veggie garden pests - Knowledgebase Question

Arvada, Co
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Question by scotthistle1
January 28, 2011
How do I get rid of earwigs, little black mite-things infesting my corn, and the various other pests that destroyed my veggies last year? I had no leaves left alive on my peas, and my pumpkins generally were eaten down to stumps. This is a raised-bed garden

Answer from NGA
January 28, 2011
A problem associated with keeping insects out of a vegetable garden is that your veggies need insect activity for pollination and fruit set. If you eliminate all insects, you won't get any squash or peas (corn is wind pollinated so there's no problem there). Since you're gardening in a raised bed you can cover over the bed with floating row cover (such as Reemay) but you'll have to remove the row cover when your plants begin to flower. Earwigs are easy to control without insecticides but the rest of the insect should be hand picked when you find them on your plants. Mites on corn can be discouraged by hosing off the corn stalks on a weekly basis, directing the water on both the undersides and the tops of the leaves). There are two ways to control the earwigs: Put about a half-inch of water in an empty cat food or tuna can and float a tablespoon of oil on top. Place the can beneath your plants. Earwigs will be attracted to the residue in the can, crawl in, get coated with oil and drown. Or, roll a few newspaper tubes, moisten them, and place them in the garden in the early evening. Earwigs are mostly active at night and look for a moist, dark place to hide during the day. They'll crawl into the tubes in the early morning. Collect and dispose of the newspaper tubes each morning and eventually you'll lower the earwig population in your garden. Best wishes with your garden.

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