a garden field guide
A publication of the
With Many Thanks!
Southside Community Land Trust gratefully
acknowledges the following for their insight,
expertise, and support in creating this
valuable resource:
The Healthy Communities Grant Program of the
Environmental Protection Agency; The ADDD Fund at
the Rhode Island Foundation, a charitable community
trust serving the people of Rhode Island; the USDA’s
Risk Management Agency; Ruth Hazzard and Touria
El-Jaoual Eaton at the University of Massachusetts for
their photo contributions; Forestry Images for their
archive of high quality images of insects and insect
damage (free for educational usage!); Devan Ferreira
and Tracy Silva for their initial work on the Bug Book
project; Katherine Brown and Rich Pederson, for their
creative input putting the finishing touches on the
project; and Leo Pollock, for his skillful editing efforts
and attention to detail in completing the Bug Book!
For more information please contact:
Southside Community Land Trust
109 Somerset Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02907
www.southsideclt.org
401-273-9419
401-273-5712 (fax)
education@southsideclt.org
© 2009 by Southside Community Land Trust 1
NOTES
2
About this guide….3
Signs of Damage….4
The Life Cycle of Bugs…….8
Bad Bugs
Aphids….9
Cabbage Loopers…..11
Colorado Potato Beetles….13
Cucumber Beetles….15
Cutworms….17
Flea Beetles….19
Garden Webworms….21
Lace Bugs….23
Leafhoppers….24
Leafminers….25
Mexican Bean Beetles….27
Slugs….29
Squash Bugs….31
Thrips….33
Tomato Hornworms….35
Good Bugs
Assassin Bugs….37
Braconid Wasps…..38
Damsel Bugs….39
Lacewings….40
Lady Beetles (Ladybugs)….41
Praying Mantids….42
Soldier Beetles….43
Glossary….44
Bug Control Tips….45
Recipes….46
Plant Your Way to a Healthy Garden….48
Rhode Island Resources….49
Table of Contents
3
About this guide…
This guide is intended for backyard gardeners,
community gardeners, and small-scale farmers,
to serve as a resource in helping you to identify
both good (beneficial) and bad (damaging) bugs
that you might find in your garden. This guide
will offer tips on how to control bad bugs and
ideas for how to attract good bugs.
Good and bad bugs can be different sizes,
shapes, and colors. This book has pictures of
the damage caused by bad bugs to help you
identify which bugs are causing the problem
and learn how to control them. This book also
has pictures of good and bad bugs so that you
can identify different bugs in your garden and
make sure you are only killing bad bugs!
The best way to control bugs is to walk through
your garden each day and look for signs of bugs
or bug damage. As you try different methods to
get rid of bad bugs, make sure to keep notes of
what you did: if you used one of the sprays on
pages 46-47, if good bugs solved the problem,
or if another gardener gave you a new idea!
Writing good notes will help you remember
what worked if you have a bug problem again.
This book has space to write notes at the end.
4
Aphids ……………..Page 9
Cabbage
Loopers…………..Page 11
Colorado Potato
Beetles……………Page 13
Cucumber
Beetles………….. Page 15
Signs of Damage
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw,
Colorado State University
Photo Credit: USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA
APHIS PPQ
Photo Credit: Russ Ottens,
University of Georgia
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw,
Colorado State University
5
Cutworms …………….Page 17
Flea Beetles ………….Page 19
Garden
Webworms……………Page 21
Lace Bugs……………..Page 23
Signs of Damage
Photo Credit: Clemson University, USDA
Cooperative Extension Slide Series
Photo Credit: David Cappaert, Michigan
State University
Photo Credit: Alton N. Sparks, Jr.,
University of Georgia
Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr, U.S.
Geological Survey
6
Leafhoppers…….Page 24
Leafminers………Page 25
Mexican Bean
Beetles……………Page 27
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw,
Colorado State University
Photo Credit: Merle Shepard, Gerald R.Carner,
and P.A.C Ooi, Insects and their Natural Enemies
Associated with Vegetables and Soybean in
Southeast Asia
Photo Credit: David Ferro, UMASS
Signs of Damage
7
Slugs ………………Page 29
Squash Bugs ……Page 31
Thrips……………..Page 33
Tomato
Hornworms ……..Page 35
Signs of Damage
Photo Credit: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Slide Set, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado
State University
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado
State University
Photo Credit: David Jones, University of Georgia
8
The life cycle of bugs…
These next pages describe what bugs look
like at different stages in their lives. All bugs
hatch from eggs, which usually live on the
undersides of leaves or in hidden spots on
plants. The eggs hatch into larvae (also called
caterpillars, grubs, or maggots), which will
later become adults. Adult bugs lay eggs and
usually have wings.
