Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2013: Insects & Other Garden Pests


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  • We’re all familiar with earwigs, but controlling these shy, nighttime insects can be difficult. They feed on a wide variety of living plant material, including vegetable fruits and foliage. Recently earwigs have been observed in the heads of leafy greens, which would warrant control. They can also feed on the soft flesh of developing sweet corn.Keep in mind that earwigs are also beneficial predators of mites and soft-bodied insects and insect eggs, so they are not all bad.In the home garden, trapping earwigs is an alternative to insecticides. Use tuna cans filled with 1/2-inch of fish or vegetable oil or bacon grease. Dump out trapped insects and refill can regularly. Rolled up newspaper or corrugated cardboard will also attract insects for hiding during the day. Empty into a can of soapy water regularly.Treatment: If control close to harvest is warranted, products with insecticidal soap or pyrethrin have a PHI of 12-24 hours.
  • Grow Your Own, Nevada! Spring 2013: Insects & Other Garden Pests

    1. 1. Insect and Critter ControlWendy Hanson MazetUniversity of Nevada Cooperative
    2. 2. Anything or anyone thatis detrimental to yourgarden or landscape– destroys crops &structures– poses health threatsto family or pets– reduces aestheticvalue of your propertyFirst ask yourself - What is a Pest?
    3. 3. • Anticipates and preventsdamage• Uses several tacticsin combination• Improves effectiveness,reduces side effects• Relies on identification,measurement,assessment,and knowledgeIntegrated Pest ManagementIPM: a balanced, tactical approach
    4. 4. An IPM Year
    5. 5. Insect & Critters in the GardenSix Key Steps• Observation• Early Detection• Correct Identificationof insect or pest• Education• Select appropriatecontrol• Proper application
    6. 6. Control TacticsFive Most Common• Mechanical• Cultural• Physical• Genetic• Chemical
    7. 7. Know For Insects - Know Your Enemy:• Sucking Insects: Pierce and suck plant juices• Yellow or bronze discoloration of leaves and shoots• Wilting and curling of leaves and shoots• Aphids, whiteflies, mites (not true insects) feed near tipof young shoots and on undersides of leaves• Leafhoppers feed under leaf surfaces, and scalefeed on leaves, stems, and shoots.• All feed in large groups except leafhoppers
    8. 8. Piercing InsectsControl:• Keep plants healthy• Maintain a diverse habitat• Monitor garden daily, so wheninsect pests are found, controlmeasures can be taken quickly.– hose plants off– insecticidal soap sprays– horticulture oils including Neem oil– Cover with garden blanket– Encourage Beneficial insects
    9. 9. Aphid• Small, soft bodied insects 1/10 inchlong• Long mouth parts used to suck plantjuices.• Cornicles are found on most species.• Found in many colors.• Most over-winter as eggs, hatch inspring.• Secrete honeydew.• Most abundant in cool spring and coolfall.• Ants may be present tending aphids.
    10. 10. Stink Bugs•5/8 inches long, brightgreen, brown withstripes, large body smallhead• When crush they stink!•Piercing/sucking mouthparts• stippling damage onleaf and stem tissue•Barrel like eggs laid onleaf and stem tissueNCCE
    11. 11. Squash BugsUniversity of MinnesotaExtension•5/8 inches long, brownwith stripes, largeoblong body small head•Overwinter as adults•Piercing/sucking mouthparts• stippling damage onleaf and stem tissue•Eggs are rust to rootbeer colored and foundon the undersides of theleaf
    12. 12. Spider Mites•Very small – require ahand lenses to be seen•Not an insect. Arachnidpossessing 8 legs.•When spider mites feedon fruit can cause a silveryor bronzy sheen calledrussetting.•When populations arelarge a fine webbing maybe seen on leaves andneedles.•Prefer hot, dry and dustyenvironments.
    13. 13. Mites Cont.Several species of mites in our area.– Common is two-spotted spider mite• Found on outdoor plants andhouseplants.– Spruce spider mite• Found on Juniper, Spruce, and otherneedled-leaf evergreens.– Clover mite-pest of lawns and weedy areas• Occurs as periodic lawn pest, andnuisance in spring andFall.
    14. 14. Leafhoppers•Adults a wedge-shaped andabout 1/8 inch long•Leafhoppers over-winter as eggson twigs, or as adults in protectedsites, such as bark crevices.•Very active – jumping, flying andrunning when disturbed.•Sucking mouthparts causestippling, yellow tobrown leaves.•Nymphs are considered moredamaging thanadults
    15. 15. Whitefly•White Moths with powderywings 1/10th inch in length•Eggs are typically laid onthe newest leaves.•Piercing-sucking method offeeding produces stippling ofleaves•Heavy feeding may wilt andstunt plants•hosts, bean, cucumber,eggplant, lettuce, okra,potato, tomato, squash, andsweet potato.
