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GOOD BUGS BAD BUGS Organic Pest Management Basics and Insect Identification New Farms for New Americans 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "GOOD BUGS BAD BUGS Organic Pest Management Basics and Insect Identification New Farms for New Americans 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 GOOD BUGS BAD BUGS Organic Pest Management Basics and Insect Identification New Farms for New Americans 2010

2 Principles of Organic Pest Management
Good pest management is based on healthy soils. Maintain the diversity and fertility of the soil. Keep a diversity of plants in the field to feed and shelter the beneficial organisms that help fight pests. Healthy soil contains different organisms that compete with pest organisms, keeping them in check. What does diversity mean? What does fertility mean? Having a variety if flowering plants attracts good bugs that like pollen and necter Healthy Soil – use compost, plant cover crops, rotate crops See this farm with a hedge row – hedgerow is a good place for beneficial insects to live. What does healthy soil look like? Dark, holds water, has air in it, drains well, isn’t compacted.

3 Why You Need to Know Your Bugs
Some insects are good. They’re called Beneficials. What are some of the good things that insects do? Aerate the soil, pollinate plants, eat bad bugs. So you can’t just kill ALL bugs, and pesticides often kill ALL bugs, not just the bad ones Here’s a ladybug eating an aphid. So first we’ll go through the top 3-4 good bugs and then the some bad bugs. Many farmers believe that it is more important to know the good bugs than the bad buts, so here is a general rule From

4 General Rule for Killing Bugs
Know Your Pests and Kill Them If you don’t know it, don’t touch it. Watch it. Is it eating your plants? What does it look like? If it is causing problems and you don’t recognize it, tell someone. Ask your friends, “Do you know this bug?” Add a little thing on bottom about how to think about a bug, what it looks like. The immature potato beetle is on the bottom. What is the top one? Anyone know? It’s a beneficial – it’s about to eat that baby potato beetle. Look at its arm coming out to paralyze the pupa. Which one of these two bugs should you kill?

5 Good Bug #1: Lady Bug Adults and babies eat aphids and other soft-body insects Adults have dome-shaped body and are often shiny, red and spotted Eggs are tiny and yellow and laid upright in clusters of eggs Lots of different kinds of lady bugs – all good Wheast recipe - 1 part sugar 1 part yeast A little water Mix sugar and yeast with water to make a thin paste.  Apply to leaves as paste or add more water to apply by spray bottle. Attract ladybugs with dandelion, wild carrot and yarrow; or use “wheast” (a mixture of sugar and yeast) Wild carrot

6 From Oregon St. University
Good Bug #2: Lacewings Eat aphids and other bugs – up to 200 per day! Larvae look like tiny alligators Larvae pupate in a silky cocoon Adults are light green with large, shiny eyes Eggs are “planted onto leaves on little stalks Have you ever seen this bug? From Oregon St. University

7 Good Bug #3: Hover Fly Eat aphids and other small bugs Look like bees
Larvae look like tiny green maggots who feed of aphids Fall to ground and pupate in soil Eat spider mites, green flies, caterpillers, love marigolds From

8 Other Good Guys Bats Spiders Frogs Dragonflies
Bats eat mosquitos and moths – are noctural so are awake when the moths are. Spiders eat aphids, flea beetles, cucumber beetles, leaf hoppers and many others Use straw mulch, maintain habitat strips or hedgerows Flowering annuals attact beneficial incests Jumping spider pictured - tiny furry guy

9 Bad Bug #1: Flea Beetle Jumpy little bugs
Adults spend winter in the woods and lay eggs in the soil in spring Eat young, tender cabbages, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, radishes, tomatoes Can use row covers to keep beetles out or put down mulch Control weeds, delay planting, hoe near plants and do not compact soil Know that you will have some flea beetle damage but they rarely kill plants Flea beetles are small beetles that jump when disturbed. They damage plants by chewing small "shotholes" in the foliage. Flea beetles can be found on a wide variety of plants. However, most flea beetles attack only a few, closely related plant species, especially edible greens, potatoes Flea beetle injury is most important when seedlings are becoming established or in the production of leafy vegetables. Injuries are usually minor and easily outgrown on established plants. Good to plant your radishes near your cabbages because the flea beetles will prefer the radishes, and it doesn’t matter as much if the tops of the radishes get eaten. Most hardy plants will survive an attack from flea beetles. Some farmers use row covers or mulch around seedlings to try and keep the flea beetles away. Others use traps.

