Bookmark This Page

Bookmark Us Link To USA Gardener Contact Us

List of Vegetables
List of Herbs
List of Fruits & Berrries
List of Flowers
FREE Gardening eBooks
Gardening Glossary
Planning Your Garden
Compost, Manure & Fertilizer
The Making Of Good Soil
Tips For Buying Bulk Soil
Frost Dates - USA
Frost Dates - Canada
Weeds & Control
Pests, Bugs & Control
Animal Intrusion & Control
About Us
Link To Us
Contact Us

Palm Tree Store

Click on the button below to add us to your site.

Beneficial Insects That Feed On Pests

Jump to information on detrimental insects on this page


Ladybugs are one of the most beneficial insects you can have in your garden. The ladybug larvae may look a little scary, but both the larvae and adults will eat aphids, whitefly, fruitworm and mites. A single ladybug can eat over 1,000 aphids in it's lifetime.

It is important not to destroy ladybug egg cluster, larvae, and pupae. When tryng to identify ladybug eggs, look for tiny, yellow, oval-shaped eggs that are laid upright in small clusters of up to 50 eggs (see image above).

You can buy Lady Bugs through most garden shops (may require special order) or online. To keep lady bugs in the garden over the winter (and not in your home) Ladybug Houses can be used - available online and maybe at some garden shops.

As winter approaches, ladybugs will look for a winter home and yours will probably look very cozy to them. To prevent this, caulk all cracks around windows, on siding, soffits etc. Make sure screens on all roof vents are secure and free of holes. Ladybugs in the house do not pose a threat - but in the spring, if they do not find a way out, you may find you are cleaning up hundreds of them from window sills etc. Try putting a stocking or other similar material on the end of your vacuum (3 to 4 inches inside the end) and suck them up. Take them out side and release into the garden.

Green Lacewing:

The Green Lacewing is a very delicate insect. It is however, an excellent predator. Green lacewing larva can consume up to 200 aphids or other prey per week. In addition to aphids, it will eat mites and a wide variety of insects, including thrips, mealybugs, immature whiteflies, and small caterpillars. Once their food source is exhausted they will leave the area. The predatory larvae feed for 2-3 weeks before they become adults. The adults must have a source of nectar, pollen, or honeydew to feed on in the general vicinity of the pest area to stimulate egg laying, or they will leave. Providing an adequate food supply and suitable adult habitat can contribute to lacewings remaining and reproducing in the crop. Additional releases can provide a continuous supply of larvae if adults do not stay and reproduce.

The number of lacewings needed for effective control depends on the pest population and growing conditions. For control of moderate aphid infestations 1,000 eggs per 200 square feet are recommended. Two or three successive releases made at two week intervals are better than a single release. These insects are extremely effective under certain conditions, especially in protected or enclosed areas such as a greenhouse, but they may fail to survive and provide control when conditions are not favorable.

I prefer to order Green Lacewings through my local garden shop, but you can also buy them online.

Praying Mantis:

Praying Mantids eat a wide variety of garden pests. In their younger stages they eat aphids, thrips, flies & maggots, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, white grubs and other soft-bodied insects. Mature Mantids feed on larger caterpillars, earwigs, chinch bugs, sow bugs, beetles, grasshoppers and other large insects. They are one of the most beneficial insects you can have in the garden.

While most insects are constantly searching for food, Mantids are content to stay in one area and wait for their food to walk by and then grab it with their strong forelegs. This is why they are good to use early in the season, before there are pest problems, and use other insects after pests arrive.

Cryptolaemus Beetles:

Cryptolaemus Beetles are voracious feeders of mealybug in both the larval and adult stages - a single larva may consume up to 250 small mealybugs. They are most effective when mealybug populations are high, and repeated releases may be necessary if mealybug populations are low. Although adults and young larvae prefer to feed on mealybug eggs, older larvae will attack any mealybug stage. Adults can fly and cover large areas to search for food. If mealybugs are scarce, they will fly off in search of other related insects, e.g. aphids. It can take up to 6 weeks for these beetles to bring a mealybug populations under control.