    16. 16. Chewing Insects• Loopers, hornworms,leafrollers, cutworms areall larvae of butterfliesand moths.• Control:– Handpick larvae– Cover with garden blanket– Bacillus thuringiensis-Bt– Encourage Beneficialinsects Cabbageworm Butterfly
    17. 17. Earworm•½ inch to1 inch in length•Prefer cool damp placeshiding in organic mulch, underbark, in garden debris•Feed on a variety of dead andliving organisms, includinginsects, mites and shoots ofplants.•Earwigs also feed on silks ofcorn, causing poor kerneldevelopment.
    18. 18. ArmyCutwormMiller Moth•Smooth, gray-blackwith smooth skin•Can reach 1 ½ incheslong•When disturbed theycurl into a C shape•Caterpillars chew onstems and leaves•Adult is known “MillerMoth”
    19. 19. Corn Earworm•1 ¾ inches long•Light green to brownishblack•Alternating light striperunning down the lengthof its body•Chews holes in leavesand fruit•Eggs laid on the silk•Adult is a moth andoverwinters as a pupa
    20. 20. Cabbage &Alfalfa looper•Loopers 1 to 1.5”•feed on leaves•Female can lay 200-350 eggs overa 12 day period – hatching occurswithin 2 weeks•Larvae will feed 2 to 4 weeks•Note: plants can lose 20 to 25percent of their leaf area withouta reduction in yield
    21. 21. Hornworm•Large green to browncaterpillars – up to 3-4inches•Can defoliate a tomatowithin days•Adult is a sphinx moth –known as ahummingbird moth•Pupa overwinter in thesoil
    22. 22. Leafminers•Larvae a maggot or sluglike and burrow betweenthe two layers of tissue•Adult is a small slender-bodied, grayish, black-haired fly – ¼” long•Larvae will pupate in thetop 3” of soil, but somewill stay in the leaf itself•Can have 3 to 4generations a year•Larvae over winter in thesoil
    23. 23. The Good Guys –Naturally occurring predatorsLady beetles Snake flyGreen lacewing
    24. 24. University of Minnesota Extension –Karl Foord
    25. 25. Predators available for purchase• Convergent lady beetle• Spined soldier bug• Praying mantid eggs• Green Lacewing Eggs
    26. 26. Companion PlantingPlanting a variety of flowerswill attract many of thebeneficial insects.•Flowers in the sunflower(Asteraceae) family consistof many small flowers whichattract many beneficialinsects.•Carrot family (Apiacea)•Buckwheat family(Polygonaceae)•Scabiosa family(Dipsaceae)
    27. 27. Benefits of litter management andcrop rotation• Crop rotation– More important for disease thaninsect control– minimum is a 4 course crop rotation• Residue destruction– Removes host plantmaterial– Trash– Contain compost pile BrassicaCucurbitsOthersLegumesRoots
    28. 28. Simple rules for crop rotation:• Don’t follow tomato, peppers or eggplant withpotatoes, or each other.• Allow 3 years before replanting the same group inany given bed.• Onions may be planted throughout all groups.• Beets, carrots and radishes may be planted amongany group, and replanted as early crops areremoved.• Interplant with companion plants to minimizepesticide use.• Keep good records so you can duplicate successes.PennState – Crop Rotation
    29. 29. Incorporating age old techniquesBiochemical Pest SuppressionSome plants exude chemicals from roots or aerial partsthat suppress or repel pests and protect neighbouringplants.Insect Plants that should deterAphid Chives, Coriander, NasturtiumAnts TansyAsparagus Beetle Pot MarigoldBean Beetle Marigold, Nasturtium, RosemaryCabbage Moth Hyssop, Mint (also clothes moths), Oregano,Rosemary, Sage, Southernwood, Tansy, Thyme
    30. 30. Insect Plants that should deterPotato Bugs HorseradishMosquitoes Basil, RosemaryMoths SantolinaSquash Bugs & Beetles Nasturtium, TansyTomato Horn Worm Borage, Pot MarigoldCarrot Fly Rosemary, SageFlea Beetle - Catmint, MintFlies - Basil, RueJapanese beetles - Garlic & Rue (When used near roses andraspberries), Tansy
    31. 31. Wildlife
    32. 32. Wildlife Damage andManagement• Things to know…– Managing nuisancewildlife is not easy.– It will take time– It can be costly– You need to be persistentand patience.– And there is no magicwandN.W.D.S UKWanted in 5neighborhoodsOn 17 counts of larceny,suspect at large with a3 pound stash ofbirdseed in his checks –Birds in Garden Image
