What's Bugging Your Garden?

| 6/16/2013 9:53:49 AM

What’s Bugging Your Garden? 

Let’s begin by taking a close look at those pests that do the most damage to your vegetables.  These unwanted marauders divide into four categories.

  1. Beetles, caterpillars, and other pests that chew holes in the leaves of vegetables.
  2. Insects such as aphids, true bugs, and whiteflies that suck plant juices.
  3. Insects that bore into leaves and fruit.
  4. Soil insects that carry on the attack from below.

Most of the insects go through a series of stages.  The beetle, fly, or moth (called the “adult”) lays eggs which hatch a worm (called the larva) that eats everything in sight.  The larva of a beetle is a grub; the larva of a fly is called a maggot; the larva of a moth or butterfly is a caterpillar.  When the larva reaches its maximum size, it enters a nonfeeding dormant stage (the pupa); the adult insect emerges from this pupa.  Both the adult and the larva stages can be extremely destructive.

Chewing Insects 

Both beetles and caterpillars are plant gobblers that chew holes in the leaves and fruit of your vegetables.  These holes may be tiny pinpoints or irregular larger holes.  You may even discover that whole leaves have been devoured and entire areas of fruits have been chewed away.

The Beetles