The Q&A Archives: Brown Bugs On Veggies

Question: I noticed my veggies were being eaten (squash and eggplant in particular). One day when watering, I noticed about 15 bugs (brown, about 1/2" which look like they have hard shells) walking up the leaves from roots. Upon closer inspection, I notice small brown bumps (rather like spore cases) on the underside of the leaves. The bugs are often "attached" butt-to-butt and move in unison. Any idea of what they are and how to control them?

Answer: There are a number of insects that could match that description. Your best bet would be to hand pick the ones you see and gently scrape off any eggs you find on the undersides of the leaves on a regular basis. You might also try using a neem based spray as a deterrent for the pests. Both of these plants have many insect pests and may be better grown under a light weight "summer" row cover. Finally, to try to reduce the chances for problems next year, be sure to clean up and remove all plant debris from the garden this fall.

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