Beetle Information for Kids: Beetle Facts for Students

Beetles

Did you know? Adult beetles have two sets of wings.

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Beetle Facts for Kids

  • Adult beetles have two sets of wings.
  • Female beetles usually lay dozens or hundreds of eggs.
  • Most beetles only live for a year.
  • Beetles cannot see very well, so they communicate using pheromones, sounds or vibrations.
  • Some beetles are not considered pests. «Ladybugs» are beetles and are considered to be good luck in many cultures. «Fireflies» and «Lightning bugs» are also beetles. They glow in the dark to communicate.

There are 12,000 different kinds of beetles in the United States and over 300,000 species in the world. Beetles are found on land and in fresh water and can adapt to almost any environment. Beetles usually just live where they eat.

Beetles can both hurt and help the environment. Some beetle species destroy crops or property, while some species help get rid of garbage, eat dead trees or help pollinate flowers.

Find information on beetle pest control at the official NPMA website.

Carpet Beetles

Varied carpet beetles get their name from the rainbow of color on their backs. It can take up to three years for them to grow from an egg to an adult. Adult beetles only live between 13 and 44 days!

  • Size: 1/16″
  • Shape: Round
  • Color: Black centers, with white, brown and yellow patches.
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Common Name: Varied carpet beetle
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Dermestidae
  • Species: Anthrenus verbasci

Varied Carpet beetles mostly eat carpet, wool, dead insects, furs, hides, feathers, horns, hair, silk and bones.

Habitat:

Varied carpet beetles are found in attics, wool carpets, tapestries and wall-to-wall carpeting.

Impact:

Varied carpet beetles can ruin clothing, upholstery and carpet by eating it.

Prevention:

  • Since beetles are drawn to fibers, to protect your clothing keep your clothes off the floor, store un-used clothing in plastic bags or containers and dry clean clothing before storing it.

Find more information on varied carpet beetles to share with the kids in your classroom at the official NPMA website.

Powder Post Beetles

There are 11 species of Powder Post beetles in the United States. They have long, narrow, flat bodies. Adult beetles fly and are attracted to light.

  • Size: 1/8″ to 1/4″
  • Shape: Narrow, oval
  • Color: Reddish brown to black
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Common Name: Powder post beetle
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Lyctidae
  • Species: Lyctus brunneus

Lyctid Powder Post beetles usually feed on hard woods.

Habitat:

Lyctid Powder Post beetles lay their eggs in cracks of wood. They are found in hardwood floors, timbers and crates, antiques and other things made of hard wood.

Impact:

Lyctid Powder Post beetles dig holes in wood. They can kill or damage trees and things made from wood like furniture. There are even documented cases that powder post beetles have destroyed houses!

Prevention:

  • Inspect wood sources around the home.
  • Paint or seal any exposed or raw wood in your home.

Find more educational materials for use in your classroom, including a profile on Powder Post beetles, at the official NPMA website.

Merchant Grain Beetles

These beetles have extremely flat bodies. This body shape allows them to crawl into packaged foods to eat, live and reproduce. It only takes them about 3-4 weeks to grow from baby to adult and an adult Merchant Grain beetle can live up to 3 years.

Merchant Grain beetles can be found all over the world and can live in cooler climates. Once confused with a kind of beetle that does eat grain, the Merchant beetle was scientifically re-categorized, but the name stuck. These beetles get their name because they were commonly found on merchant ships, hiding in organic cargo.

  • Size: 1/10″ to 1/8″
  • Shape: Narrow, oval, flat
  • Color: Brown
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Common Name: Merchant Grain Beetle
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Anobiidae
  • Species: Lyctus

Merchant grain beetles don’t really eat whole grain products. They are drawn to foods high in fat, such as cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies and chocolate.

Habitat:

Merchant grain beetles are found in pantries or in food processing areas or warehouses.

Impact:

Merchant grain beetles can get into stored food and can contaminate food by laying eggs and leaving waste behind.

Prevention:

  • Discard infested packages.
  • Clean up spilled grain and food.

Are you a school teacher looking for more materials to share with your kids? Find additional information on merchant grain beetles at the official NPMA website.

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A Little Wine Might Help Kidneys Stay Healthy

Less than a glass a day may also help the heart in those who already have kidney disease, researchers found

By Kathleen Doheny

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) — An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.

And for those who already have kidney disease, which puts one at higher risk for cardiovascular problems, moderate wine drinking might help the heart, the researchers added.

«Those [with healthy kidneys] who drank less than one glass of wine a day had a 37 percent lower risk of having chronic kidney disease than those who drank no wine,» said study author Dr. Tapan Mehta, a renal fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, in Aurora.

«Those with chronic kidney disease who drank less than one glass a day had a 29 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events [than those who drank no wine],» he added.

Mehta is due to present the findings Wednesday at a National Kidney Foundation meeting in Las Vegas. Studies presented at medical meetings are typically viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Mehta and his colleagues looked at data from the 2003 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination that included nearly 6,000 people. Of those, about 1,000 had chronic kidney disease.