Bad bugs can eat plants or cause damage at
different stages in their lives, so make sure
you are getting rid of the bad bugs when they
are causing the most damage. Most of the
time it is when they are larvae: hungry and
growing fast like young people! Good bugs
are usually easiest to attract when they are
adults, since they can fly to your fields to feed
on nectar or pollen. Good bugs also lay eggs,
so you want to make sure that you aren’t
squishing their eggs or larvae!
Many bad bugs in your garden will come in
cycles: Flea Beetles, for example, might do a
lot of damage, and then move on to another
area. Using row cover (page 44) and planting
new plants after the number of bad bugs
goes down will help make sure that you have
a long, healthy growing season! 8
9
Aphids
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Most small fruits
Vegetables
Why am I bad?
I suck the juices from the leaves of many
different plants. When I am done sucking the
juices from the leaves, the leaves curl up or
fall off of the plant. Sometimes I also spread
plant diseases.
What Aphids look like:
Adults: We are small, pear shaped bugs. We
can be green, pink, black, or gray. Sometimes
it looks like we are wearing a fluffy white coat.
Photo Credit: David Cappaert,
Michigan State University
10
How to control Aphids:
• Spray plants with a strong stream of water
to knock the Aphids off of your plants.
• Plant “trap crops” like calendula,
nasturtiums, and dill. Aphids like to eat these
plants even more than your vegetables, so
you can attract aphids away from your other
plants!
• Try planting Pollen & Nectar Producing
Plants (see list, page 48) to attract good bugs
that will eat the Aphids.
• Spray plants with the Garlic and Chili
Pepper Spray (page 46).
• Try using Safer Insecticidal Soap on plants.
Photo Credit: David Ferro, UMASS
11
Cabbage Loopers
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Cabbage
Heads of Lettuce
Celery
Tomatoes
Collard Greens
Why am I bad?
I chew big holes in leaves and leave my sticky
spit on the leaves. Sometimes I chew holes in
lettuce heads and tomatoes.
What Cabbage Loopers look like:
Eggs: We are light green and live on the
undersides of leaves.
Larvae: We do most of the damage. We are
green caterpillars with a white line on each
side of our bodies.
Adults: We grow into gray moths with one
silver spot in the middle of each of our wings.
Photo Credit: Frank Peairs,
Colorado State University
12
How to control Cabbage Loopers:
• Try growing Pollen & Nectar Producing
Plants to attract good bugs that will eat
Loopers (see list on page 48).
• Use your hands to pick the Loopers off of
your plants and drop them into soapy water.
Or squish them!
• After you pick the Loopers off the plants,
use the Garlic and Chili Pepper Spray (see
page 46) to keep any other Loopers away.
• Use row cover (see Glossary, page 44) to
stop adults from laying eggs under leaves.
• For farmers working on larger fields, Bt
can also be used for Cabbage Loopers (see
Glossary for more info on Bt, page 44).
13
Colorado Potato Beetles
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Potatoes
Tomatoes
Eggplants
Why am I bad?
I like to chew leaves on plants, especially
young leaves.
What Colorado Potato Beetles look
like:
Eggs: We are tiny, bright yellow bunches of
eggs. You can find us on the undersides of
leaves.
Larvae: We are dark orange beetles with black
dots down the sides of our backs. We help
the adults chew leaves.
Adults: We are light yellow (sometimes
orange) beetles with 10 black stripes down
our backs. We do most of the damage along
with our larvae.
Photo Credit: David Cappaert,
Michigan State University
14
How to control Colorado Potato
Beetles:
• Use your hands to pick beetles off plants
and then drop the beetles into soapy water.
Look for beetles on your plants in the early
morning.
• After you pick the beetles off, try spraying
the plants with the Garlic and Chili Pepper
Spray (see page 46).
• You can also use your hands to rub the
Colorado Potato Beetle eggs off of the
undersides of leaves.
