The Q&A Archives: Bugs making me buggy

Question: I'm being overrun by ants, black bugs, something eating certain leaves & worms in my baby honeydew melons. Whatever eats the honeydew eats the stems too which kills the rest of the vine from that point. My tomatoes are stunted as well. I water regularly. I've tried diatamacious earth, organic bug spray, & Sevin Dust. Fertilized too. Please help me get control on the bugs & help my garden flourish.

Answer: Sevin should knock down any insect pest, but I'd use it with caution because it can also kill honeybees which are important pollinators for our gardens. Instead of Sevin, I'd use Permethrin. It is the oldest, and most common, of the pyrethroid insecticides. It is widely available and is sold under a large number of different brand names (Martin?s Vegetables Plus, Bonide Eight Vegetable, Fruit & Flower, and Hi-Yield Garden, Pet & Livestock Insect Control are three examples). Permethrin is labeled for use on many different vegetable crops and is effective against many beetle, bug, and caterpillar pests. Because it controls so many different insect pests and is labeled on most vegetables, this is probably one of the most useful insecticides for home vegetable gardeners to keep on hand. Good luck with your garden!

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