H HUME-AR. Circular 563
0 GT15 1984
1. A.S.- Univ. of Florida
Insect an ement
And Control In
The Home Garden
Fr r J
Florida Cooperative Extension Service/ Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/ John T. Woeste, Dean
This publication provides information to aid homeowners in management and control of
insect pests in a vegetable garden. Growing vegetables at home reduces food bills and provides
recreation for many homeowners each year. This is especially true in Florida where warm
temperatures and long growing seasons make gardening possible year-round.
Unfortunately, the same climate which is so ideal for gardening also provides conditions in
which insects thrive. Many different insects attack vegetable crops and it is impossible to
know from one season to the next which of these pests will cause problems. Some cause
problems every year while others rarely appear. There are also many insects which are
beneficial, and in some instances essential, to producing vegetables.
To grow a highly productive garden it is important to have an insect management program.
This should include frequent surveys of the garden to detect problems at an early stage. For
the survey to be effective, however, the homeowner must know where to look for insects and
be able to identify those that are found. Without proper identification, management or control
Insects attack plant roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. They also attack at any stage of
growth from seedling to mature plant. The insects described in this manual are divided into
groups according to the plant part that they attack. For example, the first section deals with
those pests which attack underground plant parts. Descriptions and drawings of each insect
are given along with information about the group as a whole. Control measures from
sanitation, hand-picking and other cultural practices to the use of pesticide sprays, granules,
and baits are provided.
Insects That Attack Underground These worms are known to attack a wide variety of
Plant Parts vegetables. Living deep in the soil, they move up
quickly to attack seeds or young plants. Wireworms
Almost all soil insects build to high populations on drill holes in the seed and feed on the seed insides
grass, and most home gardens are grown in plots or they bore holes into the taproot of the plant.
covered previously with grass. In order to help com-
bat the pests discussed in this section, it is important Control measures for wireworms include rotation
to plan well in advance where the garden is to be of garden plots, and tilling the soil several months
planted. The plot must be thoroughly tilled or spad- prior to planting. In areas where the worms are
ed well in advance of planting and should be kept known to exist, it may be necessary to apply a
clean and free of grass for 30 or more days before granular insecticide (such as diazinon) to the
planting. prepared soil, rototilll" or spade it in to a depth of
Wireworms range from 1/ to 1% inches in length 6 inches and water the plot thoroughly.
and have slender, shiny, segmented bodies. They are Cutworms are stout, gray to almost black worms
yellowish-brown in color and shiny in appearance. that may reach almost 2 inches in length. They have
a "slick" appearance and curl up if disturbed. Cut-
worms are active only at night. During the day they
Note: The line indicates average adult size or
remain below the soil surface. At night they emerge insecticide (such as diazinon) applied for wireworms
to feed on leaves and stems of young seedlings and will also control grubs.
transplants. The stems are frequently cut so that the
plant falls over.
Control measures include removing grass and plow-
ing the soil well in advance of planting. Small
"sleeves" made from paper cups with the bottoms
removed provide a mechanical barrier to the worm
when slipped over the plant and the bottom pressed
into the soil. Baits (Sevin, Dylox, Proxol, etc.) may
also be used, but should be applied late in the after-
noon so they will be fresh when the worms come out.'
to feed at night. Insecticide sprays will provide
satisfactory control of cutworms if the spray is
directed at the base of the plant where it emerges ..
from the soil. Care should be taken to wet the soil
with spray in an area extending 3 to 5 inches from
Mole crickets are light brown insects about 2
inches long. The front legs are large and resemble Lesser cornstalk borers are small caterpillars,
small shovels. Mole crickets tunnel under the soil and ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 inch in length. Their bodies
feed on plant roots. They also disrupt and dislodge are alternately banded with aqua and wine colored
plants by their digging. Like cutworms, mole crickets bands. These caterpillars attack the roots of corn,
are active only at night and hide in their tunnels dur- peas, and beans. The larva causes damage by boring
ing the day. The presence of this pest can be deter- into and eating the root system. They construct
mined by observing their meandering tunnels that fragile silk-like tubes that are attached to the roots
are located just below the soil surface. The tunnels just below the soil surface.
are approximately one-half inch in diameter and the
soil surface appears loosened and raised as if a
miniature mole of the mammal type had tunneled.
