Grow Your Own, Nevada! Summer 2012: Insect and Critter Control


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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! Summer 2012: Insect and Critter Control

    1. 1. Insect and Critter Control Wendy Hanson Mazet University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
    2. 2. First ask yourself - What is a Pest?Anything or anyone that is detrimental to your garden or landscape – destroys crops & structures – poses health threats to family or pets – reduces aesthetic value of your property
    3. 3. Insect & Critters in the GardenSix Key Steps• Observation• Early Detection• Correct Identification of insect or pest• Education• Select appropriate control• Proper application
    4. 4. Integrated Pest Management IPM: a balanced, tactical approach• Anticipates and prevents damage• Uses several tactics in combination• Improves effectiveness, reduces side effects• Relies on identification, measureme nt, assessment, and knowledge
    5. 5. Control TacticsFive Most Common• Mechanical• Cultural• Physical• Genetic• Chemical
    6. 6. 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 tip of young shoots and on undersides of leaves Leafhoppers feed under leaf surfaces, and scale feed on leaves, stems, and shoots. All feed in large groups except leafhoppers
    7. 7. Piercing Insects• Control:• Keep plants healthy• Maintain a diverse habitat• Monitor garden daily, so when insect pests are found, control measures can be taken quickly. – hose plants off – insecticidal soap sprays – horticulture oils including Neem oil – Cover with garden blanket – Encourage Beneficial insects
    8. 8. Aphid• Small, soft bodied insects 1/10 inch long• Long mouth parts used to suck plant juices.• Cornicles are found on most species.• Found in many colors.• Most over-winter as eggs, hatch in spring.• Secrete honeydew.• Most abundant in cool spring and cool fall.• Ants may be present tending aphids.
    9. 9. Stink Bugs•5/8 inches long, brightgreen, brown withstripes, large body smallhead• When crush they stink! NCCE•Piercing/sucking mouthparts• stippling damage onleaf and stem tissue•Barrel like eggs laid onleaf and stem tissue
    10. 10. Squash Bugs•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 University of Minnesota Extension
    11. 11. 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.
    12. 12. Mites Cont.Several species of mites in our area. – Common is two-spotted spider mite • Found on outdoor plants and houseplants. – Spruce spider mite • Found on Juniper, Spruce, and other needled-leaf evergreens. – Clover mite-pest of lawns and weedy areas • Occurs as periodic lawn pest, and nuisance in spring and Fall.
    13. 13. Leafhoppers•Adults a wedge-shaped andabout 1/8 inch long•Leafhoppers over-winter aseggs on twigs, or as adults inprotected sites, such as barkcrevices.•Very active – jumping,flying and running whendisturbed.•Sucking mouthparts causestippling, yellow tobrown leaves.•Nymphs are consideredmore damaging thanadults
    14. 14. 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, and sweetpotato.
    15. 15. 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.
    16. 16. Chewing Insects• Loopers, hornworms, leafrollers, cutworms are all larvae of butterflies and moths.• Control: – Handpick larvae – Cover with garden blanket – Bacillus thuringiensis-Bt – Encourage Beneficial insects Cabbageworm Butterfly
    17. 17. Army Miller MothCutworm•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”
    18. 18. 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
    19. 19. Cabbage &Alfalfa looper•Loopers 1 to 1.5”•feed on leaves•Female can lay 200-350 eggsover a 12 day period – hatchingoccurs within 2 weeks•Larvae will feed 2 to 4 weeks•Note: plants can lose 20 to 25percent of their leaf areawithout a reduction in yield
    20. 20. 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
    21. 21. 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
    22. 22. University of Minnesota Extension –Karl Foord
    23. 23. The Good Guys – Naturally occurring predatorsLady beetles Snake fly Green lacewing
    24. 24. Predators available for purchase• Convergent lady beetle• Spined soldier bug• Praying mantid eggs• Green Lacewing Eggs
    25. 25. Companion PlantingPlanting a variety of flowers willattract many of the beneficialinsects. •Flowers in the sunflower (Asteraceae) family consist of many small flowers which attract many beneficial insects. •Carrot family (Apiacea) •Buckwheat family (Polygonaceae) •Scabiosa family (Dipsaceae)