10 Bad Bug #2: Colorado Potato Beetle
Black and yellow bugs that eat potatoes and eggplants, as well as tomatoes and peppers Hibernate in soil over winter and lay eggs in spring Kill them by hand or by drowning These bugs hibernate in the soil over the winter and come out to lay eggs in the spring. They like potatoes and eggplants but can also eat tomatoes and peppers. They can devour an entire plant quickly, so if you see them, it’s important that you kill them and remove any plants with larvae on them. Hand picking them off and drowning them in a small cup of water is the most effective way to control them on farms less than 2 acres. Larvae quickly eating a leaf. Kill these immediately From University of Florida

11 Bad Bug #3: Cucumber Beetle
Adults overwinter in the woods Eggs are oval, orange-yellow and in large clusters under leaves Larvae are yellow-white, wrinky with three pairs of brownish legs Pupae are white Adults are oblong and bright yellowish-greenish; can be striped or spotted Beetles love squashes and melons and will eat everything – leaves, blossoms and fruits Can use wire or cloth protectors, sticky traps, trellis to get plants off the ground and encourage good bugs and bats. These bugs love melons and prefer the tender parts of the plants, including the flowers. They eat holes into leaves and fruits and can carry a virus that kills plants. The best way to control these on a small farm is to kill them by hand. They eat all squashes but they don’t like yellow squashes and acorns as much as zucchini and butternut. If you have a bad infestation of them, you can try covering your plants with a thin cloth.

12 Bad Bug #4: Japanese Beetle
Both adults and grubs eat plants Adults have shiny bodies Papae are whitish yellow and over shape Eggs are laid underground Larva / grubs are clear-white worms that lay in a curled position and spend 10 months undergroud, eating roots Use soapy water to repel them These beetles love tomatoes, peppers and corn but will eat almost anything. They eat out the flesh of the leaf and leave the veins, which is a tell tale sign that you may have an infestation of them. You should kill these bugs if you see them. Some people control them by spraying infested plants with a light mist of soapy water. You can do this yourself using dish soup. Life Cycle from

13 Bad Bug #5: Squash Bug Adults are larger black bugs and pupae are small and gray and cluster on the bottom of leaves. Eggs are yellow or bronze and are laid on underside of leaves. They eat cucumbers, zucchini, melons, pumpkins and squash. Leaves can look dried out because they suck on them. They love yellow squash. Keep plants healthy, do not over water and provide enough space for fruits. Will eat marigolds and mints instead and other ground beetles will eat them Another very common bug. They like cucumbers, zucchinis, melons, pumpkins and squash. They suck at leaves, so sometimes a leaf will look like it’s wilting or drying out when in fact the plant may be infested with squash bugs. The best way to combat these bugs is to pick them off by hand and kill them. Another trick you can try if you have these is to put a wooden board on the ground overnight. The bugs will all congregate under the board at night, so you can easily kill them in the morning. Maintaining healthy plants will also make them resistant to damage from these bugs. Watering the right amount, keeping weeds down and providing enough space for your pumpkins will help them thrive.

14 Bad Bug #6: Aphids Small, very destructive insect that sucks the sap out of plants Usually greenish throughout life stages Lady bugs, hoverflies and other insects eat them Protect plants by controlling ants, spraying onion or garlic water and creating good habitat for beneficial insects It’s good to dispose of significantly infested plants to save other plants. Aphids love potato, tomato, eggplant and pepper plants, especially in hot, dry weather. They are rarely a lasting problem, but keep an eye out for them, and pull plants infested with them and dispose away from the farm.

15 Bad Bug #7: Cabbage Worm They eat cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes, kale, lettuce and weeds of the mustard family. The first sign is the 1 1/2 inch white butterfly in the early spring. Eggs are yellowish, elongated eggs, singly, on the underside of leaves. Larva are velvety green caterpillars with a thin yellowish-orange stripe down the middle of the back. Most common in July and August. Pupa is greenish-brown and hang from the bottom of leaves. Control mustard weeds, removing plant remains at the end of the season, fall plowing and hand picking worms and larvae can significantly reduce damage. For cabbage worms, lookout for large white butterflies laying their worms under your plants. In particular, they are interested in cabbages and other brassicas. Best ways to avoid them – weed control, kill them when you see them and encourage wasps in your garden. From Maine Extension

