It’s autumn in Mississippi which means many of us are planting our fall gardens. You might be inclined to let your guard down about summer pests, but there are several worrisome insects active in the fall that can still pose a threat to your garden.
A real nuisance to gardeners and farmers, the spotted cucumber beetle feeds on cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. The larva feeds on the roots of plants while the adults feed on the leaves and blossoms, resulting in stunted growth and low yield. They can also carry diseases and viruses to other plants. In the south, they can live through the winters and have up to three generations in a single year.
These small pests are often confused with ticks but have six legs instead of eight. The larvae feed on the roots of strawberries and raspberries while the adults eat the leaves at night which severely stresses the plant and robs you of your harvest. These beetles do not fly and overwinter in your strawberry beds where they can continue to cause extensive damage to your plants the next spring.
Stink bugs are a terrible nuisance in Mississippi because they tend to cluster on the sunny side of homes for warmth. They feed on the plants in your garden by sucking the juices from them, leaving open sores that can rot the fruit. As it gets colder they will try to migrate into houses where they will stay the winter. When squished or harassed they emit an obnoxious odor that is hard to get rid of as their namesake implies.
These worms attack hayfields and pastures. They can destroy thousands of dollars worth of crops in just a few days. Making them the most costly of all insect pests in Mississippi. The moths migrate up to Mississippi in the summer from the Caribbean and South America and lay their eggs. The worms cause the most damage during late summer and early fall. Fall armyworms can also damage lawns and sports fields. Vigilance is the best defense against these pests. Check your fields and lawns regularly, at least three times a week and if you see signs of an infestation be prepared to take immediate action.
If your garden is being damaged by insects call Lawn Jox and we will determine the right treatment for you.