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Vegetable Insect Management PSS 124 Vegetable Crop Production. Jon P. Turmel, State Entomologist VT Agency of Agriculture Waterbury, Vermont November 30, 2006. Transplants in the Greenhouse. Aphids – Melon, Potato, Foxglove, Green Peach

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vegetable insect management pss 124 vegetable crop production

Vegetable Insect ManagementPSS 124 Vegetable Crop Production

Jon P. Turmel, State Entomologist

VT Agency of Agriculture

Waterbury, Vermont

November 30, 2006

transplants in the greenhouse
Transplants in the Greenhouse
  • Aphids – Melon, Potato, Foxglove, Green Peach
  • Dipterans – Fungus gnat, Shore fly, Humpbacked fly, Moth fly, Leafminer
  • Mites – Two-spotted spider, Cyclamen
  • Whiteflies – Greenhouse, Silverleaf aka. Sweetpotato



green peach




  • High Fecundity Rates: “Explosive” Parthenogenetically, paedogenesis, sexual
  • Vectors
  • Oviparous, viviparous
  • Resistance – increased production of an enzyme

Tended by ants

Vectoring potato X virus

Sooty mold

Root aphids

aphid predators
Aphid predators

“flower fly” Adult syrphid

Adult lady bird beetles

Syrphid larva

Lady bird beetle larva

crucifer insect pests
Crucifer Insect Pests
  • Cabbage Maggot
  • Cabbage Aphids
  • Lepidopteran complex

* Diamondback Moth

* Imported cabbageworm

* Cabbage Looper

cabbage maggot life cycle
Cabbage Maggotlife cycle
  • Overwinters as a pupa and emerges in mid-May
  • Prefers cool, moist weather
  • First generation most damaging
  • 2-3 generations/year
  • Larva completes cycle in 3 weeks
  • Feeds on all crucifers, beets, celery and onion


cabbage maggot management
Cabbage MaggotManagement
  • Monitor using yellow-pan water traps
  • 200 GDD
  • Full bloom of Serviceberry, McIntosh and Cortland apples
cabbage maggot management1
Cabbage MaggotManagement
  • Protection of roots and stems
  • Insecticide application as drench pre or post planting
  • Drench (2-3) at five week intervals
  • In furrow granular
  • Spunbonded row covers (rotated only)
cabbage aphids
Cabbage aphids
  • Aggregated vs uniform
  • No threshold at this time but when head is formed the threshold is zero
  • Serious vector
  • Selective insecticides
  • Selective non-target insecticides
  • Check for parasite pop.
  • Turnip-light oil reduces mosaic virus transmission
lepidopteran complex diamondback moth imported cabbageworm and cabbage looper
Lepidopteran ComplexDiamondback Moth, Imported Cabbageworm and Cabbage Looper

Diamondback moth adult

Imported cabbageworm adult

Cabbage looper adult

diamondback moth plutella xylostella l
Diamondback MothPlutella xylostella (L.)
  • Overwinters ?
  • Not known to be a vector
  • Larva = 4 instars in 10-14 days
  • Pupa = 14 days
  • Female lays 160 eggs in 2 weeks



imported cabbageworm pieris rapae
Imported CabbagewormPieris rapae



4-8 days



24-31 days

8-20 days

Overwintering stage

cabbage looper trichoplusia ni hubner
Cabbage LooperTrichoplusia ni (Hubner)

Eggs hatch in 3-4 days

As a pupa for about 2 weeks

Larva have 5 instars in 3 weeks, most damage is done in last 2 instars

does not overwinter in VT


cabbage looper damage
Cabbage Looperdamage



lepidopteran complex management
Young plants = 35% infested

More mature = 20%

10-15% on kale, collards and mustard

Diamondback has become resistant, alternate between effective treatment

High volumes give better results (50 gal/A)

Bt kurstaki, higher rate in cool conditions

Bt aizawai works better on resistant DBM

MUST alternate with synthetic insecticide or spinosad (aerobic fermentation by product of a soil bacterium)

Avoid southern transplants

Lepidopteran complexmanagement
potato insect pests
Potato Insect Pests
  • Aphids – green peach, potato, foxglove, buckthorn, melon
  • Colorado Potato Beetle
  • Potato leafhopper
colorado potato beetle leptinotarsa decemlineata
Colorado Potato BeetleLeptinotarsa decemlineata
  • Overwinters as an adult in and around potato fields
  • 2 generations per year with a third in some years
  • Both adult and larva feed
  • Female lays 300-500 eggs
  • Implicated as a vector but not yet confirmed

larval feeding


colorado potato beetle
Colorado Potato Beetle

Adult feeding

Female laying eggs

Larval feeding

Newly hatched eggs

colorado potato beetle management
Rotate to nonhost crops. This includes overwintering sites that border previous season plantings

Alternate different groups of insecticides throughout the season

Use mechanical barriers such as trench traps and/or trap crops

Determine Action Thresholds. Crop can withstand 15% defoliation without effecting yields