Mole crickets are best controlled by applying baits
(such as malathion, or Dylox) late in the afternoon Addition of organic matter to the soil and regular
on warm days and after the garden has been watered irrigation can reduce the activity of this caterpillar.
thoroughly. If liquid insecticides or granules are us- Do not allow the garden to undergo periods of
ed, they should be applied and treated area irrigated drought. Plant early and if a crop is grown in hot
immediately with 1/2 inch of water. weather an application of a material like diazinon
Grubs are "C" shaped and dirty white in color granules at planting time may be needed.
with the tip of their abdomen purplish-black. Their
head is hard, blunt, and reddish-brown in color. Chewing Insects That Feed on
Grubs range in size from 1/4 to 2V2 inches long. Likeliae and
mole crickets, grubs feed on plant roots and tuberstems
and also cause damage by tunnelling in the root zone. Caterpillars are the primary foliage feeders. They
Grub populations can be reduced by preparing the consume large amounts of plant tissue after reaching
garden soil well in advance of planting. Granulated a length of 1/2 inch or longer. Moths and butterflies
which are the adult forms of caterpillars do not feed
on or damage the plant. Caterpillars are the larval
(immature) forms of the moths and butterflies. Cater-
pillars have three pairs of true legs (jointed) located
just behind the head. They also have a pair of anal
prolegs (fleshy non-jointed) located at the extreme
rear end of the body and may have from one to four Yellow striped armyworms have a pair of
pairs of prolegs located in the abdominal portion of triangular black markings on most of the segments
their body. of the upper back and often possess a bright orange
Armyworms: There are several types of ar- stripe bordering the outside of these markings. They
myworms that are similar in appearance that attack may reach a length of 2 inches when full grown.
plants in the home garden.
Fall armyworms are about 11/2 inches long when
fully grown. They usually have dark heads with a
light inverted Y shaped mark on the front part. They
are usually tan to green in color and are found
feeding in young corn whorls or in the ears.
Armyworms are generally migratory species that
may fly great distances when the weather begins to
warm up. It is wise to plant crops like corn, beans,
peas, potatoes, and tomatoes as early in the spring
as possible to avoid large infestations. Once ar-
S' ) myworms have invaded a crop then applications of
Recommended insecticides must be made. Bacillus
thuringiensis formulations are generally effective
only on very young and/or small armyworms. Once
worms have exceeded 1/2 inch in length they become
more difficult to control with Bacillus thuringien-
sis and other recommended insecticides must be
Loopers are often common caterpillar pests of the
home garden. They are green in color, shaped
somewhat like a baseball bat, with the head being
Beet armyworms are predominately green and the smaller end. The worms loop or bow up their
have dark stripes on their sides and a single promi- backs when they crawl. They grow to about 11 in-
nent black spot on each side of their bodies just ches long and have two pairs of abdominal prolegs.
above the second pair of true legs. They seldom ex- Loopers generally feed on the undersides of older
ceed 1 inches in length, leaves. To find them, the plant must be shaken or
the leaves turned to expose the pest.
Control measures for loopers include hand picking
.if they are not too numerous or use of sprays. If a
VP spray is used, care must be taken to cover the entire
S J 'plant as well as the upper and lower leaf surfaces.
'Bacillus thuringenisis formulations usually perform
Southern armyworms are also called climbing
cutworms. The larvae are dark gray to nearly black
in color and are marked with yellow stripes on their
sides. The southern armyworm may reach almost 2
inches in length when full grown.
satisfactorily, however, loopers are difficult to con- leaf margins in a semi-circle then roll the "flap" back
trol with most insecticides available to the home over themselves.
gardener. The larvae are brightly colored yellow and green
Tomato hornworms are occasional garden pests and grow to about 11/2 inches long. The head is large
which may feed on eggplants as well as tomatoes. and the worm has a constricted neck.
