Organic Solutions for Gardeners
Quick Pest Index
Aphids - Tiny pear-shaped insects that can be yellow, green, pink, brown, gray, or black. Usually without wings. They multiply, quickly so you’ll typically see big groups of these. Target: All kinds of plants.
Cabbage Loopers and Cabbage Worms - A looper is a green worm with 4 white stripes, up to 1.5 inches long, which moves like an inchworm with a looping motion. The worm is green with faint yellow stripes and lightly fuzzy. Target: Members of the brassica family, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and turnips.
Colorado Potato Beetles - Adults are oval-shaped beetles with yellow and black stripes. The larvae are reddish orange humpbacked bugs with black heads, and black dots along their sides. Target: Members of the solanaceae family, including potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, tomatillos, tobacco, peppers, and petunias.
Cutworms - 1 – 2 inch-long worms, gray or brown that look a bit greasy. They curl up into a C-shape. Target: All kinds, especially young seedlings and transplants.
Harlequin Bugs and other Stink Bugs - About half an inch long, shield shape, and varying in color. Harlequin bugs have orange, yellow, and black markings. Nymphs are smaller, rounder, but with similar colors. Target: All kinds, but especially members of the brassica family, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and turnips.
Japanese Beetles and May or June Bugs - Blocky-shaped beetles, 0.5 - 1 inch long. The Japanese Beetle is metallic green with copper wings and has tufts of small white hairs along the sides of its body. The Green June Beetle, or Junebug, is iridescent green. Target: All kinds of plants.
Slugs and Snails - Slimy, soft-bodied animals with their eyes on long stalks. They range from tiny to several inches long, depending on the type. Gray, black, brown, and spotted slugs are common in NC. Snails look similar, but have a shell on their backs. Target: All kinds of plants.
Squash Bugs - Adult squash bugs are about .5 inches long, shield-shaped, dark gray, brown, black, sometimes with orange-brown on the edges. Nymphs are smaller but similar in shape, and usually powdery pale green-gray color that darkens as they grow. Target: Members of the cucurbit family, including all kinds of summer and winter squashes, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and gourds.
Squash Vine Borers - The adult moth looks a bit like a wasp, 1” – 1.5” in length, with clear narrow wings. The body is dark gray or brown, with bright red-orange on the back. The caterpillars are creamy white and segmented with brown heads. Target: Members of the cucurbit family, including all kinds of summer and winter squashes, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and gourds.
Tomato Hornworms - Big green worm 3 – 4 inches long, pale green with white diagonal or V-shaped markings along the sides and a black or red “horn” sticking up from the rear. Target: Members of the solanaceae family, including potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, tomatillos, tobacco, peppers, and petunias.