• Try planting Pollen & Nectar Producing
Plants (see page 48) near potatoes, tomatoes
or eggplants to attract good bugs that will eat
beetles.
Photo Credit: David Cappaert,
Michigan State University
15
Cucumber Beetles
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Squash
Melons
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Peas
Cabbage
Why am I bad?
I eat the leaves and flowers of many different
vegetable plants. I also eat stems and roots,
and sometimes chew holes in fruit.
What Cucumber Beetles look like:
Eggs: We are small yellow-orange eggs. Adult
Cucumber Beetles lay us in the soil or near
stems of plants.
Larvae: You probably won’t ever see us. As
soon as we hatch from our eggs, we dig
under the soil to eat the roots of plants.
Adults: We do the most damage. We are
shiny with black heads, and can be striped
or spotted. The Striped Cucumber Beetle is
yellow with 3 wide black stripes down its
back. The Spotted Cucumber Beetle is light
yellow with black spots down its back.
Photo Credit: David Cappaert,
Michigan State University
16
How to control Cucumber Beetles:
• Use your hands to pick Cucumber Beetles
off plants and then drop the beetles in soapy
water.
• After you pick the beetles off the plants,
try spraying the plants with the Garlic and
Chili Pepper Spray (see page 46).
• Take all weeds and dead plants out of the
garden at the end of the season and do not
leave piles in the garden during the winter.
Cucumber Beetles like to live in these areas.
• Try putting row cover (see Glossary, page
44) over the plants in the spring and the
fall to protect them from Cucumber Beetle
damage.
Photo Credit: Scott Bauer, USDA
Agricultural Research Service
17
Cutworms
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Young vegetable plants
Why am I bad?
At night I chew through the stems of plants
close to the soil, which makes the plants fall
over. Usually the stems look like someone cut
them with a knife.
What Cutworms look like:
Eggs: You can find us in groups on plant
stems and on leaves near the ground.
Larvae: We do the most damage. We are
dull brownish caterpillars and we curl into
a C-shape when we are scared. Look for us
eating stems at night.
Photo Credit: Russ Ottens,
University of Georgia
18
How to control Cutworms:
• Keep weeds out of the garden and make
sure to move dead or sick plants out of the
garden. Cutworms like to live on weeds and
sick plants.
• Cutworms chew stems mostly at night,
so look for them with a flashlight. Look for
plants that have been cut, and dig around
near the roots to find Cutworms. Then squish
them!
• Sometimes you can avoid Cutworm
damage by transplanting young plants to the
garden rather than planting seeds directly.
• Stems of young plants can be protected
from Cutworms by placing cardboard
“collars” 1 inch into the soil around stems,
with about 2 inches of the cardboard sticking
out of the ground. You can also make
“collars” by cutting toilet paper or paper
towel rolls into 3-4 inch tubes!
• The Toothpick Trick: after planting a
seedling, push 2 toothpicks into the soil on
opposite sides of the stem. Toothpicks will
stop cutworms from wrapping around the
plant.
19
Flea Beetles
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Tomatoes
Potatoes
Eggplants
Peppers
Turnips
Radishes
Why am I bad?
I chew tiny round holes in the leaves of many
different plants. Sometimes I even spread
diseases from plant to plant as I chew.
What Flea Beetles look like:
Eggs: You won’t see us! We live on the roots of
plants.
Larvae: We don’t cause serious damage to
plants, but we usually eat parts of the roots.
Adults: We do all of the damage even though
we are as TINY as fleas! We are dark brown
or black, and we jump when we get scared,
just like fleas.
Photo Credit: David Cappaert,
Michigan State University
20
How to control Flea Beetles:
• Use row cover (see Glossary, page 44) in
the fall to keep Flea Beetles off of plants.
• In the spring, you can plant some of the
plants Flea Beetles like to eat, wait until the
Flea Beetles move on, and then plant the rest
of the tomatoes, eggplants, or peppers that
you want.
• Beer! Put small bowls or tops from old
jars near plants that are being eaten by Flea
Beetles and fill with beer. Flea Beetles will fly
in and drown.
• Compost weeds and crops in the fall after
the last harvest. Flea Beetles (and other bad
bugs!) like to live in piles of weeds, so make
sure to keep your beds clean!
• Try spraying Garlic and Chili Pepper Spray
(page 46) on plants early in the morning.