The hornworms may reach 3 to 4 inches in length Leafrollers may be hand picked from the leaves or
when fully grown. They are green in color with white controlled easily by use of recommended insecticide
oblique lines on their sides. The worms also have a sprays.
horn-like projection on the upper end of their bodies. Beetles generally feed on foliage in their adult
stage and on roots in the immature or larval stage.
< A majority of damage is caused by the root feeding
S- forms. Only when populations become large will the
Adults eat enough foliage to cause major damage.
SColorado potato beetles are primarily pests of
potatoes but also feed on eggplants, tomatoes, and
peppers. They may be found anywhere in Florida
north of the Tampa Bay area.
S. The adults are about 3/8 of an inch long with alter-
nating black and yellow stripes running lengthwise
Jon their backs. The larvae are smooth-skinned,
?0 af .y hump-backed and light pink in color with two rows
of black spots on each side. Larvae are about 1/2 inch
long when full sized.
Both the adults and larvae feed on the leaves and
terminal growth of the plant. Larvae usually feed in
groups while adults are scattered. The beetles and
larvae may be controlled through continuous hand
Hornworms can be easily removed by hand and picking. The yellowish-orange colored egg masses
destroyed. They are usually eaten by paper wasps, should also be destroyed. Severe infestations of the
However, if they become large they will strip a plant beetles must be treated with recommended
of foliage in a short period of time. Hornworms can insecticides.
be detected by the presence of relatively large fecal
pellets or droppings. Bacillus thuringiensis as well
as most broad spectrum insecticides give good
Bean leafrollers feed on members of the bean
family. They are easily recognized since they cut the
i:' :,. ", .:'..:-.. ..
.. .. .........,.
i:: Mexican bean beetles are primarily restricted to
:.:.: :- the northern-most part of Florida where they feed
on the leaves of bean plants.
The adults are about 1/4 to 1/3 inch long, bronze
in color with 16 black spots on their backs. They are
members of the lady beetle family and closely
resembles the "lady bugs."
The larvae are yellow with rows of black-tipped
branched spines growing from their backs. The lar-
vae reach about 1/3 inch in length.
Both adults and larvae feed on the underside of
the leaves eating away the tissue between the veins
and leaving a lacy skeletonized leaf.
Cucumber beetles are prevalent on most crops
and occasionally the adult beetles consume enough
foliage as adults to become a problem. Most damage
results from the fragile cream colored larvae feeding
on plant roots.
SThere are two types of cucumber beetles. The
spotted cucumber beetle is found primarily in the
northern half of the state. It is greenish or yellow
in color with 12 dark colored spots on the back and
are 1/4 inch in length.
The banded cucumber beetle is found mainly in
southern Florida. It is green with yellow spots on the
back. These spots are very close together giving the
appearance of yellow bands running across the back.
Adults are 1/4 inch in length.
If beetle populations become heavy they must be
controlled by applying recommended insecticides.
Adults and larvae also may be easily hand-picked
from plants and if this measure is to be used it must
be thorough and continuous.
Flea beetles are tiny (1/16 inch long) bronze, black
or brown beetles which attack young tomatoes, pep-
pers, eggplants and other garden plants. They can
jump rapidly for great distances when approached
and they resemble large "fleas" in appearance and
Flea beetles eat numerous small portions of tissue Control of the beetles include thorough destruction
from a leaf thus leaving tiny "shot hole" patterns of weeds and grass from the garden plot well in ad-
in it. The larvae feed on underground plant parts and vance of planting (preferably 30 days). Recommend-
are seldom observed. Often it is necessary to apply ed insecticides may be applied to the soil at seeding
recommended insecticides particularly when the pest time to further reduce damage.
