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Use Growitveg.com to find ways to solve all kinds of gardening problems. Read about methods to fight powdery mildew, nematodes, blossom end rot, cutworms, stink bugs, and aphids. Learn about organic pest controls, beneficial insects, natural herbicides, and how to handle problems with birds, rabbits, and squirrels.
Garden Pests and problems
Vegetables and the plants they grow on, are not just considered tasty by us. There is a seemingly unending list of garden pests waiting to dive right in and claim their share. Many garden pests also spread plant diseases. This page offers help with vegetable pests and disease identification, prevention, and treatment. Check out some of the article links for help with specific garden pests and some organic garden tips for dealing with garden pests.
Try to use chemical pesticides sparingly to cut down on garden soil and water pollution. Use products that will breakdown rapidly and that will target only the
Pesticides and Pests they treat
Insecticidal Soaps - Aphids, White flies, Thrips, Mealy bugs, Leafhoppers, Japanese beetles
Neem oil - Kills young insects, Aphids, White flies, Thrips. Stops Japanese beetles from feeding.
Horticultural Oils - Aphids, Leafhoppers, Spider mites, White flies, Corn earworms
Diatomaceous Earth - Colorado Potato beetle, Mexican bean beetle, Aphids, White flies, Slugs
Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) - Kills all types of Caterpillars such as Cabbage loopers, Corn earworm, Parsley worm, Cutworms, Squash vine borer, Tomato hornworm
Pyrethrins (not Pyrethroids such as permethrin) - Aphids, Leafhoppers, Spider mites, Harlequin bugs, Cabbageworms, Flea beetles, Pickleworms, Mexican bean beetles, Squash bugs
Rotenone (highly toxic to humans) - Colorado potato beetle, Mexican bean beetle, Flea beetles, Japanese beetle, Cucumber beetles, Weevils, Potato beetles, Cabbage worms, Loopers
Sabadilla - Armyworms, Harlequin bugs, Stink bugs, Cucumber beetles, Leafhoppers, Cabbage loopers, Blister beetles
Carbaryl (Sevin) - Highly toxic to all types of insects and earthworms.
Garden Pests Control methods
Caterpillars such as cabbage loopers, corn worms, tomato hornworms, and armyworms - Hand picking - this is the best method if only a few plants are infested. Dipel - a safe biological pesticide containing BT kills only caterpillars.
Aphids and White Flies - Use lacewings, aphid midges, parasitic wasps or ladybugs to control aphids. Wash aphids off with strong water sprays or use insecticidal soaps or Neem.
Beetles - Control cucumber, potato, and japanese beetles by using floating row covers over young plants, hand picking, using deep mulches, and turning the soil well in the fall.
Sucking Bugs - For Stink bugs, Plant bugs, Squash bugs, and Leaf Hoppers, use hand picking, row covers, and insect predators such as mantids, minute pirate bugs, and spiny soldier bugs.
Slugs - Trap slugs under boards and in shallow pans using stale beer or fruit juices. Create barriers around young plants using wood ashes, crushed egg shells, or diatomaceous earth. Clean up hiding places.
Nematodes- Solarize the soil, use crop rotation, plant resistant varieties of susceptible vegetables. Use chitin based biological soil treatments.
Birds- Use bird netting, Cover ripening tomatoes with paper bags, Use motion detecting sprinklers.
Rabbits - Put short fencing around the garden. Use humane traps and relocate.
Gophers- Visit this site for ideas:
Univ. of California
Squirrels etc. - Use these links for ideas:
Colo. ext. service
Organic Gardening Tips
Read all Labels and Warnings with Pesticides
Aphids can be knocked off with a strong spray of water.
Cabbage butterflies are a sign to start spraying for the loopers.
Squirting some BT solution or a few drops of mineral oil, into the top end of each ear of corn can control corn earworms.
Green Stink bugs can spread diseases and damage fruits
Watch for the yellow egg masses of Potato beetles on the underside of leaves.
Spotted Cucumber beetles can spread bacterial wilt to cukes, squash, and melons.