    26. 26. Benefits of Crop Rotation and litter management• Residue destruction • Crop rotation – More important for disease than – Removes host plant insect control material – minimum is a 4 course crop rotation – Trash Roots – Contain compost pile Brassica Cucurbits Legumes Others
    27. 27. Simple rules for crop rotation: • Don’t follow tomato, peppers or eggplant with potatoes, or each other. • Allow 3 years before replanting the same group in any given bed. • Onions may be planted throughout all groups. • Beets, carrots and radishes may be planted among any group, and replanted as early crops are removed. • Interplant with companion plants to minimize pesticide use. • Keep good records so you can duplicate successes.PennState – Crop Rotation
    28. 28. 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
    29. 29. 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 and raspberries), Tansy
    30. 30. Wildlife
    31. 31. Wildlife Damage andManagement• Things to know… Wanted in 5 neighborhoods – Managing nuisance On 17 counts of larceny, suspect wildlife is not easy. at large with a 3 pound stash of birdseed in his checks – – It will take time Birds in Garden Image – It can be costly – You need to be persistent and patience. – And there is no magic wand N.W.D.S UK
    32. 32. Knowledge is Key inwildlife damage prevention• Before you start the • Now what will you do? war you need to • H-E-R-L understand why are they coming to your – H – Habitat Modification garden or yard. – E - Exclusion – You moved into their – R - Removal or Repellent territory – L - Lethal Control • Food • Water • Shelter • M.T. Mengak
    33. 33. Mule Deer R. MillerImportant Facts: •Generally prefer open space, but very adaptable This is a •Herbivores – forbs, leaves and Chipmunk twigs •Size 130 to 280lbs •Life span – 9 to 11 years •1 to 2 young per year •Have better nighttime vision than humans •1,000 times stronger sense of smell than humans
    34. 34. 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 the only acute rodenticide that is registered by EPA for the control of Belding and California ground squirrels.
    35. 35. Golden-mantledground squirrel R. MillerImportant Facts: •Generally prefer open space, but very adaptable This is a •Herbivores Chipmunk •Looks like a large chipmunk, but they have no stripe on the face •Live in burrows •Seldom do the stance of the chipmunk •1 litter per year – litter size ~5
    36. 36. Curtis, B, D. Curtis, and W.Voles Miller. 2009•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• Missouri Botanical Garden UC IPM
    37. 37. House &Deer Mouse•House Mouse •vary in color gray, light brown to black •Short hair, with small eyes and large ears •Life span 9 to 12 months•Deer Mouse •Two-tone, brown to grey on top with a white belly. Tail 50/50 tan and white •Start reproducing at 6 weeks of age •Prefer seeds, but will eat fruits, invertebrates and fungi • ESTNOTES/pn74161.html
    38. 38. WoodratsImportant Facts: •Also known as pack rats, bushy tailed wood re and trade rat •Active at night •Build stick dens on the ground or in trees •Herbivores, green vegetation, twigs and shoots •1 litter per year – litter size ~ 4
    39. 39. Rats Mice• Nocturnal • Nocturnal• Requires water daily • Generally get water from food• Will travel several hundred source feet from nest • Will travel long distances from• Prefer to travel on edges nest• Wary of new objects in the • Prefer to travel on edges environment • Not wary of new objects in the• They can jump, swim and environment squeeze into and through • They can jump, swim and almost anything squeeze into and through• Will eat almost anything pipes, wire, blocks, and • Live outside, in homes a sheds whatever necessary to get
    40. 40. MolesImportant Facts: •live in underground runways •Seldom seen above the ground •Runways 5 to 20” deep •Prefer loose, moist soil •4 to 8” long - Blind •Carnivores – earthworms, grubs, beetles, insect larvae •Can eat 40lbs of food a day •Single litter – 3 to 5 •Life span – 3 years
    41. 41. QuailImportant Facts: •Generally prefer open space during breeding •Omnivorous, but tent to be vegetarians looking for seed and seedlings •1 clutch per year – clutch size ~12 eggs •When quail reach 2 months old they can breed •Life span 3 – 5 years
    42. 42. Cottontail RabbitsImportant Facts: •Generally prefer open space, shrub or bush filled areas or any backyard urban or rural. •Herbivores •Live in existing cavities or burrows excavated by others •Territory about ~10 acres •multiple litters per year – litter size ~5-6 •Lifespan 12 – 15 months •Carry fleas
    43. 43. 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