Insects

Insects

How to Grow: Controlling Red Lily Leaf Beetles

Learn about controlling the red lily leaf beetle, including the safest sprays to use. Listen to podcast: For years lilies have been the carefree darlings of many perennial gardens. But then came the red lily leaf beetle. This European native found its way to Massachusetts in 1992 and has been spreading around New England ever since. If you grow Asiatic, Oriental, or Turk's cap lilies or fritillaria bulbs, you know these beetles. Daylilies, luckily, aren't affected. The overwintering bright red adults emerge to feed in spring as soon as...

InsectsVegetable

How to Grow: Controlling Squash Bugs

Learn how to control squash bugs in the vegetable garden. Listen to Podcast: Podcast Transcript After having eaten enough straight necks, crooknecks, and patty pans and have played enough games of zucchini bowling and juggling to last a lifetime, I sometimes welcome insect attacks on squash. Yes, summer squash and zucchinis are prolific, but they do attract certain pests that can downright kill the plant. Let's talk about the big two: squash bugs and squash vine borers. Squash bugs are probably the most hated squash pest. These grey bugs...

Insects

How to Grow: Controlling Squash Vine Borer

Learn about the best organics controls for the squash vine borer insect. Listen to podcast: We've all seen this happen. Beautiful summer squash, pumpkin or winter squash plants are thriving in July, only to start wilting during the day, even if the soil is wet. After closer inspection you see holes in the plant base. Yes, it's the squash vine borer. This destructive moth lays eggs in July at the base of these plants. The larvae burrows into the stem causing it to wilt. Severe infestations can kill your plant. But all is not lost. If you...

Insects

How to Grow: Controlling Summer Beetles

Learn about the best organic controls for the asparagus beetle and flea beetle. Listen to podcast: In Vermont, we wait months for warm weather to go outside. And as soon as it's warm, the bugs are out. For our plants, it's no different. Here are two beetles that are out in force right now. Asparagus beetles emerge with the spears in early spring. This oval, red or black beetle with black or white spots feeds on spears. It also lays elongated, brown eggs. As the spears grow into ferns, the eggs hatch into black larvae that defoliate the...

FruitInsectsPodcast

How to Grow: Drosophila Fruit Fly

Listen to this podcast on the Drosophila Fruit Fly and how it attacks berries and fruits.   If you're growing fall raspberries or blueberries, chances are you're starting to see this pest. Or you're seeing the symptoms of this pest! If you've noticed your ripening blueberries or raspberries are shriveling on the plant or turn into a maggot filled mess after sitting on the counter for a few days, you probably have the spotted winged drosophila fruit fly. This relatively new pest is the bane of fruit growers and is spreading. The small...

InsectsTrees

How to Grow: Fall Webworms

  Most insect populations in our gardens and forests are on the decline with the fall weather. But one insect is in its glory. The fall webworm is creating white webbed nests on branches of a variety of deciduous trees such as crabapples, plums, elm, oak, and ash. They're obvious this time of year from their large webs on the branch ends. Unlike the tent caterpillars that form webs in branch crotches in spring, web worms cover the ends of branches in fall and feed safely from predators inside the web mesh. Although they look...

InsectsPerennials

How to Grow: Houseplant Pests

Learn about controlling pests on your houseplants indoors. Listen to podcast: One cold morning at breakfast, I was swatting small, black flies from my potted amaryllis and thinking, insects are opportunists. Even in winter, these bugs find a way to survive. House plants are the perfect host for certain insects. The pests live in a controlled environment with food, but without predators or harsh weather. So let's look at the top three houseplant insects you'll find, if you look hard enough. Mealybugs and scale are two insects found on woody...

DiseasesInsects

How to Grow: IPM for Organic Pest Controls

No matter how well you grow your foodscape plants, eventually other critters, insects and diseases will want to enjoy them as much as you. Certainly a healthy, well watered and fed plant will be able to withstand attacks better than one that is struggling. But you should be ready to prevent damage and then jump in early to reduce a problem once an attack happens. I like to follow the integrated pest management (IPM) approach to foodscape gardening. In this approach you rely on techniques such as planting resistant varieties, using crop...

InsectsPerennials

How to Grow: Milkweed for Monarchs

  We've been busy watching many different butterflies this summer in our garden. It seems they love this heat and humidity. And there's been enough water for them to thrive. Of course, this time of year the Monarch butterflies become more noticeable. Their prized plant is the milkweed. Many insects only feed and lay eggs on a few different types of plants. That's certainly true of monarchs. Anything in the milkweed family is fair game. Monarch caterpillars have the unique ability to eat the milkweed leaves even with the toxic, white,...

InsectsVideos

How to Grow: Organic Vegetable Garden Insect Pest Control

Learn how to control insect pests and care for your vegetable garden by planting the right crops, and using barriers, traps, and organic sprays. For more garden videos, check out the National Gardening Association Transcript Hi I'm Charlie Nardozzi of the National Gardening Association. Today I'd like to talk to you about organic vegetable garden pest control. If you designed your garden well, built up the soil, and mixed in flowers and herbs with your vegetables chances are you're not going to have a lot of insect pests. Natural controls,...