Pest ID. and Elimination

Dear Gardeners,  Our gardens are all looking beautiful and are about to burst with fresh food.  Just when we are starting to count our squash, tomatoes, beans etc.  insect pests also arrive to enjoy the bounty.  Here are several that I have seen in the garden.

Squash Beetles:  There are several varieties of squash beetle.  The most common is the gray beetle shown below.  These can easily become swarms that destroy your squash plants if not controlled.  The easiest way to control them is to search your leaves for the eggs.  They can appear on the tops or undersides of the leaves  You will need to examine each leaf because they can be lurking anywhere.  Using duct tape(available in the shed)  wrapped around your hand sticky side up,  pat the eggs to remove them from the leaves.  You will probably need to make several loops of duct tape to remove them all.  Dispose of the tape at home and not in the trash cans at Wagon Hill.  The gray larvae have wings and can fly everywhere.  If you see them. you can try to squish them but a better method would be to get a Safer insecticidal spray to use.   Destroying the adults is harder because they do not squish so easily.  If you bring a plastic bottle with a narrow opening and a lid you can pick them up and drop them in the bottle.  Put the lid on and throw away at home.   You will need to check your plants regularly because they keep reappearing all summer long.

 

Adult Squash Beetle

Adult Squash Beetle

 

Squash Beetle Larvae

Squash Beetle Larvae

 

Squash Beetle Eggs

Squash Beetle Eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is another type of squash beetle I have seen.  They are not as numerous as the gray ones but just as destructive.  Treat them in the same way,  destroy any eggs you find on leaves and kill larvae and adults.

Squash Beetle Larvae

Squash Beetle Larvae

Squash Beetle

Squash Beetle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another insect that we have in abundance, right now is the Colorado Potato Beetle.   Again, the best method is to destroy any eggs you see in yellow clusters on the leaves.  The larvae are easily squished but I would wear gloves since squishing them bare handed is pretty gross .  I have done it in desperation and know from experience.  The adults can be picked off and dropped into a bottle.

I would encourage all gardeners to “take matters into your own hands”  whenever you see any of these creatures on your plants or your neighbors and destroy them.  This is something we all can do towards honoring our 4 hour work commitment.  Keeping these guys in check is of great benefit to everyone.

Finally, a reminder to check your garden at least once a week for pests and, more importantly, for food that is ready to harvest.  With the rain and sun we have been getting,  things are growing fast and you may be surprised to find your plants producing very quickly now.   You want to be sure to reap the benefit of  your labors and harvest your food at it’s peak.  Baseball bat zucchini is not very tasty.

Potato Beetle Eggs

Potato Beetle Eggs

Colorado Potato Beetle larvae

Colorado Potato Beetle larvae

Adult Colorado Potato Beetle

Adult Colorado Potato Beetle