is attacking young plants. Older plants are able to Miners are so called because they tunnel and mine
tolerate more damage and don't seem to be prefer- in the leaf tissue. In the immature stage (caterpillar
red by flea beetles. or maggot) they feed between the upper and lower
leaf surfaces eating the green chlorophyll bearing The female deposits eggs in the leaf tissue of almost
tissue and giving the leaf a colorless "windowpane" all types of vegetables. The female flies are similar
appearance. There are two miners which cause pro- in size and appearance to the common eye gnat.
blems for home gardeners. Small (1/10-1/18 inch) yellow maggots grow in size
Tomato pinworms are members of the moth order as they tunnel through the leaf, leaving tunnels of
and are serious pests of tomatoes, eggplants, pep- increasing size. The maggots leave a trail of black
pers, and potatoes. The larvae are small, yellowish- fecal material in the tunnels. When ready for pupa-
gray or green purple-spotted caterpillars about 1/4 tion, they cut a hole in the leaf and drop to the soil.
inch in length. The caterpillars roll and tie leaf tips Both pinworms and miners are difficult to control
together as well as tunneling inside the leaf. The pest as they are protected by the upper and lower leaf
is most severe on greenhouse-grown plants, surfaces. Although insecticides are a necessary part
Control measures should include seeking pest-free of control, overuse of these materials for other in-
transplants. Once infestations are established regular sects seems to create extra ordinary large popula-
applications of recommended insecticides are tions of leafminers.
necessary. In situations where leafminers are expected to be
a problem the use of insecticides like Bacillus thur-
ingiensis for worm control helps to save the
.. beneficial wasp parasites and predators of leaf-
.f: .miners. Where large amounts of broad spectrum in-
secticides have been used it seems to reduce
beneficial insects, spiders etc. so that the leafminer
S populations go uncontrolled. Leafminers also are
S very difficult to control with any insecticide and cur-
rently there is not an acceptable material available
to the homeowner that provides satisfactorily
Serpentine leafminers are members of the fly
order and get their name from their serpentine or Piercing and Sucking Insects that
snake-like tunneling patterns. Feed on Foliage and Stems
These insects have highly modified hollow
mouthparts that function like a hypodermic needle.
These needlelike mouthparts are inserted into the
plant and used to remove the plant sap. Some of the
insects in this group transmit plant viruses and
diseases from plant to plant as they feed. These in-
sects often inject certain enzymes and toxins into a
plant as they feed. These chemicals can cause a plant
to grow or respond abnormally.
A Aphids or plant lice are some of the most com-
mon insects of this group. They feed on almost all
garden crops. Aphids are 1/32 to 1/8 inch in length
Sand may be brown, green, yellow, pink, or black in
..:: color. They generally feed on the under surface of
leaves or on young stems and buds. They often
spread viruses to tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers.
Their feeding often causes leaves to curl and the
plant to become distorted in growth.
Ants feed on the sticky, sugary-sweet honeydew
-, excreted by the aphids. The honeydew also serves
as media for the fungus growth known as "sooty
S. mold." This fungus will cover the leaves and turn
',i ,:; Aphids generally build up in numbers during cool
Weather since the parasites and predators that feed
on them seem to become more numerous in warm
weather. Aphid populations can often be reduced by
directing water under pressure from a garden hose Stinkbugs are common pests to most all plants and
at the infested plant. Also mixing a mild soap solu- are generally solitary feeders in the adult stage. Im-
tion (1 tablespoon of detergent or soap per gallon of mature nymphs may be found in groups since they
water) and applying to the infested plants will help. cannot fly. All stinkbugs give off the characteristic
foul smell as a defensive weapon when disturbed.
Green stinkbugs are also known as the "pum-
pkin" bugs and are probably the most common of the
stinkbugs. Full-grown stinkbugs may reach 2/3 inch
in length and are pale to medium green in color.
Adults are strong fliers. Nymphs (immature forms)
range in size from 1/8 to 1/2 inch long and are green
in color with red, white, and black spots on their
backs. Eggs are laid generally in masses of from 10-50
and resemble miniature barrels.