Predator Mites:

Predatory mites feed voraciously on spider mites. They must have spider mites to survive and to reproduce. They do not feed on pollen or plant sap. They are very effective and do best in the warm summer months - low humidity can restrict their activity. These predators only feed on other pest mites. They multiply twice as fast as the spider mite, allowing them to take over populations of spider mites with relative ease.

They are also more susceptible to insecticides than are plant-feeding species.When used correctly, there is no better control. In the absence of mites, predatory mite disperses or dies so that it causes no harm to the environment.

Beneficial Nematodes:

Beneficial Nematodes control over 200 different insects in the soil.They are harmless to earthworms, and leave plants alone. Not to be confused with pest nematodes, beneficial nematodes are parasitic, and invade the bodies of their prey, leaving behind the dead insect carcasses. They are a very efficient organic insect control method and kill most insects before they become adults. This includes lots of common lawn and garden pests such as grubs, fleas, mole crickets, japanese beetles and weevils.

Nematodes are microscopic, non-segmented worms which occur naturally in soil all over the world. Thousands of strains exist. These predators enter the host through body openings or by penetration of the body wall. Once inside, they release a bacterium which kills the host within 48 hours. The nematode continues to reproduce and its offspring begin to seek out new host material. Beneficial nematodes are a totally safe biological control parasitic insect organism.

When they sense the temperature and carbon dioxide emissions of soil-borne insects, they move toward their prey and enter the pest through its body openings. The bacteria is harmless to humans and other organisms and cannot live freely in nature. Several generations of nematodes may live and breed within the dead pest and they emerge and seek more pests in the soil. Nematodes offer a way to kill the immature stages of garden pests before they become adults.

They are effective against fire ants; fungus gnats; Japanese beetle grubs, masked chafer grubs, other white grubs; squash vine borers; iris borers; strawberry, carrot and black vine weevil larvae; flea larvae and grubs.

To buy Beneficial Nematodes, check with your local garden shop. They are also available online.

Spined Soldier Bug:

The spined soldier bugs are beneficial insects common throughout North America. They can be purchased from a variety of suppliers. They are shield-shaped, yellow or brown bugs about 1/2" to 5/8" long. After the nymphs hatch from their eggs, they become voracious predators.

They will eat many kinds of caterpillars, including gypsy moth caterpillars, Colorado potato beetle larvae and Mexican bean beetle larvae. Be careful not to confuse this bug with the Green & Brown Stink Bug which is a plant eater.

Trichogramma Wasps (Parasitic Wasp):

Trichogramma wasps are tiny wasps that prey on the eggs of many different pests, including borers, webworms, loopers, leafworms, fruitworms, cutworms, codling moth, bollworms, and armyworms. The wasps lay their eggs in the pest eggs, killing them while they reproduce.

The wasps work by laying eggs in the eggs of many insect species. The adult wasps can lay up to 300 eggs each, parasitizing 300 caterpillars. Instead of pests hatching out, more tiny wasps hatch out from the pests' eggs. Trichogramma wasps have a wide host range. This means they can parasitize a great number of eggs belonging to a great number of species. They are indiscriminate parasites and can be hazardous to other beneficial insects (eggs). You must know the pest with which you're dealing. Timing is critical in many cases. Prey eggs have to be available since the wasps can't parasitize the larvae.

When releasing trichogramma into your garden, it is good to wait until the first signs of a caterpillar or worm doing their business. This will ensure that you have a food source for the wasps when they are released. Releasing trichogramma is very simple. You just hang the little strips on a branch in the vicinity of your caterpillar, larvae or worm problem and forget about it. Trichogramma wasps will go to work for you.

To buy Beneficial Nematodes, check with your local garden shop. They are also available online.

