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AVANT-GARDENING: CREATIVE ORGANIC GARDENING

Welcome !  " You Can Grow "

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ORGANIC CONTROL FOR BEETLES, CATERPILLARS, AND GRASSHOPPERS

BEETLES

These are hard-shelled insects with chewing mouthparts. Adults and larvae feed on leaves and fruits. Larvae (grub stage) of some like Japanese or cucumber beetles, feed on plant roots, which can kill the plant.


ORGANIC BEETLE CONTROL INCLUDES

Bacillus Thuringiensis - Bt (a naturally occurring bacterial disease of insects) will kill them in the larvae stage; Organic Neem Oil - a brown liquid with garlic odor - used as a fungicide/insecticide/miticide with a toxicity to fish and invertebrates. It is best used in the evening to protect beneficial insects; Intercropping and companion planting; Rotonone-pyrethrin sprays/powders (which also have a toxicity to fish and invertebrates, and should be used in the evening to protect beneficial insects); Handpicking off plants; covering the crops with floating row covers.


BLISTER BEETLE - Megetra
Blister Beetle at Giannangelo Farms Southwest in NM
Blister Beetle

Sometimes called the water beetle. It is found on leaves, flowers, and plant foliage - indigenous to western NM and AZ.

For more information on this beetle, and its Navajo lore, go to Bug guide.net

COLORADO POTATO BEETLE
colorado potato beetle

Found on the leaves of vegetables, especially eggplant, potato, and some flowers.


CUCUMBER BEETLE
cucumber beetle

Found on leaves, flowers, and roots of many vegetables including the cucumber family


FLEA BEETLE
flea beetle

These are tiny hopping black beetles that chew holes in plant leaves, and can spread diseases such as early blight to potatoes or bacterial wilt to corn. Larvae feed on the plant roots. In the southwest after a rain during the hot summer months, we have seen puddles of them, a black mass huddling and moving with a wave like motion.


JAPANESE BEETLE
japanese beetle

Adults feed on ornamental and edible crops, chewing leaf tissue between the veins leaving a lacy skeleton. Before they pupating, they are 1-inch-long, white, c-shaped grubs living in the soil and feeding on roots and they are often a problem in lawns.


MEXICAN BEAN BEETLE
mexican bean beetle

These are related to ladybugs but are not beneficial. The adults have sixteen black spots on their back and the Larvae are fat, spiny yellow grubs 1/3 inch long. Both feed on foliage, leaving plant leaves a skeleton of veins. Adults overwinter on plant leaves, in late spring or early summer lay clusters of yellow eggs on the undersides of leaves, and there can be one to four generations a year depending on different climates.



For more information on beetles go to Goliathus.com





CATERPILLARS

ORGANIC CONTROLS INCLUDE

Bacillus Thuringiensis - a biological powder that can be applied at the caterpillar stage, Bt (a naturally occurring bacterial disease of insects) will kill them when they are very small; HAND PICKING and relocating a 1/4 mile away is a good way to control caterpillars. We put them in a gallon can and then take the dogs for a walk and deposit them elsewhere.


TOMATO HORNWORM
tomato Hornworm at Giannangelo Farms Southwest in NM
Sphinx Moth at Giannangelo Farms Southwest

A big fat green caterpillar that can grow up to 5 inches long, and feeds on leaves and fruits of eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes for about a month and then enter the soil to pupate.

Adults emerge as beautiful sphinx moths that are grayish-brown with orange spots on the body, a long proboscis, with a 4- to 5-inch wingspan. They are amazing and sound like hummingbirds. They overwinter in the soil as brown spindle-shaped pupae cases, and emerge in late spring to early summer feeding like hummingbirds on plant flowers and then laying greenish-yellow eggs on the undersides of leaves.



HARNESSED MOTH - Grammia figurata larva
Harnessed Moth - Grammia figurata larva at giannangelo farms southwest in NM


That year we had a plethera of caterpillars caused by the lack of our usual September 5th frost. Below are a few photos of yet to be identified caterpillars we have seen. The first is a photo of a caterpillar eating the petals off a NM wildflower.


caterpillar eating a wildflower at Giannangelo Farms Southwest fall 2007 in NM


caterpillar at Giannangelo Farms Southwest fall 2007caterpillar at Giannangelo Farms Southwest fall 2007 in NM

caterpillar at Giannangelo Farms Southwest fall 2007caterpillar at Giannangelo Farms Southwest fall 2007 in NM

caterpillar at Giannangelo Farms Southwest fall 2007caterpillar at Giannangelo Farms Southwest fall 2007 in NM


For more information on caterpillars go to Caterpillars
or What's This North American Caterpillar?




GRASSHOPPERS

grasshopper in NM at Giannangelo Farms Southwest

ORGANIC CONTROLS INCLUDE

Grasshoppers can be organically controlled most easily when they are about 3/4 of an inch long using a biological bran-based bait called Nolo Bait, Semaspore, or Grasshopper Spore. These are not harmful to animals, people, plants or other insects, but will kill, over time, most species of grasshoppers by infecting them with Nosema locustae, a parasitic protozoa. They spread the disease among themselves by eating other sick grasshoppers or by laying infected eggs. The disease will eventually spread throughout the entire population, but it may take a year or so. The organic products have a short shelf life, and are viable for 90 days after the label date. It is available from the links below.

Harmony Farm Supply
All Natures Safeway
Planet Natural
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Attracting Birds to Your Yard


Crickets and Grasshoppers belong to the order Orthoptera. There are more than 400 known species of grasshoppers in the Western United States, but only about two dozen are considered pest species capable of producing economic damage. Grasshoppers favor certain vegetable plants such as lettuce, carrots and onions. They tend to avoid other vegetables such as squash, peas and tomato leaves, so inter-cropping would help some. However, during years when grasshoppers are extremely abundant and food is scarce, they feed on almost all plants. for more information:

 What's This Grasshopper?
or Grasshopper species identification



BugGuide.net
Identification, Images, & Information For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin For the United States & Canada. More than just a clearinghouse for information, this site helps expand on the natural histories of our subjects.


A beneficial insect in the garden




Home Page    About Us    Mossy Knoll Garden/San Juan Island    Botany Basics    "You Can Grow!" Workshops    Composting    Soil Building
Hardiness Zone Map   WebRings    "You Can Grow" CD's   "Tid-Bytes" Insights   Garden Pests & Organic Controls
Biodiversity and Genetic Engineering    New Mexico    Companion & Intensive Planting     Permaculture    Labyrinths
Seed Starting Guide    Creative Garden Design    The Greenzbox    Culinary Herb Gardens    Xeriscape
"Growing with the Seasons"    Photo Tour I    Photo Tour II    Photo Tour III    Photo Tour IV    Photo Tour V
Organic Products    Gardening Books   Gardening Supplies     Recommend This Site    Resources



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