21
Garden Webworms
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Beets
Beans
Corn
Strawberries
Peas
Why am I bad?
I eat leaves of plants and make webs that look
like spider webs! After I make a web that is
attached to leaves or stems, I live inside of it.
What Garden Webworms look like:
Eggs: You can find us in groups or alone on
the undersides of leaves.
Larvae: We do all of the damage. We are
usually dark colored caterpillars with a stripe
and dark spots down our back. If you look
closely, you can see spiky hairs that grow out
of each of our spots.
Photo Credit: Ruth Hazzard,
UMASS
22
How to control Garden Webworms:
• Keep pigweed and lambsquarters (weeds)
out of your beds. Webworms like to live on
these weeds.
• Look for really thick webs that are left on
branches or leaves and clip these off of the
plant. Webworms live in these webs…which
is also where they get their name!
• If you see any Webworms, squish them or
drop the Webworms into soapy water.
23
Lace Bugs
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Flowers
Vegetable plants
Why am I bad?
I suck the juices from the undersides of leaves.
After I am done sucking the juices, the tops of
leaves look blotchy with gray or white specks on
them.
What Lace Bugs look like:
Adults: We are oval or rectangle shaped with
big wings that look like white lace.
How to control Lace Bugs:
• Try using the Soap Spray (see page 47) on
plants.
Photo Credit: Pest and Diseases
Image Library
24
Leafhoppers
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Flowers
Vegetable plants
Why am I bad?
I suck juices from the stems and undersides
of leaves. My spit is poisonous and makes
the tips of leaves turn brown or yellow and
curl up. As I suck juices, I also spread plant
diseases.
What Leafhoppers look like:
Adults: We are thin, brown or green bugs.
Sometimes we have brightly colored stripes
on our wings. If you shake the plant that we
are feeding on, we will quickly fly away, and
then come right back to eat more.
How to control Leafhoppers:
• Spray plants with a strong stream of water.
• Try using the Soap Spray (page 47).
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw,
Colorado State University
25
Leafminers
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Beets
Cabbage
Chard
Leafy greens
Lettuce
Why am I bad?
I eat tunnels in leaves. The damage does
not kill the plants, but the leaves look less
appealing to eat, especially if you are selling
them or giving them away to friends!
What Leafminers look like:
Eggs: We are small, round white bunches of
eggs, and live on the undersides of leaves.
Larvae: We do most of the damage. We are
light green maggots that live in (and eat!)
leaves. We make curvy, winding tunnels in
leaves, so sometimes it looks like we are
drawing on leaves.
Adults: We are small, black and yellow flies,
and we lay eggs under leaves of plants.
Photo Credit: Central Science
Laboratory, Harpenden Archive,
British Crown
26
How to control Leafminers:
• Remove the leaves that show the first signs
of “tunnels” before they spread.
• You can use your hands to rub the
Leafminer eggs off of the undersides of
leaves.
• Use row cover (see Glossary, page 44) to
stop adults from laying eggs under leaves.
• Most plants can still live with damage
from Leafminers, but keep plants healthy
with regular water and compost or organic
fertilizer (see Glossary, page 44).
Photo Credit: Howard F. Schwartz,
Colorado State University
27
Mexican Bean Beetles
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Any kind of beans
Why am I bad?
I hide on the undersides of leaves and chew
on leaves, making the leaves look like lace.
What Mexican Bean Beetles look like:
Eggs: We are tiny and yellow and live close to
each other on bean plants.
Larvae: When we hatch from our eggs, we
are fat orange grubs with little spikes on our
backs.
Adults: We are pale yellow or light brown
beetles with black dots on our backs.
Sometimes people think we look like Lady
Beetles (page 41), so make sure that I am a
Mexican Bean Beetle before squishing me!
Photo Credit: Central Science
Laboratory, Harpenden
Archive, British Crown
28
How to control Mexican Bean Beetles:
• Use your hands to pick beetles off plants,
then drop the beetles in soapy water or squish
them.
• You can also use your hands to rub the
eggs off of the undersides of leaves.
• After you pick the beetles off the plants,
spray the plants with the Garlic and Chili
Pepper Spray (see page 46).
• Try planting herbs or flowers in the same
rows with the beans to attract good bugs
that will eat the beetles (see Pollen & Nectar
Producing Plants list, page 48).
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University
29
Slugs
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Many vegetables and flowers
Many seedlings!