Detrimental Insects That Feed On Your Plants

All links below open in a new browser window


Problem: Aphids are pests of vegetables, field crops, shrubs, flowers and ornamental trees. They like to feed on cabbage, peas, potato, tomato, beans, roses, ornamental flowers, trees and shrubs (birch, elm, ash, maple, oak and pine). Healthy plants can tolerate a small number of aphids, however, damage results when large numbers are present. The aphid uses its needle-like mouth piece to suck sugar-rich sap from the plant.

Aphids are small (less than 1/10 inch or 2 3/5 mm long) and are most usually green in colour but can be yellow, pink, red, grey, black or brown.

Solution: Natural control is preferred using ladybugs to consume the largest number of aphids. Parasitic wasps are also very effective in aphid control. The parasitic wasp deposits an egg inside the body of the aphid. The egg hatches into a larva that consumes the aphid, leaving only an empty shell. It is important to attract and protect them natural aphid predators. Marigold plants can be used to attract beneficial insects.

Ants: (common garden ant and similar species)

Problem: Ants can be devastating to the garden. They protect detrimental insects, primarily the aphid and mealy bugs. Ants love the honeydew excreted by these insects and will attack any other insect that threatens this supply. This relationship costs the agricultural industry billions of dollars every year throughout the world.

If you have a problem with aphids or mealy bugs, the first thing to check is the presence of ants nearby. If you do find ants, you will need to eliminate them before your aphid or mealy bug problem will go away.

Solution: Ants are difficult to kill. Generally, attempts to eradicate an ant colony results in a move to a different location - possibly less appealing than the existing one. If ants pose a threat to a part of your garden, it is better to simply deter them.

Ants hate mint. Plant peppermint, spearmint, tansy or wormwood within the affected area. These will deter the ants in the areas where they are planted. Although I haven't tried this myself, it is worth a try and cost next to nothing to do - sprinkle dry clothes detergent or dishwashing detergent where they can get to it. There's something about the detergent that attracts them and they carry it back to their hill. What they don't understand - it poisons them.

A new product on the market which is proving to be very effective, is the AntPro Bait Station Kit, it is designed to wipe out complete colonies of ants without the use of toxic sprays.


Problem: Armyworm feeding is limited mostly to grasses, although this insect will feed on a number of other plants when starved. Armyworm is primarily a pest of corn and spring grains, with only occasional infestations occuring in winter wheat. Armyworm is found east of the Rockies in the United States and Canada.

Solution: Army worms can be controlled with Parasitic Wasps. They also have many natural predators. For chemical control, they are similar to sod webworms and both species prefer to feed at night, so most insecticides labeled for sod webworm control will also control both armyworm species.

Blister Beetle:

Problem: Blister beetles are a serious concern for hay producers and livestock owners. Cantharidiasis or blister beetle poisoning occurs when livestock eat hay that contains cantharidin. Cantharidin irritates the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts of animals and may lead to death. Although most deaths are reported in horses, cattle and sheep also are susceptible. Symptoms include blisters on the tongue and in the mouth, colic, diarrhea, blood or intestinal lining discharge in stools, and problems with urination or bloody discharge in urine

Blister beetles produce cantharidin, which is toxic to people and animals. For centuries, cantharidin was prescribed as a cure for a variety of ailments. Spanishfly or cantharis, a preparation of dried meloid beetles, was thought to cure gout, carbuncles, rheumatism and many other medical disorders, in addition to its use as an aphrodisiac.

Solution: If you have a small pasture for horses or other livestock, pay close attention during bloom, especially with alfalfa and weeds with flowers. Insecticide use has limited effect since you do not want the beetles in harvested bales or stacks. Consequently, reducing weedy host plants and harvesting prior to bloom are sound management tactics. For commercial harvest, using equipment without hay conditioners may help reduce beetle mortality and allow beetle dispersal prior to baling. This technique has been used successfully in Kansas and other midwestern alfalfa-growing regions. It may be of only limited use in semi-arid alfalfa-growing regions because of harvesting practices.