Having chronic kidney disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. About 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, often caused by diabetes and high blood pressure, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Previous research has found that moderate drinking is linked to heart benefits.

That is why Mehta decided to look at both questions: whether moderate drinking could help those with chronic kidney disease lower their risk of cardiovascular problems, and whether it can help those with healthy kidneys keep them that way.

Exactly why wine might do that is not known for sure, Mehta said. Drinking moderate amounts is linked with lower levels of protein in the urine. In those who have kidney disease, higher protein levels in the urine are linked with an increased risk of progression of kidney disease.

The polyphenols found in wine have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help explain the protective heart effects, he said.

Continued

Mehta couldn’t say from the study if red wine is better than white, as those who responded did not say which type they drank, just if they drank wine and how much they drank.

He suspects, however, that red would most likely be better, as it has been linked previously to being heart-protective.

The study suggests wine is protective against kidney disease and, in those with kidney disease, heart disease, »but we cannot make any firm cause and effect conclusion,» Mehta said. While the study found an association, it was not designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The new findings are consistent with previous research, said Dr. Gary Curhan, a professor of medicine at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.

Curhan’s team has found there may be an inverse association between moderate drinking and kidney problems. While the new study is a cross-sectional one, looking at a snapshot in time, Curhan’s research looked at how drinking affected kidney function over time.

Both Mehta and Curhan emphasized that moderate alcohol consumption is key. Mehta said they didn’t have enough people in his study who regularly drank two glasses of wine a day to determine the effects of drinking more wine.

For those who don’t drink alcohol, Curhan noted, the new research is no reason to start.

www.webmd.com

Top 10 Beneficial Garden Bugs

Know Which Predators Feed on Garden Pests

twomeows / Getty Images

  • B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University

Garden plants attract insect pests by the dozens, from aphids to slugs. But before you reach for an insecticide, take another look at the insects in your planting beds. While the pests are devouring your squash and tomatoes, another wave of garden bugs is coming to the rescue. Beneficial garden bugs prey on the pests gardeners detest, keeping insect populations in check.

Pros and Cons

There are, of course, pros and cons to purchasing garden bugs to attack insects that you don’t want in your garden. On the plus side, garden bugs are easy and affordable most of the year, they eat many different kinds of pests, and they are particularly effective against insects that attack perennial plants, like yarrow, according to Michelle Cook, a former greenhouse coordinator at ​Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah. Garden bugs, which are easy to release most of the year, are also much more environmentally friendly than insecticides, and they can be as or more effective at killing pests.

On the minus side, garden bug eggs can take one to two weeks, or longer, to hatch and start feeding on your pests, and some varieties of adult garden bugs will disperse and not stay long in your garden. Also, some garden bugs are so voracious that they’ll eat just about any other insects in your garden, even helpful ones like ladybugs.

If you do decide to use garden bugs, it’s important to learn which types are best to eliminate the pests in your garden. Introducing the wrong garden bugs may have no effect on your insect pest population. The sections below describe which garden bugs to use based on what kinds of pests you are trying to fight.

www.thoughtco.com

Mass Grave in England May Hold a ‘Lost’ Viking Army

In the mid-ninth century, a Viking military force known as the Great Heathen Army invaded England. It marked the transition among Vikings from raiding cities to conquering them, and is considered an important historical event in the creation of England. Yet for decades, no one could find any archaeological evidence to back this up.

Now, a group of researchers at the University of Bristol in England think they might have found that evidence—i.e., the soldiers’ bones.

However, initial carbon dating placed the skeletons in earlier centuries, leading researchers to conclude that they couldn’t be Viking soldiers. It was only after adjusting for Vikings’ seafood diet that researchers were able to correctly carbon date them to the 9th century.

VIDEO: Viking Women – In Viking society, women enjoyed a surprising degree of autonomy and independence.

The bones come from a mass grave of at least 264 skeletons at St. Wystan’s church in Repton, Derbyshire, that archaeologists first excavated in the 1970s and ‘80s. Historical records tell us the Viking army spent the winter in Repton in 873 A.D., so many thought carbon dating would show the bones came from that time period.

“When we eat fish or other marine foods, we incorporate carbon into our bones that is much older than in terrestrial foods,” said lead archaeologist Cat Jarman, according to a University of Bristol press release. “This confuses radiocarbon dates from archaeological bone material and we need to correct for it by estimating how much seafood each individual ate.”

Other clues support the theory that these are remnants of the Viking army. Many of these skeletons showed signs of violent injury. And near these remains, researchers also discovered an axe and several knives that dated to 872-875 A.D. About 20 percent of these skeletons were female, a fact that had previously raised doubts that this was a grave for Viking soldiers. But since their discovery, DNA evidence has proven that not all Viking soldiers were male.

See also:  Hornet bite and its consequences - first aid for a hornet bite - Survival in nature

A double grave discovered. (Credit: Martin Biddle/University of Bristol)

The Great Heathen Army gets its name from the English Christians whose land the Vikings began invading around 865 A.D. Also known as the Great Viking Army, this military force defeated Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and established a Viking state, before losing to King Alfred when it tried to take his kingdom of Wessex. After this defeat, Alfred captured English territories that the Vikings had taken—such as London—thereby expanding his own rule.