If insecticides are used care should be taken to direct
the spray so that all parts of the plant, as well as
lower leaf surfaces are covered. Often ants will pro-
tect aphids and move them from plant to plant in
order to receive the honeydew given off by aphids.
The presence of ants crawling on the plants often in-
dicates an aphid population. Control of the ants fre-
quently reduces the aphid outbreaks.
Leafhoppers attack nearly all garden plants. They
are 1/20 to 1/4 inch long and may be green, brown, Stinkbugs do not usually cause enough damage to
tan, or grayish-black in color. Leafhoppers are merit control unless they start feeding on the pods,
wedge-shaped with the head being broad and the fruit, or seed parts of a plant. However if the green
rear end narrow. Being strong flyers, the insects will stinkbug or any of the following described types
quickly move short distances when disturbed, giv- become numerous and their feeding causes the
ing them the appearance of hopping. In most cases foliage to wilt a recommended insecticide may be
leafhoppers do not require control. However, if they necessary.
become so numerous as to cause leaf discoloration Brown stinkbugs are not as prevalent as the green
or marginal leaf burns use of a recommended insec- species. They are light brown to buff in color and
ticide may be necessary. somewhat smaller than the green forms when full
Leaf-footed plant bugs are often called squash or 6 weeks of age). Directed water sprays and soap
bugs. Adults are 5/8 to 3/4 inch in length and are solutions discussed under aphid control may help.
brown in color with a narrow white band running Most insecticides will control thrips if the plants are
across the back. thoroughly covered with the spray.
Big-legged or big-footed plant bugs are the
largest of the stinkbugs reaching 1 to 11/2 inches in
length. The leaf foot gets its name because the lower
part of the hind legs appears to be flat and leaf
shaped. The big-legged species gets its name by hav-
ing a large "thigh" portion on its hind leg. Both are
dark gray to black in color, and give off an offen-
sive odor if disturbed.
Spider mites are not insects but are closely related
to spiders. They have no wings and have 8 functional
legs whereas mature insects have 6 legs. Mites have
piercing sucking mouthparts like thrips and damage
plants by rupturing the cells of the leaf and consum-
ing the juices.
Mites are very small, ranging from 1/60 to 1/50 inch
long. They are usually red (red mite) or greenish
(2-spotted mite) in color. Most mites feed along the
midrib or lateral veins of lower and upper surfaces
of the leaves. Infested leaves become pale or dusty
in appearance and webs may be visible on the plant.
Mites prefer hot, dry weather. Keeping the plants
I ____ moist and also directing a stream of water from the
garden hose onto the infested plant will aid in con-
trol. Mild soapy-water solution also will reduce mite
Thrips are a nuisance pest to most gardeners and problems. If mites become a problem it may be
are found feeding in and on the blossoms and on the
young leaves. They rarely cause significant damage
but are often falsely blamed since their feeding
causes leaves to curl, spot, and distort. This damage
is due to action of the rasping-sucking mouthparts
of this insect. One part of the mouth tears open the
leaf tissue and another part sucks up the juices from
Thrips are small, slender and rarely over 1/8 inch
long. They are black or yellow in color and may best
be collected by shaking or striking the infested plant
across a piece of white paper. If control is necessary
it is usually when the plants are young (the first 5
necessary to use a recommended miticide. It is The worms feed inside the fruit until they reach
generally necessary to make a second application no 3/4 to 7/8 inch in length. They then emerge from the
later than 5 days from the first in order to disrupt fruit to pupate in the soil. Small masses of moist
their very short life cycle, green gummy-like excrement are pushed out from
holes in the fruit.
Insects That Feed on Seeds, Control is difficult and preventive spray applica-
Pods, or Fruits tions must be made to protect the fruit, particularly
This group of insects is probably the most damag- in late summer and early fall crops.
ing of those discussed thus far. If healthy, most
plants can overcome some root or foliage damage.
