Insects of the Week

Insects of the Week is back! The short work week of the 4th last week pushed us a bit behind, but we’re back up and running, and we’ve got a great spread of pests  to show off this week.

Because of the very large influx of insects over the past week or two, we’re going to show off pictures of our current array of pests and the damage they cause, so the post is going to be a bit image heavy. We’ll go back and talk about some in more detail as the summer goes on and the number of new arrivals decreases. Because of the large amount of information, we’re also attaching hyperlinks to University Extension sites on these pests for more information.

Today we’re going to show off images of Squash Vine Borer, Cabbage Looper, Squash Bug, and Grape Phylloxera. Each of these pests presents its own range of difficulties and  control strategies. As you read on, keep in mind that in order to spot these insects in your homes and gardens, it is important to regularly scout your plants. Many pests will only be discovered with dedicated and regular searching.

Up first: Squash Vine Borer (Melittia cucurbitae), shown below. Look for these flashy pests on the stems of your cucurbit crops, as this is where they lay eggs.

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Eggs pictured below (the two circular orange spots on the leaf stalk). We have had to go through our trial beds and scrape as many of these off as possible.

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Here’s the UW Extension link to Squash Vine Borer: http://adams.uwex.edu/files/2013/05/Squash-Vine-Borer.pdf

Below is an image of a Cabbage Looper larvae (Trichoplusia ni). Look for these larvae on the undersides of foliage of your cole-crops. You will typically see holes in your foliage, and often greenish pellets of frass (insect excrement).

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And the damage caused to cole-crops.

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Here’s the hyperlink to the extension page on Cabbage Looper: http://hort.uwex.edu/articles/cabbage-looper

Squash Bug (Anasa tristis), shown below. Squash Bugs often assemble in very large numbers on cucurbit crops, and can cause serious blight issues when present.

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Here’s the hyperlink to the University’s extension page on Squash Bug: http://hort.uwex.edu/articles/squash-bug

This is a grape leaf with Grape Pylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae), galls shown below.

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Here’s the hyperlink to  the University’s extension page on Grape Phylloxera: http://door.uwex.edu/files/2010/10/IPMReportweek71910.pdf

Again, we’ll go back and talk about many of these in more detail later. Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for all of these on your plants! And please enjoy the extension material.

-Dave Schreiner, WMARS Intern