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Posts Tagged ‘Insecta’

Western Tussock Moth

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Western Tussock Moth

Common names: Western Tussock Moth

Scientific name: Orgyia vetusta

Region: This Caterpillar is found in western North America with a similar species in the East.

Life cycle: This insect produces one generation each year and overwinters in frothy white egg masses on trees.

Physical Description: This 1 1/4 inch long caterpillar is a strange looking, hairy insect.  It has a bright red head with two hornlike tufts of long black hair.  Its primary colors are brown with yellow and black longitudinal stripes.  The adult moth is gray with dark wavy bands and a wingspan of 1 1/4 inches, the female is wingless.  The eggs are laid in frothy white egg masses on the females cocoon and covered with hairs.

Feeding characteristics: This pest attacks apple, apricot chrysanthemum, geranium, German ivy, hickory, horse chestnut, peach, pear, plum, rose, and quince by skeletonizing leaves and form silken cocoons on the bark.

Controls: Pick off the infested leaves and groups of larvae, and destroy them.  Scrape off the masses of eggs or paint them with creosote.  The masses are easy to find.  They are about an inch long and lathery.

Natural predators of this caterpillar is various Trichogramma Wasps and birds.

For serious infestations, apply Bacillus thuringiensis to the larvae and eggs.
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MaWhitefringed Beetle

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Whitefringed Beetle

Common names: Whitefringed Beetle

Scientific name: Graphognathus leucoloma

Region: This Beetle is common to the southeastern United States.

Life cycle: This beetle overwinters as a larva or an egg in the soil and produces one generation each year.

Physical Description: This brown-gray beetle is about 1/2 inch long, has white hairs on its back, a short head/snout, and cannot fly.  The eggs are coated with a very sticky substance and are laid in large groups and the base of plants.  The yellowish white larva has no legs and is about 1/2 inch in length.

Feeding characteristics: The whitefringed grub lives in the soil and feeds on the roots of beans and a variety of other vegetables and ornamentals.  The larva eats the tender outer root tissues and may sever the main root, causing the plant to turn yellow and limp, eventually killing them.  It has acquired a taste for about 400 plants.  The adult is less dangerous to the garden and are particularly fond of legumes.

Controls: Large-scale growers should not plant more than a quarter of there annual crop land in legumes, or plant the same land with legumes more than once in three to four years.  On a smaller scale, the home gardener can control this pest more efficiently.  Make sure you don’t plant legumes together.  Clean cultivation is the only effective organic control.  Build the soil fertility so that the plant may become strong enough to fight off the beetles’ attack.

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Spotted Grapevine Beetle

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Spotted Grapevine Beetle

Common names: Spotted Grapevine Beetle, Spotted pelidnota, Spotted June beetle

Scientific name: Pelidnota punctata

Region: This Caterpillar is found throughout North America.

Life cycle: This insect produces one generation each year and hibernates as a mature larva.  Its only in the adult stage for two months.

Physical Description: This 1” long, light brown, shiny beetle has 6 black spots on the wings.  The larva is a large white grubs that prefer well-rotted wood matter.

Feeding characteristics: The adults feed on grape leaves and, if numerous, may cautilize damage.

Controls: If the number of infested plants is small, hand pick the insects.

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