, leaving tunnels and scarring behind. As the season progresses, the damage grows more prominent. Roots riddled with scars and tunnels are the result.

Preventative procedures: Adult carrot rust flies are poor fliers so rotate crops every season. Attempt to choose a website downwind from in 2015’s crop area. Likewise, wait to plant carrots up until late May or early June as that’s off the mating cycle of this pest.

Physical controls: Keep carrots and other vulnerable crops covered with. drifting row cover. from the time of planting until harvesting day. Female flies discover their host plants through smell, so inter-planting carrots and other crops with onions, garlic, and chives might help limit carrot rust fly egg laying.

Organic product controls: Beneficial nematodes released into the soil near the carrot crop assistance control the larvae. Types of nematodes in the genus. Steinernema. are most efficient. Apply in the spring according to the bundle instructions.

Recognition: Adult Colorado potato beetles are 1/3″ long, rounded, with black and tan striped wing covers. The larvae are 1/2″ chubby, reddish-purple with rows of black dots on the side.

Plants affected: All members of the tomato household are prospective hosts, consisting of potatoes, eggplants, tomatillos, peppers, and tomatoes.

Description of damage: Both larvae and adult Colorado potato beetles skeletonize foliage all the method to the leaf veins. They’re typically discovered toward the top of the plant.

Preventative procedures: Adult beetles overwinter in garden particles, so tidy up the garden and turn crops every year.

Physical controls: Cover plants with. drifting row cover. and leave in place until harvest. You can likewise hand-pick both the adults and the larvae.

Identification: Adult cucumber beetles determine 1/4″ long at maturity. They are brilliant yellow with areas or stripes, depending on the types. Their larvae live underground and are rarely seen.

Plants affected: All members of the cucumber family are hosts, including melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, gourds, and squash. Cucumber beetles are likewise sometimes found on corn, beets, beans, and other vegetables.

Description of damage: Adult beetles make little, ragged holes in the flowers and leaves, and transmit. bacterial wilt.

Preventative steps: Just plant bacterial wilt-resistant cultivars, or plant cucumber beetle-resistant ranges such as ‘Saladin’, ‘Little Leaf 19’, and ‘Gemini’ cucumbers, muskmelons, butternut-type squashes, and squashes in the species group Cucurbita moschata as they are less favored by the beetles.

Physical controls: Similar to many other bugs noted in this guide to veggie garden insects, cucumber beetles can be kept off of plants by covering them with. drifting row cover but in this case, you’ll require to remove the cover when the plants enter flower to permit pollination. Mulch prone crops with loose materials like straw or hay to prevent egg laying.

Organic item controls: Spinosad-based natural pesticides are effective versus the beetles, however planting resistant varieties will constantly be your finest line of defense.

Recognition: Adult cutworms are gray or brown night-flying moths. When interrupted, their larval caterpillars are up to 2″ long and curl into a tight C-shape. The caterpillars are found in the top few inches of soil, and they can be green, yellow, brown, or gray, depending on the types.

Plants affected: Any young seedling is susceptible, however favorites consist of tomatoes, broccoli, kale, cabbage, and others.

Description of damage: Cutworms sever seedlings at ground level or girdle them by chewing the outer stem tissue. The presence of wilted or severed seedlings is a clear indication of cutworms.

Preventative measures: Crop rotation is necessary as is safeguarding the stems of young seedlings at their base with a collar made from a bathroom tissue tube or aluminum foil nestled 1/2″ into the ground.Tilling the garden in fall to expose pupae to predation and cold temperatures is likewise practical.

Physical controls: Bait cutworms with cornmeal or wheat bran paced in sunken bowls near susceptible plants; the caterpillars are drawn in to the granules, however can not digest them and die.

Identification: Extremely little, black or brown beetles, flea beetles are 1/10″ long. They move extremely quickly and hop like a flea.

Plants affected: Several plants are hosts to flea beetles, but favorites include radish, potatoes, tomatoes, brassicas, corn, and eggplants.

Description of damage: Flea beetles make little, round holes in plant foliage. Their larvae live underground and can consume plant roots, too.

Preventative procedures: Practice crop rotation.

Physical controls: Location. yellow sticky cards. above plant tops to tempt and trap adult flea beetles. Do not use drifting row cover as it can trap freshly emerged flea beetles beneath it.

Identification: Adult leafminers are nondescript flies that do not feed upon plants. Their small, brown or green larvae feed inside plant tissues.

Plants affected: Different types of leafminers eat different plants, but for this guide to veggie garden insects, typical host plants consist of spinach, chard, beets, nasturtiums, and blueberries.

Description of damage: Leafminer larvae tunnel in between layers of leaf tissue, creating telltale squiggly tunnels and lines on leaves.

Preventative measures: Cut off leaves where tunnels are present throughout the growing season and toss them in the garbage to avoid another generation. Damage is hardly ever severe sufficient to trigger harm to the plant.

Physical controls: Location. drifting row cover. over susceptible vegetable crops to prevent grownups from accessing the plants. Consist of lots of blooming herbs in the garden to attract advantageous pests to assist manage the leafminers (more on this later).

Organic item controls: Due to the fact that the larvae are between leaf tissue layers, leafminers are challenging to control with products. Neem. — and spinosad-based products have some result.

Identification: Adult Mexican bean beetles are copper-colored, ladybug-like beetles with 16 black areas (see lower ideal image in this post’s featured picture). Their larvae are light yellow with soft, bristly spines.

Plants affected: All beans, including green, snap, pole, soy, runner, and lima, can host these beetles and their larvae.