“This was a key part in the story of how England was made,” Jarman told the BBC. “But because of the lack of physical evidence, it has not been given the attention it deserves.”

Now that this staggering mass grave from the Viking era has been made public, that may change.

www.history.com

Teenage antidepressants ‘doing more harm than good’

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A leading expert in psychiatric medication has said the growing prescription of antidepressants to teenagers is doing more harm than good.

Prof David Healy questioned why they were being given the medication when clinical trial results were so poor.

Last year, figures obtained by BBC Scotland showed more than 5,500 under-18s in Scotland were prescribed antidepressants.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the drugs were an important option.

They said medicines for mental health — just like for physical health — carried risk but guidelines were evidence-based.

Antidepressants were only prescribed to children with great caution and under close supervision, they said.

‘Commonly used’

However, Prof Healy told a global health conference in Aberdeen that — in 29 paediatric clinical trials of antidepressants — every single one failed to produce an obvious benefit.

He said: «At the same time, in every single one of these trials it has produced more harms than benefits in the sense that it has made children become suicidal who wouldn’t have become suicidal if they hadn’t been put on these drugs.»

Prof Healy said: «We have a situation where if you are following the evidence no-one should be using these drugs.

«At the same time, in teenagers, these drugs have become the most commonly used drugs.»

Figures obtained by the BBC showed the number of children under 18 being prescribed antidepressants doubled from 2,748 in 2009/10 to 5,572 in 2016.

The number of children under 13 given antidepressants went up from 57 to 252 in the same period.

The Scottish government said the rise reflected the substantial increase in demand for child and adolescent mental health services in the past decade.

The statistics showed 45% of the under-18s were prescribed fluoxetine, which is usually sold under the trade name Prozac.

It is the only drug recommended for under 18s «as this is the only antidepressant for which clinical trial evidence shows the benefits outweigh the risks».

Even then it should not be prescribed until psychological therapy has been tried for three months and not worked.

Prof Healy also questions the evidence base for fluoxetine, saying the two apparently favourable paediatric trials on the drug actually failed to show benefit on the main measurements, known in science as «primary outcomes».

He said there have been a further seven paediatric trials since its licence was issued and fluoxetine has failed to show benefit in any of these.

‘Absolutely astonished’

Dr Jane Morris, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said adolescents should definitely have the option of antidepressants alongside therapy and counselling.

She said: «I think they should be particularly carefully selected medications and I think they should be prescribed not only for cases of depression but perhaps even more when a person has extreme anxiety and obsessionality, because there is a very good evidence base for that.»

Dr Morris, a consultant psychiatrist at Aberdeen’s Royal Cornhill Hospital, said she was «absolutely astonished» by the way Prof Healy had interpreted the literature on antidepressants.

She said there were many studies that demonstrated antidepressant drugs can be the most effective treatment for young people with depressive disorders.

But she said it was important to see whether the benefits of the medication outweighed the risks.

Dr Morris said people should not alarmed by the rise in the number of people accessing treatment.

«We should regard that in fact as part of the catch-up period that some people with these incredibly distressing, and ultimately life-threatening disorders, are now getting the help that they need,» she said.

‘It was a traumatic experience’

Amiee Folan from Glasgow had a troubled childhood and was diagnosed as bipolar when she was 12.

At the age of 16, when she was staying at a children’s unit in Scotstounhill, she went to see her GP and was prescribed antidepressants that had a devastating effect — within a week she had attempted suicide.

She told BBC Scotland: «I went there to ask for help, counselling or something with a therapist, but they prescribed antidepressants and sent me on my way after a 10-minute appointment.»

Amiee says the doctor warned that the drugs could make her feel «low» for a few days.

«They didn’t say I would get to the point where I was hearing voices and seeing people who were not there,» she says.

Amiee says she had night terrors and voices in her head telling her to hurt herself and her partner, symptoms she had never experienced before.

«It was quite a traumatic experience,» she says.

She became so desperate she attempted suicide.

Aimee, who is now 20, says antidepressants should only be given after a therapist has assessed a person’s symptoms and decided the drug and dosage that would be suitable.

«Other than that I don’t think they are really needed under the age of 18,» she adds.

«I thought it was quite scary that I could just walk in and say ‘I’m depressed’ and basically they just handed them to me.»

Most-studied medicines

The umbrella body for drug companies, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), said there were limited treatment options for children and young people with depression.

Sunayana Shah, head of regulatory and safety policy at the ABPI, said: «Any decision to prescribe antidepressant medicines is one made between a clinician and a patient or their guardian before a drug is prescribed and while treatment is ongoing.»

Ms Shah said SSRI antidepressants were «one of the most studied classes of medicines» and they are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

«However, if substantial new information on side effects or effectiveness becomes available, it will be rigorously reviewed by the medicines regulators to assess whether the treatment is still suitable,» she said.

