P. 1
Common Vegetable Insects

Common Vegetable Insects

|Views: 40|Likes:
Published by mdoll
Master gardener course
Master gardener course

More info:

Published by: mdoll on Oct 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less






Rick Foster, Department of Entomology, Purdue University
1. Imported cabbageworm, Pieris rapae (L). This caterpillar feeds on cabbage and other cole crops. The cabbageworm is present throughout the growing season, beginning early in the spring. The adult cabbageworm is a common white butterfly. Flea beetles. There are a number of different species of flea beetles that feed on a wide variety of vegetable crops. Generally, flea beetles feed by chewing many small holes in the leaves. Unless the vegetable is one in which the leaves are eaten, you can tolerate a lot of feeding damage from flea beetles after the plants have passed the seedling stage. The corn flea beetle damages corn by scraping green tissue from the leaves and can also transmit a bacterium that causes Stewart’s bacterial wilt of corn. Plant sweet corn varieties that are resistant to Stewart’s wilt when possible. Bean leaf beetle, Ceratoma trifurcata (Forster). Both the larvae and adults of this insect feed on beans. The larvae feed on roots, nodules, and below ground stems. The beetles feed on the stems of seedling plants and eat large holes in the leaves. Damage is most noticeable when the plants are small. The beetles vary greatly in color and markings, but are usually reddish or yellowish with black spots on the wing covers. They can also feed on pods. Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say). Both adults and larvae of the Colorado potato beetle feed on leaves of potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. The adults will begin feeding when plants first emerge in the spring. Damage can be very severe if the potato beetles are not controlled. Potato beetles are resistant to many insecticides, so cultural control methods should be used in addition to pesticides. Tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta (L). Hornworms are very large caterpillars, up to 4 inches long. Tobacco and tomato hornworms feed on the leaves of tomato and pepper during late summer, and will feed on the fruit occasionally. The adult stage is a large hawk moth that flies at night. Hornworms can be handpicked or controlled with insecticides, especially when small. They are also attacked by parasites, which produce white cocoons on the backs of the hornworms. Aphids. Almost all vegetable crops are attacked by one or more species of aphids. Aphids use their sucking mouthparts to remove plant juices from the leaves. Aphids may be winged or wingless and, during most of the year, only females are present. These females give birth to live young, which can be producing young of their own within a week. Aphids usually occur in colonies on the underside of leaves. Aphids are controlled by several natural enemies. Striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittatum (F). This beetle will feed on the stems and leaves of cucumber, melons, squash, and pumpkins. The feeding damage can be serious, especially when the plants are small. The beetle is also capable of transmitting a bacterium that causes the disease, bacterial wilt of cucurbits. Cucumbers and muskmelons are particularly susceptible to this disease. Watermelons, pumpkins, and squash are rarely affected. Once a cucumber or muskmelon plant is infected with the disease, the plant will die. The only way to


prevent the disease is by controlling the beetle before it transmits the bacterium. 8. Squash bug, Anasa tristis (DeGeer). Squash bug adults and nymphs feed in colonies on squash and pumpkins. They suck plant juices from the stems and leaves, causing the leaves to wilt and die. More importantly, in the fall, they can feed on the green fruit before they ripen, causing the fruit to collapse. Squash bugs are difficult to kill with insecticides, especially as they get larger. Squash vine borer, Melittia cucurbitae (Harris). The larva feeds within the vines of squash and pumpkins. It enters the stem near the ground in early summer and cause the vines to wilt and die. The damage looks similar to bacterial wilt, but has a different cause. Damage is usually worse in areas where squash and pumpkins are grown year after year. Squash varieties with large hollow stems, such as blue Hubbard, are most susceptible to squash vine borer damage.





10. European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner). The corn borer is a pest of a number of vegetable crops, including sweet corn, snap bean, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. It prefers corn, so if there is a lot of green field corn around, most of the moths will lay their eggs there. Once the field corn starts to dry down in the late summer, vegetable crops become more attractive and damage becomes more serious. Corn borer populations are highly variable, so blacklight or pheromone traps should be used to monitor their densities. 11. Corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). The corn earworm, also known as the tomato fruitworm, can be a pest of sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and other crops. There are two generations, with the second, which comes out in July and August, being the most important. Sweet corn that reaches maturity in late Autust or September will almost always be severely attacked by corn earworm. Adults can be blown in from the Gulf Coast when tropical storms hit that area. Growers should monitor adult activity with pheromone traps to determine the need for treatment.



Further Information: The information and color illustrations presented here are designed to help you correctly identify some of the more common insects that attack vegetables. Further information on these and other insect pests are available in ID-56 “Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2001” and <http://www.entm.purdue.edu/ Entomology/ext/targets/ID/index.htm>. Copies of this publication, revised yearly, and other related materials are available through the Agricultural Communication Media Distribution Center, Phone: 765-494-6794, Fax: 765-496-1540, Email: Media.Order@ces.purdue.edu


REVISED 3/2001

It is the policy of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, David C. Petritz, Director, that all persons shall have equal opportunity and access to the programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, or disability. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action employer. 1-888-EXT-INFO


W. Cranshaw

W. Cranshaw

1. Imported cabbage worm and damage

2. Flea beetle damage on eggplant

3. Bean leaf beetle and damage

J. Obermeyer

W. Cranshaw

W. Cranshaw

4. Colorado potato beetle adult and larva

5. Tobacco hornworm

6. Aphids

A. York

7. Striped cucumber beetle, spotted cucumber beetle and bacterial wilt

8. Squash bugs

Purdue University

9. Squash vine borer and damage

10. European Corn Borer

B. Flood

11. Corn earworm

PURDUE UNIVERSITY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE • WEST LAFAYETTE, IN 47907 http://www.agcom.purdue.edu/AgCom/Pubs/menu.htm

W. Cranshaw

R. Foster

W. Cranshaw

R. Kriner

R. Latin

C. Werty

J. Obermeyer

R. Foster

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->