However, damage to the edible parts of a plant
results in direct loss of the seeds or fruit. For this .-
reason careful observation should be given to the' :
garden when the fruit, seed, and pods are setting and "
Corn earworms are also called cotton bollworms, .." *
tomato fruitworms and soybean podworms. They re- ** *
quire higher amounts of protein in their diets than / *'*
most worms; therefore, they feed on protein rich .
pods, seed, and fruit. They also feed on foliage. i
The worms vary in color from green to brown, i
pink, yellow, and black with yellow heads and dark
legs. Their skin is coarse with many black tubercles
(spot-like projections). Corn earworms reach 11/ in-
ches or more when fully mature. They bore into
tomato fruit and the silk end of corn ears.
'Cowpea curculios are small dark weevils about
S. 1 1/8 to 1/6 inch long with snout-like mouthparts. They
are often the limiting factor in growing field or
southern peas. The female feeds by drilling a hole
through the pod into a developing pea. An egg is in-
serted into the feeding site where it hatches and
develops into a tiny, white, grub-like larva which
feeds inside the pea.
The largest number of corn earworms are en-
countered in the late spring and throughout the sum-
mer. Crops that are planted early often escape these
warm weather caterpillars. Once infestations become
established recommended insecticides are needed.
Sweetcorn is a favorite host and the silking stage
is when it is most susceptible to corn earworm at-
tack. When corn earworms become active they can
require daily to every other day application of a pro-
tective insecticide until the silks begin to dry. Corn
earworms also attack tomato fruit, beans, and peas
(pod stages) where they bore into and partially con-
sume the inside parts.
Pickleworms restrict their feeding to members of
the cucurbit family and feed primarily on squash and
cucumbers. The small caterpillars feed on the plant
until they are large enough (1/4 inch long) to bore
into the fruit. The larvae are yellow colored and are I
marked with small black spots until they reach 1/2
inch or longer, when they lose the spots and become
a clear, pale green color .
Infested peas can be identified by a small brown riddled with slender, dirty-looking, silk lined burrows
spot on the pod just above a developing seed. If the and the outside of the potato may have "crusty-like"
pod is carefully torn apart, the grub will often be spots on them.
found. Prevention includes planting early and harvesting
Preventive insecticide controls must be used as soon as mature. Delayed harvest may result in
before the female has fed and laid eggs within the more pest damage in hot dry weather. Potatoes
seed. should be stored in a cool dry place that is screened
Pepper weevils are similar to curculios and are or enclosed so that the moth cannot lay eggs on the
a severe pest of peppers. Adults are shiny, brownish- stored potatoes.
black in color and about 1/8 inch long. Eggs are laid Stinkbugs have been discussed under foliage
in the flower bud or fruit, and the small, white, feeders, but they also feed on edible seeds and fruit.
brown-headed grubs tunnel through the seed mass. This feeding often results in pitted or distorted fruit.
This pest is particularly damaging to pods of okra,
beans, and peas.
Management and Control
There are numerous insect management techni-
ques that can be used in the overall approach to con-
I trol or reduction of insect populations so that
vegetable gardens can be grown more efficiently.
Some of the practices that can be used are:
B i 1. Rotate the garden plot as often as possible.
S2. Rotate the individual crops within the garden
when the same plot is used more than one
3. Till or plow the soil well in advance of planting
and pay particular attention to a plot that has
Control of this pest must also be preventive. The previously been in grass. The garden should be
peppers should be sprayed at bloom time and approx- well plowed and free of weeds, grass, etc., at
imately once weekly thereafter to prevent weevil least 30 days prior to planting.
build-up. The grower should also never purchase
build-up. The grower should also never purchase 4. Seeds should be planted at proper and uniform
plants for transplanting that have blooms since these germination is insured.
depths so that rapid germination is insured.
may contain weevil eggs.