16 Bad Bug #8: Potato Leafhopper
Adults are 3 mm long, wedge-shaped and winged Eggs are tiny, longish and whitish There are several stages of nymph, generally pale and wingless Feed on over 100 plants, including beans and potatoes Control them with beneficials; use a net to catch them Potato leafhoppers haven’t been a problem yet, but some years they are a problem in Vermont. They love potatoes and beans, but mostly the effect field crops, like alfalfa and soybeans. You’ll know they’ve arrived if your potato or bean leaves and curling and browning. Keep an eye out for them, and kill them when you see them, and report sightings to Josie. This is the kind of bug that can have a big impact across the state, so it’s important if you see it to let Josie know so she can find out from other farmers if it is a significant problem. From UNC

17 Bad Bug #9: Corn Borer Adults are yellow or brown moths
Eggs are whitish and overlap each other like fish scales The larva has a black head, yellow body and multiple legs The pupa is is brown worm Loves corn but can also eat beans, beets, celery, potato, pepper and tomato Start eating leaves; for corn, eat the whorl. Look for entrance holes with poop damage. Can result in death of corn, tomato and potato Flies, wasps and ladybugs are enemies Not much you can do about then except keep your plot clean, check corn for damage and remove infected plants Corn borer eats corn, and there’s not too much you can do about them, expect to keep your farm plot clean. frame 

18 Bad Bug #10: Corn Earworm Adults is a yellowish-green moth
Eggs are dome-shaped and white Larva vary in color from whitish to greenish-yellow to brown Pupa are reddish-brown worms that overwinter in the soil Likes lots of plants but prefers corn and eats corn seedlings, buds and fruit Holes are hard to detect but general bugs enter at the developing tip of the corn cob Chemical controls don’t always work, but you can put mineral oil on tips of corn to make a barrier or encourage lacewings

19 Bad Bug #11: Tarnished Plant Bug
A big family of bugs, these suck the sap out of plants and like to eat buds and young fruits Adults are brownish with wings Nymphs are greenish without wings Avoid them by not letting weeds flower Tarnished plant bug likes the flowers and buds of eggplant, pepper and tomato. Good weed control can avoid significant infestation. Really they will eat almost anything. They often will start in budding or flowering weeds, so it’s important to keep your garden weeded. Info from :

20 Bad Bug #12: Swede Midge Common but new pest in Vermont that can be very difficult to control Adults lay clusters of eggs on youngest plant tissue Larvae are tiny and clear to creamy yellow-white Adults are tiny light-brown flies Love cabbages and broccoli Can overwinter in the soil Crop rotation effective because they don’t like wind and don’t travel too far Scout for them early, destroy or remove plants after harvest and control weeds Scientific Name Contarinia nasturtii Identification Clusters of eggs are laid on the youngest plant tissue The translucent to creamy yellow white larvae are 3 mm in length when mature When disturbed, larvae jump off plants Adults are tiny, mm long, light-brown flies Damaged seedlings often appear twisted and may have a noticeable brown scar or a gall at the growing point If damage occurs before the plant reaches the button stage, the plant will be barren Later feeding injury results in twisted and distorted heads Also look for brown, corky scarring along the leaf petiole Often Confused With Bolting Genetic disorders Molybdenum deficiency Period of Activity First-generation swede midge adults emerge from overwintering pupa from mid-May to the beginning of June. It appears that there are four to five overlapping generations of swede midge. Scouting Notes Swede midge adults are not strong fliers and prefer areas of low wind movement, resulting in more damage in sheltered areas along field edges and buildings. Attention should be paid to these areas when scouting. Examine young plants for unusual growth habits, with emphasis on the growth point and any side shoots. Thresholds None established. Once a suspect plant is found, new growth should be carefully examined for the presence of larvae by peeling back the leaves. Larvae can be seen with the naked eye or a hand lens. If larvae are not found, place the suspect plant material in a vial of rubbing alcohol and shake. Typically the larvae will come right out of the plant material. If no larvae are found, they may have already dropped to the soil to pupate. So, keep looking! Management The best management is to limit the spread of the pest since, once it becomes present in an area, it is difficult to manage. Although adults are weak fliers, it is possible for them to be carried by winds. Other avenues include the movement of transplants, which may contain eggs or larvae, or soil, which may contain pupae. Since the pupae are located near the soil surface, working the soil may reduce the number of viable pupae. The most important management strategy is to destroy crop residue as soon as possible after harvest. This will minimize the population of the over-wintering generation. The second most important management strategy is to rotate away from crucifers as far as possible. If the over-wintering population does not have a suitable host when it emerges, a significant proportion of the population will die. Although most cruciferous weeds are less suitable host plants in comparison to cole crops, it is important that they be controlled during the cropping season as well as afterwards. Insecticides are used with some success to kill adults or to prevent them from laying viable eggs. Systemic insecticides are required to kill the larvae, since they are usually well protected within the plant material. When swede midge populations are very high, insecticide sprays alone will not eliminate economic damage to the crop. Insecticides available for use in New York can be found in the annual Cornell University Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Vegetable Crops.

