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Insect Pests of Home Vegetables

Insect Pests of Home Vegetables

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Published by draculavanhelsing
fact sheet
fact sheet

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Sep 12, 2013
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For more inormation visit our web site www.agric.wa.gov.au
The Chie Executive Ofcer o the Department o Agriculture and Food and the State o Western Australia accept no liability whatsoever by reason o negligence or otherwise arising rom the use or release o this inormation or any part o it.
Important Disclaimer
By John Burt, Horticulture, Harald Hoffmann, Biosecurity Communications, Darryl Hardie, Entomology and Hossein Golzar, Plant Pathology, South Perth 
Main insect pests of vegetablesin home gardens
 Various insects and mites can damage vegetables inhome gardens at all stages of growth. A description ofsome of the more important insect pests is given here,together with general methods for control. There areoccasions when a home gardener may notice a newpest, which is different to the pests they have seen inthe past. Exotic pests are a concern for the farmingcommunity, as they could threaten the agriculturaland horticultural industries and increase the price ofproduction and cost to the consumer. Please reportanything unusual to the Pest and Disease InformationService (see last page).When using pesticides, always follow the directions onthe label. Spraying in the evening is the most effective.The active ingredients of pesticides are shown in the textand there are often a number of commercial pesticidesthat are available with the same active ingredient.
 Aphids are small (1 - 3 mm), soft-bodied insects thatvary in colour (green, grey, or black). Most commonlyseen in spring and autumn, aphids can be winged orwingless and are usually slow-moving. Aphids clusteron the tips of the shoots, sucking the sap from the plant,which reduces plant vigour. Aphids can also spreadviruses which can severely reduce yields and quality. A number of natural enemies such as lacewingsand ladybugs will give some biological control. Ifrequired, control with sprays such as dimethoate,imidacloprid, garlic extract or maldison. Soapywater and insecticidal soaps may also reducenumbers.
Caterpillars are usually the larval stages of moths orbutterflies. They are normally hairless, with a longcylindrical body (10 - 50 mm long) and range in colour.Caterpillars may attack leaves, stems, owers, fruitsand roots.Green caterpillars of the large cabbage white butteryand the small diamond-back (cabbage) moth canseverely damage the leaves of the Brassica family (suchas broccoli, cabbage and cauliowers).
Aphids Cabbage white buttery Cabbage white buttery grub 
10 mm10 mm3 mm
Note: 359
March 2009Replaces Note: 126
Brown cutworm Potato moth adult and pupa 
Cluster caterpillar and looper caterpillars will attack theleaves of many vegetables.The egg fruit caterpillar bores into eggfruit and the nativebudworm will bore into the fruit of many vegetables,especially, capsicums, tomatoes and sweet corn. Thesefruit pests are hard to kill and early spraying is requiredto kill the caterpillars before they enter the fruits.Other caterpillars attack the roots and stems. Potatomoth caterpillars will 'mine' potato leaves and bore intopotato tubers.Cutworms hide in the soil by day and attack plants atnight. They damage the stem of young seedlings at thebase causing the plant to collapse.Control with carbaryl, fluvalinate, garlic extract ormaldison.
Bacillus thuringiensis 
is abiological insecticide.
Grasshoppers and locusts
In some years, grasshoppers, (that is, wingedgrasshopper) and locusts (that is, plague locust) canappear in plagues in summer and are capable ofdestroying all plants. Apply a bait containing carbaryl.
Australian plaque locust Looper caterpillar Cluster caterpillar Native budworm Egg fruit caterpillar 
10 mm10 mm10 mm10 mm10 mm10 mm10 mm
Thrips are small (1 to 2mm long) torpedo-shapedinsects, varying in colour(yellow, green, grey, orblack). Thrips suck thesap of leaves, fruit andflowers and this feedingresults in white streakson the plants. Some species are carriers of tomatospotted wilt virus. Control with dimethoate, garlic extract,maldison, omethoate or pyrethrins.
 A few species of weevils are pests, such as the gardenand vegetable weevils. At night, the adults (10 mm in size) may attack stems andleaves of asparagus, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, peas,potatoes, rhubarb, silver beet and spinach. The larvae(12 mm) may bore into the tubers of carrots, potatoesand sweet potatoes.
Wingless grasshopper Tomato thrip Garden weevil adult Garden weevil larva 
Whiteies are tiny (1.5 to 2.0 mm) sap-sucking insectsthat can damage vegetables grown in the open and ingreenhouses.Damage is worst in spring and autumn. The adultsresemble small moths and y in large numbers whendisturbed. The young stages have no wings and lookmore like scale insects. Insects such as lace-wings,ladybirds and hoveries will feed on whiteies.Whiteies can be difcult to control using pesticides.Control with sprays such as dimethoate, garlic extract,maldison or pyrethrins. Insecticidal soaps and soapywater may also reduce numbers.
Mites have eight legs compared to insects (whichhave six legs) and are much smaller than most insects(less than 1 mm). Mites are sap-suckers and damagecan range from stippling on the leaves of the plant, tobronzing of the stems and leaves. Control with dicofol.Early spraying is essential to obtain good control.
Tomato russet mite on tomatoes
Most people are unaware of this pest because itcannot be seen with the naked eye; a lens whichmagnies 20 times is needed to see them. In summer,the damage they cause is easily identied. The stems ofthe plant become bronzed, the lower leaves wither anddie and the skin of the fruit becomes leathery.
Whitey Vegetable weevil adult Vegetable weevil larva Ladybird (benecial insect) 
10 mm
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