None of the present commercial cultivars of potato is resistant to the CPB

Biocontrol including insects, parasitoids and predators

Colorado Potato Beetle Management
colorado potato beetle trench trap
Colorado Potato BeetleTrench Trap
  • Plastic lined trench trap
  • Place next to overwintering areas at least one week prior to adult emergence
  • 1-2 feet deep and 6-24 inches wide at top
  • U or V shaped with walls 65-90 degree slope
colorado potato beetle action threshold determination
Walk the field in a ‘V’, ‘W’ or ‘X’ pattern

Select 50 potato stalks at random intervals

Count adults, large larvae (>1/2 grown), small larvae (< half grown)

Compare counts to the table (on next slide)

If numbers is high, treatment is warranted

If low, no treatment

If between, no treatment but re-check in 3-5 days

Colorado Potato BeetleAction Threshold Determination
colorado potato beetle action thresholds
Colorado Potato BeetleAction Thresholds*

Life Stage

Number of CPB per 50 Stalks




Small Larvae

Large Larvae

15 or fewer 25 or more

75 or fewer 200 or more

30 or fewer 75 or more

*Do not apply to B.t. products and are for midseason. Late season plants can tolerate more defoliation without affecting yields

colorado potato beetle use of bacillus thuringiensis tenebrionis
Most effective against 1st and 2nd instar.

First spray one-3 days after there is one or more egg masses per lant and 30% have hatched

If densely populated and eggs are hatching continuously, reapply after 5-7 days

Or, wait for later instars to appear, treat with a single application of Provado or SpinTor the start your application a week later.

Death with Bt may take up to 5 days but feeding ceases within one hour. Be patient!

Colorado Potato BeetleUse of Bacillus thuringiensis tenebrionis
potato leafhopper
Potato Leafhopper





potato leafhopper1
Potato Leafhopper
  • Overwinters along the Gulf Coast on southern pine
  • Moves north on storm fronts and arrives in VT mid-June
  • Very low numbers can cause significant crop losses
  • Host of over 100 braod-leaved plants
potato leafhopper2
Potato Leafhopper
  • Both nymphs and adults cause damage
  • No disease is known to be transmitted by the potato leafhopper
  • Causes “hopper burn”
  • Threshold is 10 nymphs per 100 plants.
  • Currently, no cultural or biological controls are available


hopper burn

tarnished plant bug
Tarnished Plant Bug
  • Feeds on over 300 different plants (>50 of economic importance)
  • Introduces a toxic saliva into the plant while feeding
  • Causes leaf distortion, ‘black joint’, scarring, discoloration, bud abortion, dwarfed and pitted fruit
bio control

Peristenus digoneutis

tarnished plant bug damage
Tarnished Plant BugDamage





corn insect pests
Corn Insect Pests
  • European Corn Borer
  • Corn Earworm
  • Northern/Western Corn Rootworm
  • Fall Armyworm
  • Black Cutworm
  • Common Armyworm
european corn borer ostrinia nubilalis
European Corn BorerOstrinia nubilalis
  • Feeds on over 200 wild and herbaceous plants
  • Different strains cause different types of damage to corn
  • Vector of shank, stalk and ear rot fungi
  • 1-2 generations/year
european corn borer damage
European Corn Borerdamage

Bell pepper




european corn borer eggs
European Corn Borereggs

black headed stage

egg mass on corn leaf

newly hatching eggs

european corn borer larvae
European Corn Borerlarvae

5 instars

1st instar feeding

larval feeding on ear

european corn borer
European Corn Borer

larval tunnel in midrib

shot holes

larval tunnel in stalk

larval tunnel in ear stalk

european corn borer1
European Corn Borer

Pupae in stalks

European Corn BorerPlowing down in fall…was the LAW!75% of the overwintering larvae in a corn field can be eliminated
european corn borer scouting
European Corn BorerScouting

Pulling whorl

Unfolding whorl

Blacklight trap

Scouting for eggs

european corn borer2
European Corn Borer
  • No need to survey before corn is knee high because of the high concentration of DIMBOA- kills young larvae
european corn borer3
European Corn Borer
  • When corn is pretassel and 15% of these young tassels show damage
  • Earlier treatments are of no value
  • 2nd generation in mid-July to Sept. will attack ears. Must protect developing ears
european corn borer4
European Corn Borer

Transgenic corn in same field

Conventional corn whorl damage

corn earworm helicoverpa zea aka heliothis zea
Corn EarwormHelicoverpa zea aka. Heliothis zea
  • Native to the Americas
  • Most destructive after E. Corn Borer
  • Does not overwinter in VT
  • Molds become toxins
  • Larvae may destroy silk before pollination is complete
  • $$$ when severe
corn earworm
Corn Earworm

Adult usually arrives mid-July

Eggs in silk for 3 days


Larva feeding for about one month

corn earworm monitoring for adults and treatment schedule
Corn EarwormMonitoring for adults and treatment schedule

Pheromone baited heliothis traps

Blacklight trap