Fact Sheets - Vegetable Insects
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 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 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.
It is important to accurately identify and monitor brown marmorated stink bug and feeding damage before making any treatment. This fact sheet emphasizes identification, monitoring, and management of this pest.
The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive pest that damages fruit, vegetable, and nut crops in the U.S. Parasitoid wasps that sting and kill BMSB eggs are the most promising biological control method. This fact sheet describes some of the parasitoid wasps that have been found in Utah, as well as Trissolcus japonicus, a very effective parasitoid wasp that is native to BMSB’s home range and has been found in the U.S., but has not yet been detected in Utah.
Brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive insect that first invaded Utah in 2012. It has since caused urban nuisance problems for northern Utah residents and poses a serious threat to various commerical fruit and vegetable crops. In June 2019, the samurai wasp was discovered in Salt Lake City. This exotic parasitoid wasp is the most promising agent for biological control of BMSB and is uniquely evolved to lay its eggs inside of BMSB eggs.
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 is similar.
This fact sheet provides descriptions and images of stink bugs, including the adult and immature stages, that are commonly encountered in gardens and farms in Utah.
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 is the most destructive insect pest of sweet corn in Utah. It will also attack field corn, and pepper and tomato fruits. The adult is a tan-brown moth that can 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 buildings.
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.
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.
Leafminers are pests of vegetable and ornamental crops throughout the world. In Utah, three species of leafminer flies attack vegetable crops, including the American serpentine leafminer, pea leafminer, and vegetable leafminer.
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.
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.
Squash bugs are 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.
Three-lined potato beetles are pests to various crops and weeds within the nightshade family, most notably tomatillos (Physalis spp.).
Tomato and tobacco hornworms are closely related species that cause similar damage to the same host plants. Both hornworms can be found throughout Utah attacking host plants.
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 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.