It is recommended that you do not stop taking any medication before consulting with a doctor.

www.bbc.com

Vegetable Insects

MANAGING INSECTS IN THE HOME VEGETABLE GARDEN

Rick E. Foster and John Obermeyer, Extension Entomologists

If you want to view as pdf, click here

Insects feeding on home-grown vegetables are a fact of life for most gardeners. Gardeners’ two choices are to tolerate the damage or attempt to prevent it. Frequently, tolerating the damage is a reasonable approach. For example, when tomatoes begin to ripen, most gardeners have more tomatoes than they can possibly use. So, caterpillars chewing on a few fruits are no real concern. Corn earworms usually confine their damage to the tips of sweet corn ears. A viable strategy is to cut off the damaged tips before cooking the corn.

Another approach is to plant crops less susceptible to injury from insect feeding. Table 1 categorizes vegetable crops as never or rarely, sometimes, and usually or always damaged by insects.

Table 1. Frequency of Insect Damage to Various Vegetables Grown in the Home Garden
Never or Rarely
Beet
Carrot
Green Onion
Lettuce
Okra
Pea
Radish
Sometimes
Asparagus
Bean
Pepper
Spinach
Tomato
Watermelon
Usually or Always
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Cucumber
Eggplant
Potato
Squash/Pumpkin
Sweet Corn

There are a number of practices that the home gardener can employ to reduce insect problems.

  • Properly dispose of plant residues from the previous year’s garden.
  • Plant varieties that are recommended for use in your area, and plant them at the proper time for best growth. Planting too early when the soil is cool may make the plants more susceptible to some soil insects.
  • Inspect transplants before purchase to make sure they are healthy and not infested with insects.
  • Use proper plant spacings, fertilizers, water, and cultural practices to insure vigorous plant growth. Plants that are growing vigorously often can tolerate more insect damage than poorly growing plants.
  • Keep the garden as weed-free as possible. This will help the plants to continue to grow vigorously, and weeds may harbor insects that also will attack the vegetables. However, the presence of weeds or companion plants may increase the natural enemy population.
  • Inspect plants regularly for insects or insect damage. Early detection means more effective control and can reduce the amount of damage suffered. Particularly in small gardens, early-detected caterpillars, loopers, hornworms, and large beetles can often be hand picked from plants and destroyed before they cause problems.
  • Treat most vegetables with insecticides only when pest insects are observed; however, treat certain vegetables, such as cantaloupes, cucumbers, and squash, on a preventive basis to avoid serious damage.
  • Consider the use of row covers to physically protect plants from insects, used early in the season, row covers can also provide some protection from frost. For vegetables that require pollinators, row covers need to be removed when flowers are present.

Row covers in a field.
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

INSECTICIDES

Several types of insecticides are available for home gardeners. Table 2 lists the insects most commonly found on vegetables and the insecticides recommended to control them. The following sections describe the various types of available insecticides.

Botanical Insecticides (extracted from plants)

Neem: The active ingredient in Neem, azadirachtin, is derived from leaves or seeds of neem trees. It has activity against a variety of insect pests. For many pests, neem acts as a repellent, rather than a toxicant. Therefore, it is important to apply neem before a serious infestation is present.

Pyrethrum is derived from the flowers of certain chrysanthemums. It causes rapid paralysis and apparent death, but insects may subsequently recover. Pyrethrum provides control for up to 1 day and is most effective against soft-bodied insects such as scales and aphids.

Microbial Insecticides

Microbial insecticides available to the home gardener contain spores of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which paralyzes the insect’s gut after being eaten. A Bt strain effective against many caterpillars is sold as Dipel, Javelin, MVP, etc. Strains sold as M-Trak or Novodor are effective against the Colorado potato beetle. Microbial insecticides are not toxic to beneficial insects, humans, or other vertebrates. Spinosad is a relatively new fermentation product that has good activity against most caterpillars, Colorado potato beetles, and thrips.

Manufactured Insecticides

Carbaryl (Sevin) is a widely used insecticide with several trade names. It is effective on beetles and some caterpillars but does not kill aphids. Carbaryl is persistent on plants for 3-4 days, but may cause outbreaks of aphids and spider mites by killing natural enemies.

Malathion is moderately effective on a wide range of insects, especially sucking insects. It is persistent on plants for 2-3 days.

Several pyrethroid insecticides (bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, and permethrin) are available for homeowners to use on vegetables. These products are sold under a variety of trade names, so be sure to check the active ingredient on the label. The crops included on the label vary, so be sure that the crop you are treating is listed before you spray. All of the pyrethroids are extremely effective insecticides that will provide up to 7-10 days of control of a wide variety of pests. They will effectively control Colorado potato beetles that are resistant to insecticides such as Sevin. Pyrethroids are extremely toxic to fish, so caution should be used around bodies of water. Pyrethroids are also toxic to honey bees.

Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that control a wide variety of pests. Two neonicotinoids, acetamiprid, and imidacloprid are available for home gardeners. These products are systemic, which means the insecticide moves into and moves throughout the plant. These products cankill bees that feed on pollen of treated plants.