Colorado Potatoe Beetle:

Problem: Damage from Colorado potato beetle is leaf feeding by larvae and adults, although young fruits can also be eaten if the host is eggplant or tomato. Leaf feeding has the greatest effect on potato growth if it occurs within two weeks of peak flowering; leaf feeding during the last few weeks before harvest or very early in the growth of the crop has little effect on yield. Effected plants include potato, tomato, eggplant, pepper and tobacco.

Solution: Hand pick visible beetles. The spined soldier bug and ladybugs feed on eggs of potato beetles. Ladybugs also feed on pollen so they can be attracted to gardens with many pollen-producing plants. Natural enemies may be protected by use of microbial insecticides that are toxic to the Colorado potato beetle but not toxic to the beneficial insects.

Cowpea Curculio:

Problem: The cowpea curculio is a native insect pest of southern peas and beans in the South. This weevil also feeds on cotton and strawberries. Small, brown, blister-like spots on harvested pods. Small, pale yellow, legless grubs are frequently found within the damaged peas or beans.

Solution: The only feasible approach to the control of curculios is a preventive spray program. The current spray schedule recommended begins with a spray at first bloom and repeat treatments made on a five- to seven- day schedule. Check with your local garden shop for available pesticides. Rotation of crops and removal of crop debris is important.

Cabbage Looper:

Problem: The cabbage looper attacks beans in the fall and eats holes in pods. Damage is worst in warm, coastal areas. Early in the season they feed on central shoot of sweet corn, later they burrow into and feed on kernels near tip of ear.

Solution: Use a row cover in early spring as a barrier to egg-laying moths. Spray with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is most effective when catepillars are small. Be sure to spray the undersides of leaves where young caterpillars prefer to feed. Trichogramma Wasps can be used to control Cabbage loopers.

Corn Earworm:

Problem: Birds are beneficial in a garden when they eat bugs. However, when they eat freshly planted seeds or start eyeing up your berry plants near harvest time, they can be a real nuisance.

Solution: Removal of infected ears will help. Injury to both field and sweet corn can be reduced by growing strains with long tight husks which extend beyond the tips of the ears. Trichogramma Wasps can be used to control corn earworm.

Cucumber Beetle (Spotted & Stripped):

Problem: Cucumber beetles are chewing insects and may attack cucumber, bean, melon, squash and pumpkin. In addition, the spotted cucumber beetle feeds on asparagus, corn, and eggplant. These insects are destructive to new seedlings just pushing through the soil. Later in the season, the adults feed on leaves, blossoms, and fruits. As they feed on crops, cucumber beetles may spread bacterial wilt and mosaic, two serious diseases of vine crops. Either the disease or the feeding may cause serious damage or complete crop loss.

Solution: Cover vine plants with polyester row covers to protect them from cucumber beetles. Remove row covers when blossoms appear, to allow pollinating insects access to the flowers. Trichogramma Wasps, ladybugs and green lacewings will eat the eggs. Also try planting radish seeds right in the hills with the effected plants.


Problem: Cutworms are familiar pests to people who have experienced damage to their lawns, and to the stems of crops and seedlings in May and June. Cutworms feed at night. Plants are often cut off completely at or just below the soil surface giving the appearance of a freshly mowed area. Some cutworm species climb and will feed on the leaves of plants. Damage is inflicted by the larval stage, which is a one to two inch (2.5 to 5 cm) caterpillar. Its light grey to brown body has white stripes down each side, and is soft, plump and hairless. A disturbed cutworm will curl up.

Solution: A protective collar made of plastic or sturdy cardboard such as plastic drink bottles or milk cartons as well as toilet paper rolls are very helpful in protecting plants. Place the collar around the plant and push into the soil to prevent the cutworm from attacking the stem. Birds such as bluejays, sparrows, blackbirds and wrens feed on cutworms. By attracting these winged friends, natural control of the pest is possible. Place bird feeders close to infested areas. Skunks also dig and feed on cutworms. Beneficial nematodes also eat cutworms and other insects which are found in soil. Products containing these nematodes can be purchased at garden centers. Some parasitic wasps deposit eggs in the body of the cutworm which pupate on its back, killing the cutworm.