21 Bad Bug #13: Snails Slimy long snail pests
Like shade, so control them by removing shade and close cutting nearby grass Sand or anything scratchy is a natural barrier to them Generally, they dry up in the sun and are eaten by birds Last year it was so cold and wet that we had a lot of snails on the farm. Usually, the snails would be controlled by the sun and birds, but last year they didn’t dry up in the sun. The damage they do is generally not bad, but if the infestation gets out of control, you need to hand pick the snails off plants and put them in short grass or dry ground so they will dry out Info from Picture from

22 Bad Bug # 14: Tomato Hornworm
Feed on solanaceous plants, most often the tomato Moth is large, heavy-bodied moth with narrow front wings and mottled gray-brown color. The wingspan can be up to 5 inches! Eggs are deposited singly on lower and upper surface of leaves. Larvae are pale green; caterpillars are 3 ¼ to 4 inches long and pupate underground. Handpicking and rototilling the soil to kill larvae are effective. Lady bugs and lacewings will eat them and wasps will paralyze them. These are not too common but are native to this region. The best thing to do if you see them is to kill them. Like a lot of bad bugs, burying them is just doing them a favor because they mature underground.

23 Bad Bug #15: Mexican Bean Beetle
One of the few harmful bugs in the ladybug family, it’s copper-colored with 16 black spots. Larvae are yellow and covered with large spines. Eggs are also yellow and are laid in groups on underside of lower leaves. Bugs like beans; both adults and babies feed on the undersides of leaves, leaving a lace-like appearance. They will kill your plants. Control by planting early, using bush beans and removing plants are soon as the crop is harvested to kill remaining beetles and prevent overwintering. Remay can also work as an effective cover. These can overwinter in damp, protected places but they like hot weather and will fly long distances to find beans.

24 Other Bad Guys Deer Rodents Ticks
There are deer on the farm, so it is a good idea to have some scarecrows to keep them away. They like to eat fruit and vegetables and greens, but they stayed away pretty well last year with just a few simple scarecrows. There are also rodents on the farm, field mice, who sometimes eat fruits and vegetables, but more than anything else, just be aware they are there. Deer in the US carry tiny ticks, called deer ticks, which sometimes carry a disease called Lyme Disease. You can get this disease in Vermont, and it’s easily treatable if you catch it early. You just have to take antibiotics for 2 weeks. Look yourself and your children over for tiny ticks, and if you get a rash like this one, go to the doctor. Lyme Disease can be very serious if it’s not treated.

25 Review: Ways to Keep Bad Bugs Under Control
Encourage good bugs Good buffers Wheast Keep weeds under control Soapy water / alcohol traps / other traps Wire or cloth protectors or reemay What are those good bugs? How do you encourage them Why keep weeds under control? To limit the places bad bugs can live and breed

26 What about weeds? Mechanical or hand cultivation Mulch Flame weeding
Mowing Black Plastic Newspaper without color dyes Keeping weeds under control is a good way to make sure your plants have enough room, minerals, water, air and access to sunlight, and it’s also a good way to control bad bugs, who sometimes like to lay eggs on weeds in your garden. Newspaper works very well to suppress many "weeds" that could grow in the garden. Newspaper can block a plants access to the light plants need to grow and that either prevents the plant from growing or because the plant is deprived of access to sunlight causes that plant to die. However newspaper does need something to hold it in place, so some mulch, grass clippings, shredded leaves, wood chips, will help do that. Be sure to also weed in paths and common areas. You should never let weeds go to flower if you can prevent it.

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