Monday, October 22, 2012

Bugs on the Farm

With the mild winter I was really afraid of insect and disease pressure this year. So far…knock on wood…the insect and disease pressure has been pretty typical. This of course means we DO have all sorts of problems with insects and disease, but luckily nothing worse than what we have seen before! Although beautiful, here is an introduction to a few of my nemesis’s:
Harlequin beetles suck the juices out of the leaves of anything in the brassica family (kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, radishes, turnips, etc). They are beautiful, but devastating. They are a problem from early summer on.
These beetles cause the leaves of plants in the cucuribitaceae family (squash, watermelon, cucumbers) to wilt and die. They can transfer a bacterium to each leaf they eat from which causes the plants to wilt and die.
These large worms burrow deep holes into tomatoes. Luckily there is a natural predator which is a parasitic wasp that injects its eggs into the worm and when they hatch the pupae eat, and kill, the worm from the inside out…gross, but good for our tomatoes!

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