Insect Issues

This spring is showing more than it’s fair share of insect issues, I think. In particular, we are seeing lots of flea beetles and other beetles coming in on the Master Gardener Hotline. I haven’t seen as many flea beetles here, but there are some.

Here’s one of those pesky flea beetles hanging out on the leaf of one of the leeks. It’s not causing that much damage, but it’s good to be aware that they are out there.

Our onion leaves, meanwhile, are showing very characteristic damage from thrips. To learn more about thrips, you can check out this webpage from the University of Minnesota. Basically, thrips are a tiny insect (about 1 mm in length) that feeds on the leaves down in the growing point. According to the UC-Davis entomology site, the best control for these guys is using spinosad, an organic pesticide. I guess we’ll have to give that a try!

On a positive note, there are also LOTS of ladybugs around the garden this spring. (I guess the bad news to that is that we must have a good food source for them.) I suspect that the reason we have so many so early is that they managed to overwinter under our row covers, just like the aphids did!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on May 26, 2011, in Insects Abound! and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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