Spinosad is produced by fermenting a naturally occurring microorganism. It is available in organically approved formulations. This is a very safe product that controls a number of pests, including caterpillars and thrips.

See also:  Spregal: reviews, instructions for use, price, analogues of the preparation

Inorganic Insecticides (oils and soaps)

Horticultural oils work only on contact and have no residual activity. Commercially available insecticidal soaps, which are made from naturally occurring fatty acids, help control aphids, leafhoppers, mites, scales, and whiteflies. Like oils, soaps only control those organisms on which the spray lands.

Some Notes About Insecticides

  • Although most insecticides available for use in the home garden are relatively safe to use, they are all POISONS and should be used with the utmost care. Carefully read and follow all precautions on the insecticide label. Table 3 lists the number of days you must wait after treatment before harvesting the vegetables. Vegetables should be thoroughly washed before they are eaten or cooked.
  • Sometimes using an insecticide will increase insect problems. For example, overuse of carbaryl on some crops can increase problems with aphids, mites, and whiteflies because it kills the natural enemies that eat those pests, but does not kill the pests themselves.
  • When spraying, both upper and lower leaf surfaces must be treated. Sprayer pressure must be sufficient to roll leaves over. Aerosol cans of insecticide are not recommended except to treat individual plants or very small gardens. Unless otherwise noted on the material label, a gallon of spray will cover approximately 500 square feet or 200 feet of row.
  • When used properly, the insecticides available for use by home gardeners will not leave sufficient residues on the produce to cause any adverse health effects. As an added precaution, gardeners should rinse any produce with clean water before consuming it. This will also help wash away dirt and other debris. DO NOT wash vegetables in soapy water. Soap can be difficult to remove and has not been tested for safety when consumed.
Table 2. General Garden Pests Commonly Found on Vegetables and Recommended Insecticides to Control Them.
Pests Vegetables Attacked Recommended Insecticides*
Aphids Many vegetables 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13
Asparagus beetle Asparagus 4, 11, 14
Bean leaf beetle Bean 3, 4
Blister beetle Many vegetables 3, 4, 10
Cabbage looper Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli 1, 2, 4, 5, 11, 14
Colorado potato beetle Potato, tomato, eggplant, pepper 2, 3, 5, 11, 14
Corn earworm/fruitworm Corn, tomato, bean 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 14
Cucumber beetle Bean, cucumber, melon, squash, pumpkin 3, 4, 5, 6, 12
Cutworm Many vegetables 3, 4 bait, 5, 8, 11
European corn borer Corn, pepper, bean 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 14
Flea beetle Many vegetables 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11
Grasshopper Many vegetables 3, 5, 10, 11
Imported cabbageworm Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 14
Japanese beetle Many vegetables 3, 4, 5, 10, 11
Leafhopper Bean, potato 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11
Mexican bean beetle Bean 3, 4, 5, 11
Slugs Many vegetables 7, 9
Squash bug Cucumber, melon, squash, pumpkin 3, 4, 5, 11
Squash vine borer Squash, pumpkin 3, 4, 5, 11
Tarnished plant bug Many vegetables 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12
Tomato hornworm Tomato, potato, eggplant, pepper 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 14
Twospotted spider mite Many vegetables 3, 8
Whitefly Many vegetables 1, 3, 10, 12, 13
  1. Acetamiprid
  2. *Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel, Javelin, M-Trak, etc.)
  3. Bifenthrin
  4. Carbaryl
  5. Cyfluthrin
  6. Imidacloprid
  7. Iron phosphate
  8. Malathion
  9. Metaldehyde
  10. Neem
  11. Permethrin
  12. Pyrethrins
  13. Soap (insecticidal)
  14. Spinosad
Table 3. Harvest Restrictions in DAYS for Common Vegetable Insecticides
Asparagus
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid NO
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin NO
Carbaryl 1
Cyfluthrin NO
Imidacloprid NO
Malathion NO
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 60
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Bean
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 3
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin NO
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 1
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 3
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Broccoli
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 7
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 2
Neem
Permethrin 1
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Cabbage
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 7
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion *
Neem
Permethrin 1
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
* Variable. Check label.
Cantaloupe
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 3
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 1
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 3
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Carrot
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid NO
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin NO
Carbaryl 7
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion NO
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad NO
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Cauliflower
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 7
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 2
Neem
Permethrin 1
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Cucumber
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 3
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 1
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Eggplant
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 7
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin 7
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion NO
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Green onion
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin NO
Carbaryl NO
Cyfluthrin NO
Imidacloprid NO
Malathion NO
Neem
Permethrin 14
Pyrethrins
Spinosad NO
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Lettuce
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 7
Carbaryl 14
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 14
Neem
Permethrin 1
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Okra
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid NO
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin NO
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin NO
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 1
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Peas
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 3
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin NO
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 3
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 3
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Pepper
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 7
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin 7
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion NO
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Potato
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 21
Carbaryl 7
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid NO
Malathion *
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 7
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
* Variable. Check Label.
Pumpkin
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 3
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion NO
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 3
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Radish
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid NO
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin NO
Carbaryl 7
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 7
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad NO
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Spinach
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin NO
Carbaryl 14
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 3
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Squash
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 3
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 1
Neem
Permethrin
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 3
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Sweet corn
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid NO
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 1
Carbaryl 2
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid NO
Malathion NO
Neem
Permethrin 21
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
Tomato
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid 7
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 1
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin 7
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion *
Neem
Permethrin 5
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 1
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop
* Variable. Check Label.
Watermelon
Insecticide Days After Treatment to Wait Until Harvest
Acetamiprid
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bifenthrin 3
Carbaryl 3
Cyfluthrin
Imidacloprid 21
Malathion 1
Neem
Permethrin NO
Pyrethrins
Spinosad 3
Soap
NO — Not legal for use on this crop