Description of damage: Larvae and grownups consume leaf tissue down to the veins. Sometimes, they likewise eat flowers and bean. The larvae are often found on leaf undersides.

Preventative measures: Plant great deals of blooming herbs as they attract an useful, predatory wasp that eats the beetle larvae.

Physical controls: Cover bean plants with. floating row cover. from the time of germination till flowering.

Organic product controls: Hot pepper wax. and spinosad are both beneficial for the control of Mexican bean beetles.

Identification: Snails and slugs are not bugs, however land-dwelling mollusks. Snails have a shell, slugs do not. They can be gray, black, orange, brown, tan, or mottled, and typically leave a slime trail behind.

Plants affected: Since nearly any young seedling is a favorite of these pests, no guide to vegetable garden insects is complete without snails and slugs. Slugs and snails feed on many types of plants and veggies.

Description of damage: Snails and slugs leave irregular holes in leaf margins or centers. They feed in the evening or on rainy days, so frequently the culprit isn’t present throughout the day.

Preventative measures: Water in the morning only as slugs and snail prefer feeding upon damp foliage. Encourage birds, snakes, frogs, and toads in the garden since all of these critters consume snails and slugs. Copper strips. positioned around plants avoid feeding due to a chemical reaction with the slime produced by slugs and snails.

Physical controls: Handpick slugs and drop them into a container of soapy water. Beer traps. likewise work, but the beer needs to be cleared and refilled daily.

Organic product controls: Use just. slug baits. with the active ingredient of iron phosphate; do not use baits made from metaldehyde or methocarb as both are harmful to pets and other wildlife.

Recognition: No guide to veggie garden pests is total without a reference of what’s most likely the hardest vegetable insect to control: squash bugs. Adult squash bugs are 5/8″, dark brown with flattened, oval-shaped bodies.

Plants impacted: All members of the cucumber family succumb to squash bugs, consisting of cucumbers, zucchini, squash, melons, and pumpkins.

Description of damage: Nymphs and grownups draw plant juices with their needle-like mouthpart. Harmed leaves are mottled with yellow and they eventually turn yellow and pass away. Plants may turn crispy with a severe problem.

Preventative procedures: Plant resistant ranges, rotate crops, and use trellises to keep the growing vines off the ground.

Physical controls: Usage. drifting row covers. from the time of planting till blooming begins. Remove egg clusters on an everyday basis with a piece of tape; be sure to check leaf undersides as that’s where most egg-laying takes place.

Organic item controls: Products do not work well on grownups, however nymphs can be targeted with. insecticidal soap. or. neem. .

Identification: Adult squash vine borers are red and black moths that look like big wasps. Their larvae are chubby, white caterpillars found inside the base of squash vines.

Plants impacted: All members of the cucumber household are vulnerable, consisting of both summertime and winter season squash, melons, gourds, and pumpkins. Cucumbers are rarely impacted.

Description of damage: The existence of borers is often noted as a fast wilting of the plant. Look for hole in the stem tissue near ground level for verification.

Preventative steps: Wrap a strip of aluminum foil around the base of the plant not long after the very first real leaves appear to secure the base of the plant from egg-laying females (. more on this strategy here. ).

Physical controls: Cover plants with. floating row cover. quickly after planting and leave in location up until flowering starts. If borer hole is found prior to plant dies, slice open the stem, dig out the borer, and cover the cut with a mound of soil.

Organic product controls: Inject. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). into the borer hole with a. needle-less syringe . You can also spray insecticidal soap on base of stem weekly to smother any eggs.

Tomato and tobacco hornworms can be controlled organically with these tips.

These tobacco hornworms, and their close cousins the tomato hornworms, are harmful bugs in the vegetable patch.

Recognition: Adult hornworms are big, nighttime moths with brown/gray wings. Hornworm caterpillars are green with white stripes or Vs on the side of their body and a soft horn or spike protruding from their posterior.

Plants affected: Members of the tomato household, consisting of tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, and tobacco, are host plants.

Description of damage: Tobacco and tomato hornworms leave dark pellets of excrement behind. Damage is consumed leaves, frequently toward the top of the plants. The caterpillars feed in the evening and shelter in the foliage throughout the day.

Preventative measures: Plant great deals of blooming herbs with tiny flowers near susceptible plants as these flowers bring in tiny parasitic cotesia wasps that utilize hornworms as hosts for their young, eventually bringing death to the hornworm (more on using beneficial bugs to manage pests in a bit). This is a great method to avoid all of the insects discussed in this guide to veggie garden pests.

Physical controls: Inspect plants for hornworms regularly and handpick, however do not ruin any hornworms that have the white, rice-like cocoons of parasitic wasps hanging from their backs.

Organic product controls: Spray products are hardly ever required as handpicking is more effective. if necessary. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). and spinosad are efficient.

Identification: Whiteflies are small, white, moth-like flies. Infested plants are typically coated in sticky honeydew, the excrement of the flies. Whiteflies are frequently present in great deals on leaf undersides.

Plants impacted: Common whitefly hosts in the vegetable garden consist of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, citrus, and others.

Description of damage: Both whitefly grownups and nymphs suck plant juices, causing weak plants, yellow leaves, wilt, and in extreme cases, leaf drop.

Preventative steps: Carefully examine all brand-new plants for whiteflies prior to buying from a nursery. This is a valuable idea for avoiding all of the bugs featured in this guide to vegetable garden bugs.

Physical controls: Hang. yellow sticky cards. simply above plant tops to record the adult flies and avoid a brand-new generation.

And, if you have insects afflicting your flower and shrub beds too, we suggest a handy little field guide called. Excellent Bug, Bad Bug. to help determine and handle bugs in other parts of the garden.

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