Flea Beetle:

Problem: Adult beetles chew small holes in leaves. The small, slender, white larvae feed on underground parts of the plant. They feed on crops like eggplant, peppers, and tomato can delay the establishment of seedlings or even kill them. The same is true for brassica crops, like cabbage and kale.

Solution: Floating row covers can be very effective at preventing beetles from reaching the crop, if it is grown in rotation following a non-susceptible crop (otherwise, there’s a good chance that the pest will emerge under the row cover). Row covers must be put in place and sealed immediately after seeding or transplanting, before beetles have a chance to find the crop, which doesn’t take long.


Problem: Nymphs and adults frequent the stems and surfaces of plant leaves, sucking the sap from individual cells and and causing death - the result is a whitish or yellowish speckling on the foliage. Extensive feeding may cause stunting of plant growth and death of seedlings. Deposits of black spots of fecal material on the plant by both nymphs and adults indicates their presence on vegetables. The nymphs are light green in color and darken slightly as adults.

Fleahoppers attack bean, beet, cabbage, celery, cowpea, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, pea, pepper, potato, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, and tomatoes.

Solution: Trichogramma Wasps provide good control over fleahoppers. If you wish to use an insecticide botanical products as rotenone and sabadilla can be used.

Green Stink Bug:

Problem: Adults and nymphs suck sap, feeding primarily on buds and seedpods. This feeding results in weakened plants and malformed buds and fruit. On okra and bean pods, the damage appears as pimples or wart-like growths. On tomatoes and peppers, white marks, often resembling halos, appear on the fruit. On pecans and beans, the damage shows up as brown spots on the nutmeat or seed. On some tree fruit, stink bugs can cause a deforming condition called cat facing on the fruit.

Solution: Controlling weeds and wild fruit trees adjacent to fields helps to prevent some species of stink bugs. The most important natural enemies of stink bugs are a few species of parasitic wasps that attack eggs. These help to reduce the numbers of nymphs occurring on plants. Also, some botanical insecticide dusts will control stink bugs.

Grub (White):

Problem: White grubs will feed on grass, grass roots, and farm and garden crops. They feed on potato tubers, but prefer fibrous roots of turf grass. The adult stage also feeds on flowers. Feeding by the white grub results in dead patches of turf that may allow annoying weeds to invade.

Solution: A healthy lawn is the best protection against white grubs. A well-watered, fertilized, aerated lawn will provide resistance against white grub attack. Good root growth is helpful as the adults prefer to lay their eggs in thin grass. Planting geraniums in your garden will also repel white grubs.

Another method of control is to cut potatoes in large pieces (use your potatoes that are going soft or green), bury them in damaged areas for three to four days and then dig them up. White grubs will be found feeding on the potato. Drop them into a bucket of soapy water. Recommended by a couple of old time gardeners I know.

Skunks, moles, crows and blackbirds are all natural enemies of white grubs. Raking the lawn exposes them to natural predators. There are also parasitic nematodes which control white grubs. Products containing these nematodes may be purchased from garden centers or online.

Leaf Beetle:

Problem: Adult leaf beetles chew small holes into the leaves while feeding from the lower leaf surface. Adult feeding on young plants can reduce vigor and yield. They can also feed on the developing pods causing distortion as well as creating a point of entry for disease organisms. The larvae feed on the roots and nodules as well as the stems below the soil line and may girdle small plants.

Solution: Super-Light Insect Barriers are very effective. Grub-Away Nematodes North and Grub-Away Nematodes South, applied at or shortly after planting time, control larvae. If it is already too late or if the beetles have flown in from surrounding areas, use Pyola™ Insecticidal Spray when damage first occurs; if damage continues at unacceptable levels, follow up weekly for 2 or 3 applications.


