Nothing demoralizes a farmer more than having an entire crop of their favorite food destroyed by pests. Those greedy insects are likely to return every season once they’ve discovered your garden.
Don’t give up! There’s still hope. You can reclaim your nursery bed from insect pests without resorting to toxic pesticides.
This blog post will show you how to identify each insect, the early signs of an infestation, and control each pest using organic methods. But before that, let’s look at the benefits of having vegetable and agriculture nurseries.
- It is simple to care for the seedlings.
- It removes the issue of problematic soils.
- Weed control is simple.
- Increased yields
- Enhanced crop consistency
- It is possible to create favorable conditions for growth.
Below are some common pests that attack your vegetables when they’re still in the nurseries.
Aphids are soft-bodied insects ranging from 1 to 3 mm, and they are green, grey, or black. Aphids are slow-moving insects found mostly during autumn and spring. Some have wings, and others are wingless.
Aphids congregate on the tips of the shoots, draining the plant’s sap and reducing its vitality. Aphids can also transfer viruses, resulting in lower yields and quality.
How to Control Aphids
Some natural predators such as ladybugs and lacewings will provide some biological control. The anti-insect is the best protection because it avoids insecticides. Also, some sprays such as horticultural oils and garlic extract will help prevent these pests.
Caterpillars are typically the larvae of moths. They are usually hairless, with a long cylindrical body ranging in length from 10–50mm and various colors. Caterpillars can eat the leaves, stalks, flowers, and roots of plants.
Green caterpillars and the small diamond-back moth can cause significant damage to the leaves of Brassica plants such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and kale.
Other caterpillars include looper caterpillars, cluster caterpillars, and woolly caterpillars, which mostly attack the leaves.
How to Control Caterpillars
These pests are difficult to eradicate, and early spraying is necessary to eliminate the caterpillars before they spread over to your vegetable nurseries.
Cutworms spend the day hiding in the soil and attacking plants at night. They cause the plant to collapse by damaging the stem of young seedlings at the base.
These pests are more harmful as larvae because they cut the stems and leaves of young and tender crops. Larvae come in different shades; black, granulate, or variegated. They all attack the roots, leaves, and stems of the plants.
How to Control Cutworm
Spraying Bacillus thuringiensis insecticide will kill caterpillars, and you must spray after rain or every five days.
These are nectar-sucking pests that are 1.5–2.0mm long and can harm vegetables grown in an open farm or greenhouses. The most damage occurs during autumn and spring.
When disrupted, the adults replicate tiny moths, flying in huge numbers. The early stages lack wings and resemble scale insects.
Whiteflies are mostly found on warm-weather vegetables like; Pepper, tomatoes, eggplant, and okra.
How to Control Whiteflies
These pests can be difficult to eradicate with pesticides and the best control is insect netting. You can use sprays containing pyrethrum or garlic extract to control these pests. Soapy water may also help eliminate whiteflies.
Mites have eight legs instead and are much smaller than most insects. Mites suck the sap, and they can cause leaves to stipple and stem bronzing.
Mites are more active during dry seasons, and spraying water at the bottom of the leaves reduces their population.
Adults measuring 10mm may damage the leaves and stems of carrots, peas, parsnips, beetroot, green beans, rhubarb, and potatoes at night.
How to Control Mites
Prune the affected leaves, stems, and other parts of the plant well past any webbing and toss them away in the trash.
Use the Bug Blaster to spray plants with a powerful stream of water to minimize pest populations.
Since you cannot see it with your naked eye, most people have no idea of its presence. To identify these mites, you need a 20x magnifying lens.
During summer, they cause more damage that is easily noticeable. The plant’s stems turn bronzed, the lower leaves wilt and eventually die, and the fruit’s skin turns leathery.
How to Control Tomato Russet Mites
Begin by removing any affected foliage and spraying the plant with the recommended pesticides to feed and boost it. If the plant requires additional treatment, soap spray and horticultural oil will eliminate these mites.
Two-spotted mites are the worst summer pest for most crops, and you can detect them by the leaves stippling, which appear dry and russety. The lower parts of damaged leaves have webs with hundreds of tiny yellow and red mites.
The mites are about 1.5–2mm long and have whitish-yellow eggs underneath. These Mites feed on the sap of the leaves.
How to Control the Mites
The easiest way to start controlling the two-spotted mites is to use a miticide, a specific pesticide for mites. Preferably, you should begin treatment before your plants suffer significant damage. Make sure you apply miticide every seven days or so.
The vast majority of beetles are herbivores, which only consume plants. It invades the plant’s stems, leaves, roots, seeds, fruits, and wood.
Many predatory beetles exist, including the majority of ground beetle species. They are also well-known for causing irregular spots, notched leaves, and window panning on the leaves.
Some examples of vegetable bugs include; mealy, squash, and stinkbugs. They pierce the leaves and stems and drink the plant sap, stunting growth and distorting the crop. Mostly, you will find them in private nurseries.
How to Control Vegetable Bugs
One of the natural ways to control these bugs is using garlic fire spray and Insect mesh netting. Squeezing and crushing them with your hand is another physical way.
There are a variety of pests that attack leafy vegetables, but these are the most frequent. You may simply control and manage these harmful pests using the strategies and methods mentioned in this blog post.
But the most effective and environmentally friendly method is to install insect screens. Insect screens not only protect your plants but also reduce the number of pesticides used and increase your yields.
If you’re having trouble controlling or managing a crop pest, seek professional help from Eyouagro. Eyouagro is the best netting supplier to keep pests out of your nursery bed. Our nets are UV-resistant, and they will keep your vegetables fresh. You can send your netting order via email.