The Q&A Archives: bugs detroying leaves

Question: I planted cucumbers, red pepper,yellow squash,zuchini,cantalope in June. All did well then noticed miner caterpiller damage and then other bugs causing leaves to turn brown and then leaves with holes all over then dying. only leaves not affected is red pepper plant. How can I kill bugs without killing plants?

Answer: Leaf miners can cause some damage but usually not enough to kill a plant. Since they are feeding between the upper and lower leaf surface, they cannot be controlled with insecticides. The adult is a fly-like critter so they are difficult to control, as well. As for the other insects, hand picking is usually a good defense. Or, if you are looking for a chemical control you might try Bonide?s Total Pest Control product or something similar with a Permethrin base. Permethrin 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. 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 for use 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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