Problem: Leafhoppers suck juices from a variety of fruit and vegetable crops. Their toxic saliva causes spotting, yellowing, leaf curling, stunting and distortion of plants. Leafhoppers can be responsible for transmitting the organisms causing virus diseases in plants.

Solution: Remove garden and other debris after harvest to reduce over-wintering sites. ladybugs, green lacewing, and minute pirate bugs are all voracious natural enemies of the leafhopper. Treat with insecticidal soap to keep leafhopper populations under control.

Mealy Bugs :

Problem: Mealy bugs have sucking mouthparts that they use to extract large amount of sap from the host plant. These insects extract a large amount of sap in order to obtain enough proteins, the excess sap is excreted as honeydew. The excreted honeydew attracts ants and sooty mould which inhibits the plants ability to manufacture food. Ants in turn protect the mealybug for a continued supply of honeydew, which in turn can damage or kill your plants. Mealy Bugs bodies can be white to an off pink colour.

Solution: Mealy bugs can be quite difficult to control as they have a waxy coating over their bodies and they tend to infest the more hard to reach areas of plants which may make insecticide use ineffective.

Cryptolaemus Beetles primary diet is Mealy Bugs and they will do a good job of eating these pests. Green Lacewings are very effective as well. Cryptolaemus Beetles and Green Lacewings can be purchased for this purpose. However, if you have an ant problem, you will need to get rid of the ants first as they will protect the Mealy Bugs.


Problem: Melonworm feed mainly on foliage, especially if summer or winter squash is available. Usually the leaf veins are left intact, resulting in lace-like plant remains. However, if the available foliage is exhausted, or the plant is a less preferred species such as cantaloupe, then the larva may feed on the surface of the fruit, or even burrow into the fruit.

Solution: Plant early; early spring plantings are seldom damaged. Destroy vines, unused fruits, adjoining weeds and trash as soon as crop is harvested. Spading or plowing in early fall will bury pupae. For chemical control, use a recommended pesticide at first sign of worms in blossoms and buds; worms must be killed before they enter the fruits.

Salt Marsh Caterpillar:

Problem: Saltmarsh caterpillars feed on the undersides of the leaves where the eggs were laid. They skeletonize the foliage of plants adjacent to the egg mass. As caterpillars grow and disperse, they eat small holes in the leaves. This type of damage is generally of little or no concern, but the caterpillars can also make superficial bites in the fruit, causing losses.

Solution: Young larvae have a high mortality rate, perhaps from a naturally occurring virus, which helps to limit populations. There are also a number of natural enemies, including parasitic wasps that help to control this pest. Adults can simply be removed from vegetation. If you want the use a pesticide, check with your local garden shop for recommended sprays in your area.


Problem: Slugs are one of the most destructive and difficult pests to control. Seedlings of many vegetables and flowers are favored foods, and high populations of slugs can cause difficulties in establishing a crop. Slugs also feed on many fruits and vegetables prior to harvest. This preharvest feeding results in wounds that allow various fungi and bacteria to enter and spoil the crop. In addition, the slime trails produced by slugs can contaminate garden produce.

Solution: Eliminate potential shelter for slugs, remove surface debris in and around the garden and avoid organic mulches (straw, grass clippings). Also, increase air movement around plants and reduce high moisture conditions with trellises and wider plant spacing.

Use drip irrigation, soaker lines or other techniques to limit water and decrease the humidity around plants. Overhead irrigation should be done early in the day to allow more time for leaves and soil to dry before the nightly activity of slugs.

If you have a large woodworking shop near you, ask them if you can obtain their spent sanding belts (rough grit) from large surface sanders (these are usually made from water-resistant material and will last a long time). Cut these to fit around the base of plants like broccoli, cauliflower etc. Use a stone or two to keep in place and flat on the soil. Slugs do not like the abrasive surface and should avoid travel over the sand paper. Make the radius at least six inches.