ORGANIC GARDENING

Although properly used insecticides do not adversely affect human health, some gardeners nonetheless choose to grow their vegetables organically. “Organic” means that no chemical fertilizers or synthetic pesticides can be used. The use of certain pesticides, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, oils and soaps, pyrethrum, spinosad, and neem is allowed. For the most part, vegetables can be grown for home consumption without the use of the chemical insecticides. This may, however, require more work than if insecticides were used.

GENERAL GARDEN PESTS

White Grubs

Several species of white grubs feed on roots or other underground parts of most vegetables. Damage generally consists of root pruning, surface scars, or round gouges. Grubs are mostly a problem in gardens that were sod the previous year. Gardens with grassy weeds are attractive to beetles when they lay eggs. As soil is prepared for planting in the spring, it should be checked for the presence of grubs.

White grubs
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Wireworms

Wireworms can feed on seeds and seedlings of corn, beans, and peas, causing wilting and/or death of the young plant. Wireworms feed on the edible portions of potato, sweet potato, radish, carrot, rutabaga, and turnips. The roots of cabbage, cucumber, tomato, onion, watermelon, and other crops are also attacked, reducing vigor or killing the plants. Despite the long list of host plants, wireworms are rarely a problem in gardens. Wireworms are more likely to infest a garden if it were sod last year or had lots of grassy weeds present.

Wireworm
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Cutworms

Cutworms feed on most of the vegetables grown in the home garden. The most common damage is young plants cut off at the soil surface. Some cutworms may also climb the plant and feed on foliage and fruit. Damage can be reduced by keeping gardens free of weeds before and after vegetables are planted. Bait formulations of some insecticides can also provide control.

Variegated cutworm damage to tomato
(Photo credit: L. Maynard)

Black cutworm
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Japanese Beetle

Populations of Japanses beetles have moderated in recent years, but can still reach damaging levels. Japanese beetles are voracious feeders on a wide variety of plants, and are very mobile, allowing them to constantly reinvade a treated yard or garden. Although Japanese beetle traps catch a large number of beetles, they are not recommended for use because they tend to attract more beetles than they catch. Unfortunately, the only way to successfully protect garden plants that are being attacked by Japanese beetles is with insecticides. Neem can be an effective repellent if multiple applications are begun when beetles first appear.

Japanese beetle
(Photo credit: Brian Christine)

Tarnished Plant Bug

Tarnished plant bugs feed with their sucking mouthparts on beet, chard, celery, beans, potato, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, salsify, and cucumber. They suck plant juices and may inject toxic saliva into the plant. Leaves may become deformed, stems and petioles may be scarred and discolored, or the buds and developing fruit may be dwarfed and pitted. Tarnished plant bugs become active early in the season and can migrate to find preferred host plants.

Tarnished plant bug adult and nymph
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Blister Beetles

Adult blister beetles feed ravenously on the leaves of many vegetables. The beetles can be picked off of plants by hand, but they contain an oil that can blister the skin if accidentally crushed. The larvae of blister beetles are beneficial, burrowing through the soil and feeding on grasshopper eggs.

Margined blister beetle
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Aphids

Aphids are soft-bodied insects that feed with their sucking mouthparts on the leaves of many garden vegetables. They are most commonly found in large groups or colonies on the underside of leaves. Aphid feeding reduces the vigor of the plant and may cause the leaves to curl downward. Aphids are most often kept under control by many of the natural enemies that feed on them. The use of insecticides such as carbaryl (Sevin) to control other insects will sometimes result in an outbreak of aphids, because the natural enemies are killed by the insecticide.

Aphids close-up on lettuce leaf
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Aphids and cast skins on tomato leaf
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The brown mamorated stink bug is a recent arrival in Indiana. So far, it has been confirmed in 10 counties, but is probably present in more. This insect can occur in very large numbers and feeds on a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, and ornamental plants. So fr, it has not reached the level of causing damage in Indiana, but we expect it to become serious in the next few years.

