North Woods Field Guides PO Box 107  Wevertown

Garden Insect Notes

Slugs ~ Spider Mites ~ Squash Bug ~ Squash Vine Borer ~ Cucumber Beetle ~ Tomato Hornworms ~ Weevils ~ Whiteflies ~ Wire Worm ~ Aphids ~ Cabbage Worms ~ Rust Flies ~ Corn Earworms ~ Cutworms ~ Flea Beetle ~ Japanese Beetle ~ Potato Beetle

 

Slugs ~ Evidenced by holes eaten through leaves, stems and fruits there may also be evidence of slime trials on the leaves left from the slug. They are active during dark cool periods. Once found sprinkling salt on them will do the trick. Ashallow bowl filled with beer will attract and drown them. Eggshells, wood ashes or gritty sand placed around the base of the plants will deter slugs.

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Spider Mites ~ Evidence of small webs covering leaves and stems, leaf veins turning yellow first then spreading out into the leaf and wilting leaves are signs of Spider Mites. Plantings of garlic and onions interplanted will deter these insects. Sprays made of garlic and onion will also work well. Lady Bugs are a natural predator of Spider Mites.

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Squash Bug ~ Look for wilted leaves turning black as they die. One easy trap for them is to place a board on the soil. They will seek out the damp cool soil under the board and you can simply lift the board collect and dispose of them. Wood ashes placed in an open trench a few inches deep around the plant will also deter the bugs. Be careful not to let the ashes contact the plant.

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Squash Vine Borer ~ Evidenced by wilted vines. Look for a hole where the vine has wilted with greenish sawdust like piles next to them. To remove the insect make a small slice where the hole is & try to dig out the borer. Bury the stem in moist soil after to help it heal. Stem covers & wraps help prevent the adult flies from laying their eggs on the stems. Naphthalene mothballs buried in the soil may prevent infestation as well as using Diatomaceous Earth or wood ashes around the base of the plants.

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Striped/Spotted Cucumber Beetle ~ They will eat holes through leaves, fruits & flowers. More importantly they spread bacteria wilt & cucumber mosaic virus. The larvae may feed on the roots of plants causing them to wilt & die. Repellent plants of catnip, marigolds & radishes interplanted will deter them. Mashing several beetles & mixing with water & straining will make a good repellent spray. The same holds true for a marigold spray. Try a barrier of wood ashes in a shallow trench around the plant, be careful not to let the ashes touch the plant.

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Tomato Hornworms ~ Evidenced by foliage that has been eaten and by dark dropping of the Hornworms scat on leaves & stems. Although very difficult to find, because they blend in so well, spraying the plants with very cold water will make the Hornworm move violently making them easier to see. You can then pick them off and destroy them. Marigolds are a good repellent plant.

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Weevils ~ There are several types of Weevils, the Cabbage, Carrot, Bean & Vegetable Weevil. The larvae may burrow & tunnel into the vegetables or consume the foliage. One of the few ways to eliminate Weevils is to introduce predatory Nematodes into your garden at planting time. Also try to rotate your crops every year. Diatomaceous Earth dusted around the base of the plants will also help deter them.

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Whiteflies ~ Evidence of a shiny, sticky honeydew on fruit & leaves accompanied by a black fungus that may be present will point to these bugs. Onions or chives interplanted will deter Whiteflies. A homemade spray made of 1 part rubbing alcohol to 4 parts of water will rid the plants of flies. Asimple board painted bright yellow and coated with a sticky substance such as Vaseline will catch and hold the bugs. Place the traps level with the plants to be protected.

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Wire Worm ~ Damage to plants is limited to the underground roots & seedlings. Wilting dying plants with no obvious signs of trouble from the ground up may tip you off to Wire worms. The easiest method to see if you have wireworms is to place pieces of potatoes a few inches underground. Make sure you mark the spots so you don't forget. After a few days dig them up & discard any wire worms that are present.

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Aphids ~ Evidence of their presence are leaves turned yellow, dead spots, wilting & stunted growth. They leave a sticky sweet substance called honeydew on the plants that promotes mold growth &attracts ants. Plantings of Garlic, Marigolds, Onions or Catnip work well to repel them. They are attracted to the color yellow, a simple dish filled with soapy water will attract and drown them. Spiders and Ladybugs if present will feed on Aphids.

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Cabbage Worms ~ Evidenced by irregular shaped or ragged holes chewed through the leaves. There will also be evidence of green droppings from the bugs digestion of the plant. The larvae will bore into the head of the plant destroying it. Dust the leaves of the infected plant with Rye Flour which they will ingest while eating the foliage & die. Ahomemade spray of garlic, onion or hot peppers ground, soaked in water, then strained & sprayed on the plant will repel them.

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Carrot Rust Flies ~ The only way to tell if your infested is to pull up a plant as there is no evidence of them on the surface. Evidence would be rust colored tunnels through the vegetable. The rust color is from the larvae's droppings as it digests it's food. Onions, leeks, rosemary and sage are some interplantings to repel the insects. Wood ashes spread around the target plants will also deter the adult flies from laying their eggs.

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Corn Earworms Evidenced by stunted growth in Corn & insect droppings in the tassels. There will also be fecal matter present inside the husks. They also may infest tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans. Try a homemade spray of garlic or onion to deter the insects. Once the silk has turned brown, apply a few drops of mineral oil to the silk which will drown any worms.

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Cutworms If your plants were fine before you went to bed but are cut off at the base the next morning, most likely you have Cutworms. These worms come out at night & chew through the stem of plants. Look for evidence of a small hole up to 1/2 inch wide near the base of the plant. Try onion or garlic interplanted in your garden to deter them. You can also use collars or wraps around the base of plants. Make sure the wrap is at least an inch under the soil & a few inches above. Cornmeal sprinkled around the base of plants will kill them.

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Flea Beetle Look for an abundance of tiny holes in the foliage. Flea Beetles prefer hot, dry conditions so keeping the soil and plants moist will help deter them. A homemade remedy of ground garlic, onion or hot pepper mixed with water and strained makes a good repellent spray.

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Japanese Beetle ~ Look for partial or entirely eaten foliage with only the leaf veins present. Sex & food attractant traps work well. Keep them away from the area you want to protect. Aspray made from Forsythias works well in repelling them. Soak Forsythias in hot water for several minutes, you will now have a repellent spray to use. Adding a few drops of liquid soap to the solution will help it adhere to the leaf rather than just drip off.

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Potato Beetle ~ Look for signs of eaten foliage with black droppings present on the leaves and stems. Some repellent plants are garlic, marigolds, onions, catnip and horse radish interplanted. Wheat bran or corn meal sprinkled on the moistened leaves of the host plant will be ingested by the feeding bugs killing them.

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North Woods Field Guides PO Box 107  Wevertown


North Woods Field Guides
PO Box 107  Wevertown, NY 12886
Phone:  518-744-6011  Email: northwoodsent@aol.com

Copyright J. Greco / North Woods Guides Inc.  All rights reserved.