Aphid Pests on Vegetables
Aphid feeding distorts and stunts plants, produces honeydew that supports sooty mold
fungi, and can vector plant viruses. The most common aphid species found in Utah vegetables
are green peach aphid, potato aphid, melon (cotton) aphid, and cabbage aphid.
Asparagus Beetle and Spotted Asparagus Beetle
Asparagus beetle and spotted asparagus beetle are found wherever asparagus is grown
in North America. Adult and larval feeding can reduce photosynthetic capacity by feeding
on young spears and ferns, and negatively affect crop yield.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive insect pest from eastern Asia. In
Utah, it was first detected in 2012 in Salt Lake City. Its broad host range includes
fruit, vegetable, ornamental, and field crop plants; in Utah, it has primarily infested
ornamental deciduous trees and shrubs in urban and residential landscapes.
Caterpillar Pests of Brassica Vegetables
In Utah, there are three main caterpillar pests of cabbage and mustard family plants:
imported cabbageworm, cabbage looper, and diamondback moth. The injury they cause
Community-wide Grasshopper Control
Springtime, while grasshoppers are still nymphs, is the best time for communities
or neighborhoods to work together to suppress grasshopper populations. Treating as
wide an area as possible is the key to success.
Corn earworm (CEW) is the most destructive insect pest of sweet corn in Utah. CEW
will also attack field corn, and pepper and tomato fruits. The adult is a tan-brown
moth that is most active at dusk; moths can be carried on wind currents, and may travel
up to 300 miles in one night.
The European earwig is an omnivore; it feeds on detritus, fungi, plants, and insects.
Earwigs can injure the buds, leaves, flowers, and fruits of a broad range of plants,
including fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals; they can be a nuisance pest by entering
Flea Beetles on Vegetables
There are many species of flea beetles; most adults are small, darkly colored, sometimes
shiny or metallic, and jump quickly when disturbed. Flea beetles attack foliage of
brassica and solanaceous crops, and some root crops including potato tubers.
Invasive Insect Look-alikes: Mistaken Identity
Pest identification is the cornerstone of integrated pest management, but is a skill
that can be difficult to master. Mistakes in identification are common, as many insects
look and act alike, and/or can cause similar injury.
Japanese beetle was initially detected in Orem, Utah, in July 2006. Eradication efforts
have been highly successful. Adults have a broad host range (over 300 plant species)
and can cause significant damage.
Onion thrips are the most injurious insect pest to onions in Utah. Immature and adult
thrips prefer to feed on young leaves in the inner neck of plants. Moderate to severe
thrips feeding causes reduced bulb size.
Spider Mites in Corn
Banks grass mites and two-spotted spider mites are common pests of field and sweet
corn and a wide variety of other plants. Prolonged hot and dry conditions promote
spider mite development.
In Utah, the squash bug is primarily a pest of squash and pumpkin. Plant injury includes
leaf necrosis, scarred fruits, and rapid plant wilt. Squash bugs are prone to develop
resistance to insecticides and adults are difficult to kill.
Tomato and Tobacco Hornworms
The adults are large moths, predominately gray or gray-brown with lighter markings.
They are commonly referred to as sphinx, hawk, or hummingbird moths.
Western Corn Rootworm
Western corn rootworm can be a serious economic pest in corn because larvae feed
on corn roots, making plants unstable or severely reducing water uptake.
Western Striped and Western Spotted Cucumber Beetles
Western striped cucumber beetle can be a serious pest of cucurbits in Utah, while
western spotted cucumber beetle is a milder pest. Larvae of striped beetles feed on
cucurbit roots which can stunt and kill young plants.