Parsley Caterpillars are the larvae of Black Swallowtail butterflies. BT will kill them.
Leaf hoppers like many sucking bugs can cause deformed fruits and spread plant diseases. Horticultural oils will kill them.
Tiny White flies can quickly spread through a garden.
Powdery Mildew - A white dusting on leaves and stems. Pick off all affected parts and treat with sulfur sprays or horticultural oils.
Blossom End Rot - Squash, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants develop black sunken areas on the blossom ends. Due to a lack of calcium, can be caused by high nitrogen fertilizer, unsteady water supply, planting in cold soil, and damage to young roots.
Damping off - Causes seeds to rot and young seedlings to die. Use fungicide treated seeds and sterile potting soil for starting seeds. Make sure gardening area drains well.
Anthracnose - Fungus that causes reddish brown spots on leaves, stems, and pods. Plant resistant varieties and use crop rotations.
Corn Smut - large swollen masses form on ears or tassels. The mushroom like growths are full of black spores. Destroy all affected ears before the galls open spreading
spores. Burn them or bury them deeply. Corn smut is actually edible and recipes for it can be found.
Plastic mulches -using plastic sheets to mulch around vegetable plants can help to control weeds and give plants a head start in the spring by warming the soil up sooner. Different colors of plastic can even deter pests and improve plant strength.
Vegetable Pests and Problems Articles
1. Home Gardening Tips
2. Methods of Bird control for the garden
3. Diatomaceous Earth uses for Pest Control
4. How to kill Crab Grass using less toxic methods
5. Weed Identification Library
6. Vinegar as a natural weed killer
7.Corn Gluten Meal for weed control
8. Beneficial Nematodes in the Garden
9. How to control Nematodes in a vegetable garden
10. How to use Lacewings for pest control
11. Good Garden Insects
12. Plant Pests Identification
13. How to keep Rabbits at bay
14. How to keep Squirrels out of the Garden
15. How to treat Powdery Mildew on Vegetables
16. Blossom end rot, causes and prevention
17. Diseases in Cucumbers, Melons, and Squash
18. Select Vegetable diseases, Virginia Cooperative Extension
19. Crop Rotation Periods for Disease Control
20. Tomatoes and the heat
21. Carpenter bee pest control
22. Tomato leaf curl
23. Cabbage pests
24. Controlling Chives/Onions
25. Getting rid of Thistles
26. Plastic mulches benefits
27. Controlling Stinkbugs
28. Mushrooms in the garden
Electronic Media for Garden Problems
Just click on a title to find out about a product and see if you want to buy it.
Organic vegetable gardening and using organic gardening methods can save money as well as help the environment. Gardeners with organic vegetable gardens, don't have to worry about chemical contaminants in the garden soil or in their vegetables.
After the fall crops are harvested and the weather turns cold, it is a good idea to till the vegetable garden, turning the soil over. Insect eggs, overwintering larvae, and adults will be killed by the winter's cold temperatures.
Beneficial Insects & Organisms
Organic gardens use natural defenses against garden pests such as predatory insects and organisms. They work 24/7, target specific pests, don't leave residues or pollution, and will work for as long as the garden pests are a problem. Other beneficials include those needed for pollination, soil conditioning, and even waste disposal.
Preying Mantids will eat nearly all garden pests. Order mantid egg cases to place in the garden.
Don't kill caterpillars infested by parasitic wasps, so the wasps can spread to kill other caterpillars.
Lacewing larvae and adults love to eat aphids and white flies.
Learn to identify Ladybugs and their larvae which are also known as aphid lions.
Beneficial nematodes prey on soil grubs and root knot nematodes.
All Wasps are predatory on other insects especially caterpillars and crickets.
When using toxic pesticides be sure to time the application so beneficials such as bees and wasps are not targeted. Also soil organisms like earthworms, dung beetles, and beneficial fungi can be killed by some pesticides.
Bumble bees, Honeybees, and Flower flies are major garden pollinators.
Earthworms, Dung beetles and Mushrooms all condition the soil and recycle garden waste.