Why am I bad?
I eat large holes in the leaves of big plants,
and both the leaves and stems of seedlings.
What Slugs look like:
Eggs: We look like little piles of white jelly
balls, and usually live under rocks or logs.
Adults: We look like snails without the shell,
and we are gray, black, brown, or green. We
leave slimy silver trails wherever we go!
Photo Credit: Cheryl
Moorehead, Insect Images
30
How to control Slugs:
• The best way to get rid of slugs is with your
hands. Look for slugs in areas that are dark
and cool (under rocks or logs), and drop slugs
into a bucket of salt water or soapy water.
• Since slugs love dark and cool places,
remove all hiding places (pieces of wood,
stones, trash cans) from your garden. You can
also spray these areas in the morning with
white vinegar.
• Beer! Put small bowls or tops from old jars
near plants that are being eaten and fill with
beer. Slugs will climb in and drown.
Photo Credit: Gary Bernon, USDA APHIS
31
Squash Bugs
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Winter Squash
Cucumbers
Pumpkins
Why am I bad?
I suck plant juices from vine crops. After I suck
all of the juices out of a plant, the leaves and
vines turn black and die.
What Squash Bugs look like:
Eggs: We live in shiny yellow bunches on the
undersides of leaves.
Nymphs: We do most of the damage. We are
light green or gray with flat backs. Usually
it looks like we are covered with a white
powder.
Adults: We also do a lot of damage. We are
a dark brown or black color with flat backs. If
you look closely, you will see tiny dark hairs all
over our bodies.
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw,
Colorado State University
32
How to control Squash Bugs:
• Use your hands to take any Squash Bugs
or eggs off of your plants and squish them!
Make sure to look under the leaves.
• Use trellises or stakes to keep vines off of
the ground.
• Try planting Pollen & Nectar Producing
Plants to attract good bugs that will eat
Squash Bugs (see list, page 48).
Photo Credit: Ruth Hazzard, UMASS
33
Thrips
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Many Vegetable Plants
Why am I bad?
I leave brown or white marks on leaves or
fruit. Some people think these marks look like
scars.
What Thrips look like:
Adults: We are thin and tiny bugs! We are
usually so small and dark that many people
never see us. They only see the damage we
cause.
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw,
Colorado State University
34
How to control Thrips:
• Try spraying plants with a strong stream of
water to knock the Thrips off of plants.
• Keep plants healthy and watered! Thrips
will not cause a lot of damage to strong and
healthy plants.
• If the Thrips start causing a lot of damage
to your plants (leaves falling off or fruit
rotting), try using Safer Insecticidal Soap on
plants.
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University
35
Tomato Hornworms
bad bug!
Favorite Plants:
Tomatoes
Peppers
Eggplants
Potatoes
Why am I bad?
I eat small stems and whole leaves. Sometimes
I even bite large holes in green tomatoes.
What Tomato Hornworms look like:
Eggs: We are smooth, round, light green eggs
and we live on the tops of leaves.
Larvae: We are one of the biggest caterpillars
you will see in the garden. Our slanted stripes
and dark spots make it hard for you to find
us, but when you do see us, you will see the
big horn at our rear end.
Photo Credit: Susan Ellis, Insect Images
36
How to control Tomato Hornworms:
• If a lot of whole leaves are being eaten,
look for Hornworms. Large black droppings
on the ground under tomato plants usually
mean that Hornworms are eating your plants.
• Use your hands to pick Hornworms off
plants and squish them or drop them in a
bucket of soapy water.
• Plant Pollen & Nectar Producing Plants
(page 48) to attract Braconid Wasps (page
38). The larvae of Braconid Wasps grow on
the Hornworms and eat them!
• After you harvest all of the tomatoes and
pull out the plants, tilling the soil will kill most
baby Hornworms.
• For farmers working on larger fields, Bt can
also be used on young Tomato Hornworms
as a last resort. (See Glossary for more info on
Bt, page 44).
37
Assassin Bugs
good bug!
Favorite Bad Bugs:
Flies
Caterpillars
Why am I good?
I eat many different bad bugs. I come out to
the garden in June and stay all summer.
What Assassin Bugs look like:
We are flat, brown bugs with long, narrow
heads. If you look closely, you might see our
curving beaks.
How to attract Assassin Bugs:
• