Vegetable Crop Insect Management – May 20, 2016

Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist; jwhalen@udel.edu

Asparagus
Continue to watch for asparagus beetle adults laying egg masses and feeding on spears. Feeding by beetles can disfigure spears and the presence of eggs on the spears can make them unmarketable. As a general guideline, a treatment is recommended if 2% of the spears are infested with eggs or if 5% of the plants are infested with adults. Once ferns are present, larvae can also defoliate plants. As a general guideline, a treatment may be needed if 50 % of the plants have larvae or you can find 10% defoliation.

Melons
Continue to scout all melons for aphids, cucumber beetles, and spider mites. The treatment threshold for aphids is 20% infested plants with at least 5 aphids per leaf. Be sure to also watch for beneficials. The threshold for mites is 20-30% infested crowns with 1-2 mites per leaf. We continue to see an increase in cucumber beetle activity. As soon as we get a few consecutive days of warm, sunny weather, populations can explode so be sure to scout carefully since damage occurs quickly. Since beetles can continue to re-infest fields as well as hide under the plastic, multiple applications are often needed to achieve control.

Potatoes
Fields should be scouted for Colorado potato beetle (CPB) and leafhoppers. Adult CPB as well as small larvae can now be found in fields not treated at planting. A treatment should be considered for adults when you find 25 beetles per 50 plants and defoliation has reached the 10% level. Once larvae are detected, the threshold is 4 small larvae per plant or 1.5 large larvae per plant. As a general guideline, controls should be applied for leafhoppers if you find ½ to one adult per sweep and/or one nymph per every 10 leaves.

Snap Beans
Continue to sample all seedling stage fields for leafhopper and thrips activity. The thrips threshold is 5-6 per leaflet and the leafhopper threshold is 5 per sweep. If both insects are present, the threshold for each should be reduced by on third. You will also need to look for bean leaf beetle damage in early planted fields. Damage appears as circular holes in leaves and significant defoliation can quickly occur. As a general guideline, a treatment should be considered if defoliation exceeds 20% prebloom.

Sweet Corn
Continue to sample for cutworms and flea beetles. As a general guideline, treatments should be applied if you find 3% cut plants or 10% leaf feeding. In order to get an accurate estimate of flea beetle populations, fields should be scouted mid-day when beetles are active.

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