Brown Marmorated Sting Bug
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Twospotted Spider Mite

Although mites are not insects, being more closely related to spiders, they are vegetable pests that remove plant juices from the leaves of beans, corn, tomato, eggplant, etc. The leaves become bronzed or yellowed, and the foliage takes on a general wilted appearance. The symptoms of mite damage may be caused by other factors, so be sure to look for mites with a hand lens to confirm your diagnosis. Mites are more of a problem in hot, dry weather. Heavy rains may help to control mites. Spraying plants with a garden hose can remove some of the mites from the plants.

Twospotted spider mites, adults, nymphs, and eggs
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Stippling damage on corn
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Slugs

Slugs are not insects, but they are pests of vegetables that may skeletonize or shred leaves of many garden vegetables or may defoliate the entire plant. Slugs are more of a problem in cool, wet weather. Several days of warm sunny weather usually will reduce the problem. Pie pans baited with beer buried at ground level will trap many slugs. Chemical controls are also available.

Slug damage on corn
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

MANAGING INSECTS ON SPECIFIC CROPS

Asparagus

The asparagus beetle and the spotted asparagus beetle are both found on asparagus, but only the asparagus beetle is a serious pest. Adult asparagus beetles are 1/4 inch long, blue-black, with creamy yellow spots with red borders on the wings. Adult spotted asparagus beetles are slightly larger, are reddish-orange, and have black antennae, eyes, and undersides. Each wing cover has six distinct black spots. The soft-bodied larvae of the asparagus beetle reach 3/8 inch long and are gray with black heads. Adult asparagus beetles attack the tender buds near asparagus tips as soon as the shoots push above the soil in the spring. The adults also feed on the foliage. Larvae of the asparagus beetle feed on the stems and leaves, but the larvae of the spotted asparagus beetle feed only on the berries.

Destroying crop residue from the previous year eliminates overwintering sites for the adults. Hand-picking adults can also be useful. Chemical control is usually quite effective and may be justified if there are several beetles or larvae per crown, or if plants are losing their leaves.

Asparagus beetle adult
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Asparagus beetle larva
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Spotted asparagus beetle
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Beans

Green, wax, broad, and lima beans grown in the vegetable garden are all attacked by several insects, but the damage often can be tolerated. The first insect that will attack beans is the seedcorn maggot. The adult form is a fly that is slightly smaller than a house fly. The damaging form is the larva, which is a white, legless maggot that burrows into seeds and seedlings, causing poor seed germination and emergence, and/or stems without leaves. Damage can be reduced by planting seeds shallow and when soil temperatures are warm (70В°F), so that the plants will not stay in the seed stage long. Using insecticide treated seeds or overseeding may also help. Early planting and use of manure for fertilizer will increase problems.

Seedcorn maggot in green bean stem
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Potato leafhopper adult
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Potato leafhopper nymphs
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Potato leafhopper damage
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Flea beetles may chew small holes in bean leaves. This damage will usually be worse in weedy gardens. The damage is usually only important on seedling plants. Carbaryl will provide adequate control if needed.

Red-headed flea beetle
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Corn flea beetle
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Mexican bean beetles can be a pest of beans in southern and central Indiana. The adult beetle is round and copper colored with 16 black spots on its back. It is about 5/16 inch long and 1/4 inch wide. It is closely related to the beneficial lady beetles. Mexican bean beetles lay clusters of oval, yellow eggs on the underside of bean leaves. The larvae are oval, yellow, and covered with branched spines. Both adults and larvae feed on leaves, pods, and stems. Later planting will reduce the amount of Mexican bean beetle damage. Because the insects are slow moving and highly visible, handpicking can be a suitable control method. Several insecticides also will provide good control.

Mexican bean beetle adult, larva, pupa, and damage
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Bean leaf beetles may feed on leaves and pods in all areas of the state. Adult beetles may or may not have spots and may come in several colors, but they will always have a black triangle behind the head. Beans can usually tolerate a considerable amount of leaf feeding with no effect on yield. Beetles present when pods are forming should probably be controlled.

Bean leaf beetles and pod damage
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer(top) and Purdue University (bottom))

Cruciferous Crops (Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radish, turnip)

Most crucifers are attacked by the same complex of insect pests. Radishes are such a rapidly growing crop (maturing in about 28 days) that they are not usually affected by insects, other than possibly a few cabbage maggots feeding on the roots. Turnips grown for the roots are also unlikely to have any serious insect problems, other than root maggots.

The first insect problem that will occur on crucifers is the cabbage maggot. The adult fly, which is slightly smaller than a house fly, emerges in late April or early May. They lay white eggs at the bases of newly set plants. The eggs hatch into legless maggots that migrate and tunnel into the roots. They cause the plants to appear sickly, off color, or stunted, and may cause them to die. Injury is usually more severe in cool, wet conditions. For the home gardener, chemical control is usually not effective. Another good idea is to plant a few more plants than needed, in case a few are lost to cabbage maggots. Flies are attracted to decaying organic matter, so excessive use of manure should be avoided.