Slugs often avoid travelling over acid, alkali or abrasive materials. Wood ashes and similar materials placed around plants provide some protection. However, moisture reduces the effect of these treatments. Copper-based materials, such as copper sulfate, repel slugs. Traps can be purchased at garden shops or online.

Click to view slug solution video from Fine Gardening

Squash Vine Borer:

Problem: Squash vine borer larvae bore within stems causing the plant to wilt, usually in the lower part of the stem. Stems can be girdled by borers, which prevents water and nutrients from circulating in the plant. Where a borer enters a stem is marked by a hole with yellow granular or sawdust-like frass exuding from it. Plants may be weakened and may die; the extent of damage on the plant depends on the number of borers and their location. in a single plant.

Solution: Hand-pick the eggs before they hatch or use parasitic wasps at the egg stage. Other methods include destroying vines soon after harvest to destroy any larvae still inside stems. Disk or plow the soil in fall or spring to destroy overwintering cocoons. Borers can be removed from vines if detected before much damage is done. Stems can be covered with a barrier, such as strips of nylon stockings, to prevent egg laying. Catch and destroy the moths, especially at twilight or in early morning when they are resting on the upper side of leaf bases.

Spider Mite:

Problem: Spider mites are common plant pests. Symptoms include flecking, discoloration and scorching of leaves. Injury can lead to leaf loss and even plant death. One reason that spider mites become a problem is insecticides that kill their natural predators.

Spider mites develop from eggs, which usually are laid near the veins of leaves during the growing season. Most spider mite eggs are round and extremely large in proportion to the size of the mother. After egg hatch, the old egg shells remain and can be useful in diagnosing spider mite problems.

Solution: Buy natural predators such as ladybugs and predatory mites and release onto plants. Irrigation and moisture management can be important cultural controls for spider mites.

Tomatoe Hornworm:

Problem: The hornworm feeds on the leaves and new stems of the tomato plant, causing extensive damage. During July and August they also occasionally feed on the fruit.

Solution: There are a number of natural factors which help to control tomato hornworm populations. One of the most common parasites in home gardens is a small, parasitic wasp which you can buy to control the hornworm. Many wasp larvae feed inside the hornworm, eventually killing the caterpillar. The cocoons containing pupae of these wasps are visible as small white projections on the hornworm's body. They should be left on the plant so emerging adult parasites can attack other hornworms.

Hand-picking the hornworms from infested plants in the garden provides safe and effective control in small gardens. It can be difficult to find these large larvae on plants, however, once you find one larva, others are much more easily found.


Problem: Wireworm infestations are more likely to develop where grasses, including grain crops, are growing. Crops susceptible to injury include small grains, corn, potatoes, sugar beets and vegetables.

Wireworms damage crops by feeding on the germinating seed or the young seedling. Damaged plants soon wilt and die, resulting in thin stands.

Solution: Crop rotations are only moderately effective, however they can help reduce wireworm populations. Baiting with carrots or potatoe pieces set into the ground and checked every few days is the only other option.

Life Cycle of a Ladybug:
WATCH The Life Cycle of a Ladybug Video (Slideshow)
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has put together this slideshow to help viewers become familiar with all stages of the ladybug growth cycle. Click on the link above and then click on the video link on the upper-right of the page. Good presentation on the ladybug.

Video on Releasing Beneficial Insects:

Watch this great video from Fine Gardening: View Insect Release Video (link takes you to their web site)

Common Spiders & Related Species:

For a good article on spiders (with pictures), read this page from Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

Common Bees & Wasps:

For a good article on bees and wasps (with pictures), read this page from Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

Natural Pesticides:

For a good article on Natural Pesticides, read this page from Brooklyn Botanic Garden


Home | Privacy Policy | Web site Terms of Use
This site and all content, Copyright©, 2010, USA Gardener, All Rights Reserved
All other Trademarks and various product images are Copyright© of their respective owners.