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Insect Pests on Vegetables

Aphid
Cabbage Worm
Carrot Rust Fly
Colorado Potato Beetle
Cucumber Beetle
Cutworm
Flea Beetle
Leafminer
Onion Maggot
Potato Beetle
Spittlebug
Spotted Snake Millipede
Tomato Hornworm
Wireworm

 

For all chemical controls, READ AND FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS THOROUGHLY BEFORE USE.


 
 
 
 
 
Aphid

Symptoms - Severe infestations will cause curling/twisting of foliage, flowers to wilt and drop.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Ladybird beetles/larvae, lacewings are natural predators.
  • Strong jet of water to knock aphids off plants.

Controls - Chemical:

  • Insecticidal soap, Doktor Doom House and Garden, and various other insecticides

 

 
 
 
 
 
Cabbage Worm

Plants affected - White moths in spring; affects cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale, cole crops.

Symptoms:

  • In spring moths lay eggs on undersides of leaves.
  • Eggs hatch and larvae feed on foliage, and will bore into heads of plants at base.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Handpick worms
  • Cover new transplants with remay cloth to prevent moths from laying eggs on plants.
  • BTK

Controls - Chemical:

  • None available.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Carrot Rust Fly

Symptoms - Adults lay eggs at base of plant, these hatch into small maggots that create crevices in root vegetables. Vegetables are inedible.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Place row cover over seedlings so adults cannot lay eggs.
  • Spread diatomaceous earth in seed furrows when planting.
  • Water seeds in with beneficial nematodes.

Controls - Chemical:

  • None available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Colorado Potato Beetle

Symptoms:

  • Holes chewed on leaves of potato plants can be caused from adults and/or larvae.
  • Whole plants can be defoliated under severe infestations.
  • Orange, striped beetles may be present as well as hump-backed orange larvae with black spots.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Hand pick small infestations; crush egg masses where seen.
  • Apply Diatomaceous Earth for adults

Controls - Chemical:

  • Sevin
  • Malathion
  • Pyrethrin according to label

 
 
 
 
 
 
Cucumber Beetle

Plants affected - Squash, melon, cucumbers

Life Cycle:

  • Adults overwinter in soil, emerge in spring and lay eggs in soil beneath plants.
  • Eggs hatch and larvae feed on flowers, foliage and even possibly fruit.

Cultural Control - Handpick beetles.

Chemical Control - Doktor Doom Botanics


 
 
 
 
 
 
Cutworm

Plants affected - Lawns, vegetable crops, perennials

Symptoms - Freshly cut crops/plants—cut off right at base of plant. Worms curl up when disturbed.

Life Cycle:

  • Eggs overwinter on top of grass blades, or on top of soil.
  • Larvae emerge from eggs in spring, pupate in early June. Brown moth (adult) emerges, and lays eggs which will overwinter.

Cultural Control:

  • Handpick worms—cutworms are active at night.
  • Lay diatomaceous earth around base of plant to cut worms or in rows when planting.
  • Place collars around plants when planting—push collar into soil.

Organic/Biological Control:

  • Water vegetable transplants in with nematodes
  • BTK - spray base of stems thoroughly and often, will not control cutworms underground.

Chemical Control - None


 
 
 
 
 
 
Flea Beetle

Symptoms:

  • Small 'shot hole' appearance to leaves.
  • Beetles will jump when disturbed.
  • Roots (potatoes) will have pitted appearance and when peeled, small holes will be visible just below surface.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Row covers for seedlings/young plants.

Controls - Chemical:

  • Doktor Doom House and Garden
  • Safer’s End All

 
Leafminer

Plants Affected:
Swiss chard, spinach, beets

Symptoms: - Early damage is a slender, winding tunnel but later these expand and become blotches on the leaves.

Life Cycle:
Overwinters as pupae in soil, hatches late April. Adult lays eggs in tidy rows.
• Eggs hatch, feeding begins. Larvae may migrate down an entire row. They are fully grown in a few weeks then drop into soil to pupate.
• Life cycle is 30-40 days. There are three to four generations per season, mid-late May, late June and mid-August are peak activity periods.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:
• Crush eggs early in season.
• Cover new plantings/seedlings with row covers so adults cannot lay eggs.
• Remove all affected leaves, ensure thorough garden clean up in fall.

Controls - Chemical:
• Provides poor control, can damage any natural predators leafminers have.


 
 
 
 
 
 
Onion Maggot

Plants Affected - Onion

Symptoms:

  • Adults lay eggs in spring at base of onion foliage; eggs are laid in batches. May see wilting as larvae feed.
  • Larvae move into the onion itself; will see maggots at end of season as you cut into onion.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Thorough cleanup of all onion debris in autumn.
  • Cover newly planted onions with Remay cloth to prevent adults from laying eggs at base of plants
  • Do not plant onions in rows, mix throughout garden.
  • Diatomaceous Earth (Insectigone Crawling Insect Killer) in furrows when planting, at base of plants.
  • Water transplants in with nematodes when planting

 
 
 
 
 
 
Potato Beetle

Plants affected - Potato

Life Cycle:

  • Overwinter in soil as adults
  • Adults lay eggs in spring on underside of leaves.
  • Eggs hatch, larvae feed on plants.

Cultural Control - Handpick beetles/eggs

Chemical Control - Doktor Doom House and Garden, Ambush


 
 
 
 
 
 
Spittlebug

Plants Affected:
Numerous.  Insect does not damage plant, merely cosmetic.

Symptoms:
'Spit' on plant - bug is hidden underneath.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:
Spray plants with strong jet of water.

Controls - Chemical - Not necessary


 
 
 
 
 
 
Spotted Snake Millipede

Plants affected - Corn, potatoes, onions and many other plants.

Though no local agriculture/plant websites or experts seem very familiar with the pest, Ontario has noticed significant crop damage as of late. It seems that most often the millipedes choose to attack in times of drought, as they are seeking the moisture found in soil crops such as potatoes, onions and corn.

Controls - Chemical - No chemical controls are currently listed for this pests, but traps have proven effective.

Cultural Control - Corn Bait Traps
To make a corn bait trap, place a 1/4 cup of untreated corn seed into a fine, mesh pouch (Figure 11). Soak the pouch in water for at least 12 hours before burying it approximately 15 cm deep at flagged locations. To avoid problems with rotting corn, replace bait traps every 3-4 days.


 
 
 
 
 
 
Tomato Hornworm

Also known as a Hawk or Sphinx Moth

Plants affected - Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and potatoes

Symptoms - Severe plant defoliation

Life Cycle:

  • Moths overwinter in soil and emerge in late spring
  • Lay eggs on underside of leaves
  • Feed for up to 4 weeks and drop into soil to pupate

Cultural Control:

  • Handpick
  • If a hornworm is seen with white egg sacs on it’s back leave it be, those are a parasitic wasp called Braconid Wasp. They are a beneficial insect
  • BTK

Chemical Control - none


 

 

 

 

Wireworm

Symptoms:

  • 1-2 yr. worms are white, older are tan/rust (larvae of Click Beetle).
  • Tunnels throughout potato, small entrance holes can be seen on outside of flesh.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Crop rotation of minimum 6 years.
  • Plant an early harvest potato.
  • Water tubers in with nematodes when planting.

Controls - Chemical:

  • Not available