Cabbage maggot
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Cabbage maggot damage
(Photo credit: C. Eastman)

Flea beetles are almost always a pest of crucifers. Carbaryl will usually provide suitable control. Aphids may attack all the crucifers, as well. The number of aphids may be reduced by destroying crop residue when the growing season has ended and by encouraging natural enemies such as lady beetles. Natural enemies can be conserved if use of chemical insecticides is kept to a minimum.

Pale striped flea beetle
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Cabbage aphid damage
(Photo credit: C. Eastman)

Cabbage aphids on leaf
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

As most gardeners know, the most serious insect problem on crucifers is the caterpillars. There are actually three different species of caterpillars that are serious pests of crucifers. Diamondback moth larvae are small (1/2 inch), cigar-shaped green caterpillars that wriggle rapidly when touched. They pupate in little silken cases glued to the undersides of leaves. Each larva does not do a great deal of damage, but they can occur in extremely high numbers.

Diamondback moth larva
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Diamondback moth damage
(Photo credit: R. Foster)

The imported cabbageworm is the larval stage of the very common white cabbage butterfly with black spots on the wing tips. The caterpillars are velvety-green and reach over 1 inch in length.

Imported cabbageworm adult
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Imported cabbageworm larva
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

The cabbage looper does not overwinter in Indiana, but flies here each June. The larvae are light green, and, when they crawl, they make a characteristic loop in the middle of their body. The second generation, which occurs in August and September, is the most serious.

All these caterpillars feed on the leaves and can reduce the plant growth. The most serious damage is to the portions of plants that are to be consumed. Fortunately, good control can be achieved with various formulations of Bacillus thuringiensis. This material is very safe and will not harm beneficial insects. It is much more effective on the young larvae. Therefore, plants should be inspected once or twice per week for young caterpillars and treated when necessary, or Bt should be applied on a weekly basis. The pyrethroid insecticides are also quite effective.

Cabbage looper
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Cabbage looper damage
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Solanaceous Crops (Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant)

Solanaceous crops are attacked by a wide variety of insects. Several of these pests can be quite severe and difficult to control, as is indicated in Table 1. These crops are often difficult to grow successfully without using insecticides.

The most notorious of all the pests of solanaceous crops is the Colorado potato beetle. This insect feeds on all four types of solanaceous crops in both the larval and adult stages. The adult is a yellow beetle about 1/2 inch long with each wing cover bearing five black stripes. The larva is reddish with a black head and legs and 2 rows of black spots along each side. Overwintering adults frequently begin feeding on potato foliage as soon as it is above ground. Both adults and larvae feed on all the leaf tissue except for the main leaf vein and stems. There are two generations per year. The instar guide on page 9 will help the home gardener know which instars are present. The larger instars will consume much more foliage each day and are also much more difficult to kill with insecticides. Therefore, it is important to make insecticide applications when the larvae are small (1st or 2nd instars). In many areas, Colorado potato beetles are resistant to most insecticides available to homeowners.

Colorado potato beetle eggs
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Colorado potato beetle larva
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Colorado potato beetle adult
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Colorado potato beetle damage
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Instar Guide
Colorado Potato Beetle
Determine into which circle the larva fits most completely without overlapping the borders. The number corresponding to that circle is the instar for that larva.

Bacillus thuringiensis insecticides specifically for potato beetles can be effective if applied when larvae are small (1st or 2nd instar). Other available alternative to insecticides include handpicking adults off the plants and destroying them before they begin to lay their orange-red eggs on the undersides of the leaves. Damage can also be reduced by applying a 4-6 inch layer of straw mulch on both sides of the potato row right after hilling.

Flea beetles will attack all of the solanaceous crops, but can be particularly damaging to eggplant. Flea beetles are small, hard-shelled insects, so named because their enlarged hind legs allow them to jump like fleas from plants when disturbed. Their damage is unusual in appearance. They feed by chewing a small hole in a leaf, moving a short distance, then chewing another hole, and so on. Most healthy plants can tolerate a considerable amount of flea beetle damage, and control is obtained easily with a number of common garden insecticides. Refer to Extension publication E-74, Flea Beetles, for additional information.

Flea beetles and damage

The potato leafhopper described in the bean section is also a pest of potato, doing damage similar to that done to beans. Leafhoppers can cause substantial yield loss at relatively low densities. Treatment is justified if there is more than one nymph per ten leaves. Several species of aphids will attack solanaceous crops. Fortunately, potatoes and tomatoes can tolerate a considerable amount of feeding without any effect on yield. However, aphids feeding on peppers can transmit several viral diseases that are quite detrimental to pepper plants. Peppers, therefore, should be kept relatively free of aphids.

Potato leafhopper adult
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Potato leafhopper damage
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

Several caterpillars may be found feeding on tomatoes. The tobacco hornworm is a very large greenish caterpillar (up to 4 inches) with a spine on the rear end and white stripes on the sides. Larvae feed on both the leaves and the fruit, and, because of their large size, one larva can do a considerable amount of damage. Hornworms usually do not occur in large numbers, so handpicking is a good method of control. They are harmless to humans.

Tobacco hornworm
(Photo credit: J. Obermeyer)

extension.entm.purdue.edu

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