    33. 33. • Before you start thewar you need tounderstand why arethey coming to yourgarden or yard.– You moved into theirterritory• Food• Water• Shelter• Now what will you do?• H-E-R-L– H – Habitat Modification– E - Exclusion– R - Removal or Repellent– L - Lethal Control• M.T. MengakKnowledge is Key inwildlife damage prevention
    34. 34. Mule DeerImportant Facts:•Generally prefer open space,but very adaptable•Herbivores – forbs, leaves andtwigs•Size 130 to 280lbs•Life span – 9 to 11 years•1 to 2 young per year•Have better nighttime visionthan humans•1,000 times stronger sense ofsmell than humansThis is aChipmunkR. Miller
    35. 35. California GroundSquirrelImportant Facts:•Generally prefer open space,but very adaptable•Herbivores•Will cannibalize•Live in burrows•1 litter per year – litter size ~7•Life span 4 to 5 years•Currently, zinc phosphide is theonly acute rodenticide that isregistered by EPA for the control ofBelding and California groundsquirrels.
    36. 36. Golden-mantledground squirrelImportant Facts:•Generally prefer open space,but very adaptable•Herbivores•Looks like a large chipmunk,but they have no stripe on theface•Live in burrows•Seldom do the stance of thechipmunk•1 litter per year – litter size ~5This is aChipmunkR. Miller
    37. 37. Voles•Also called meadow, field orpine mice•4 to 8.5 inches long•vary in color from brown togray•Large colonies•Damage by voles can bereduced by :•habitat modification•exclusion•Repellents•Trapping•poison grain baits• IPMMissouri Botanical GardenCurtis, B, D. Curtis, and W.Miller. 2009
    38. 38. House &Deer Mouse••House Mouse•vary in color gray, lightbrown to black•Short hair, with small eyesand large ears•Life span 9 to 12 months•Deer Mouse•Two-tone, brown to greyon top with a white belly.Tail 50/50 tan and white•Start reproducing at 6weeks of age•Prefer seeds, but will eatfruits, invertebrates andfungi
    39. 39. WoodratsImportant Facts:•Also known as pack rats,bushy tailed wood re andtrade rat•Active at night•Build stick dens on theground or in trees•Herbivores, greenvegetation, twigs andshoots•1 litter per year –litter size ~ 4
    40. 40. Rats• Nocturnal• Requires water daily• Will travel several hundredfeet from nest• Prefer to travel on edges• Wary of new objects in theenvironment• They can jump, swim andsqueeze into and throughalmost anything• Will eat pipes, wire, blocks,and whatever necessary toget to foodMice• Nocturnal• Generally get water from foodsource• Will travel long distances fromnest• Prefer to travel on edges• Not wary of new objects in theenvironment• They can jump, swim andsqueeze into and throughalmost anything• Live outside, in homes a sheds
    41. 41. MolesImportant Facts:•live in undergroundrunways•Seldom seen above theground•Runways 5 to 20” deep•Prefer loose, moist soil•4 to 8” long - Blind•Carnivores – earthworms,grubs, beetles, insectlarvae•Can eat 40lbs of food aday•Single litter – 3 to 5•Life span – 3 years
    42. 42. QuailImportant Facts:•Generally prefer openspace during breeding•Omnivorous, but tent tobe vegetarians looking forseed and seedlings•1 clutch per year – clutchsize ~12 eggs•When quail reach 2months old they canbreed•Life span 3 – 5 years
    43. 43. CottontailRabbitsImportant Facts:•Generally prefer openspace, shrub or bush filledareas or any backyardurban or rural.•Herbivores•Live in existing cavities orburrows excavated byothers•Territory about ~10 acres•multiple litters per year –litter size ~5-6•Lifespan 12 – 15 months•Carry fleas
    44. 44. Resources••• Nevada Department of Wildlife–• 775-688-1500 Reno office• For general questions or comments• Nevada Department of Agriculture–• 405 South 21st Street, Sparks, NV 89431• 775-353-3638
    45. 45. Thank you&Happy GardeningWendy Hanson Mazethansonw@unce.unr.eduReno office – 775-336-0246Douglas County – 775-782-9960