Tomato pinworm larvae will tunnel and attack 5. Seeds should be treated with an insecticide
fruit particularly around the calyx and stem end. (See prior to planting if possible. Some seed com-
description and control under foliage feeders), panies treat their seed and will indicate this on
Wireworms feed on potato tubers, sweet potato the label. Malathion is a commonly used insec-
roots, carrots, radishes, turnips, and other vegetables ticide for seed treatment.
with underground edible parts. (See control under 6. Transplants should be purchased from a
root feeders). reputable dealer, and should be free of insects
Potato tuberworms are the larval form of small at the time of planting.
moths. The adult moth lays eggs on exposed Irish
T a m l e o i 7. Every effort should be made to keep the plants
potato tubers as well as on the underside of leaves. f d
The caterpillars are dark-headed and are pinkish- alt. Ts should incg nd a proper fertiy
health. This should include a proper fertility
white or greenish in color and their bodies reach 3/4
and watering program. A healthy plant is often
inch in length when mature. The pest attack tubers able to survive insect attack.
in the field and in storage. Infested potatoes are
8. Randomly select plants and monitor or scout the
garden twice weekly. This includes inspecting
'the plants from the bud to the soil including
both upper and lower leaf surface.
9. Often large insects can be removed by hand and
destroyed without use of chemicals, this should
be practiced if possible.
10. Learn to identify beneficial insects (praying stress. It is best to irrigate the garden
mantis, spiders, big-eyed bugs/assassin bugs, thoroughly before spraying.
lady beetles, and all wasps). Often chemicals are 16. When baits are used they should be applied late
used in error against these beneficial. in the afternoon since most insects (cutworms,
11. Learn to properly identify garden pests and use crickets, etc.) that respond to baits are night
chemicals only when a pest problem exists, feeders.
12. Most plants that produce fruits, pods, ears, etc., 17. Sprays usually give better results than dusts. In
can stand 10 to 15% foliage loss without loss of many cases dusts will drift and kill many
potential yields. Do not panic and start spray beneficial arthropods. Also, dusts are easily
programs at the first sign of leaf feeding. This washed off by rain and irrigation, or blown off
rule would not apply to plants whose edible by wind, and it usually requires more actual in-
parts are the leaves, secticide in the dust form than in the spray form
13. Insecticides should be carefully selected to con- to accomplish the same degree of control.
trol the pest in question or to reduce its 18. Harvest the fruits, seeds, leaves, etc., as soon
numbers so that the garden will efficiently pro- as they are ripe. Allowing over-ripe fruits to re-
duce. Do Not expect any insecticide to kill main on the plants often invites additional in-
100% of the pest in question and Do Not keep sect, rat and/or mice problems.
spraying or adding insecticide to accomplish this 19. As soon as a plant is no longer productive
false goal. remove it from the garden and destroy it. Do
14. When a chemical is used, be sure to spray the Not pull it up and leave it in the garden area.
plant thoroughly so as to contact all tissue 20. When the entire gardening project is over, cut
surface. down all remaining plants and plow them into
15. In order to reduce bee and other pollinator mor- the soil.
tality, sprays are best applied late in the after- 21. Do not use garden vegetable plants in any form
noon or early evening hours. Also, many garden to add to a mulch bed or compost bin. Vegetable
pests are night feeders so this spraying schedule plants can harbor insects, disease organisms and
often accomplishes more. To reduce spray burn, nematodes that can easily survive organic
make sure the plants are not under moisture decomposition.
Freddie A. Johnson is Associate Professor and Extension Entomologist, Entomology Department and Susan Davis Reese was Assis-
tant in Vegetable Crops, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville. Illustrations by Ron Stephens, Illustrator, Entomology Department.
This publication was promulgated at a cost of $2,944.25, or 10 cents per copy, to inform Florida residents about insects
in home gardens. 5-30M-84
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL
SCIENCES, K. R. Tefertiller, director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this Infor-
matlon to further the purpose of the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and Is authorized to provide research, educa-
tional Information and other services only to individuals and Institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex or
national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publications) are available free to Florida
residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers Is available from
C. M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this
publication, editors should contact this address to determine availability.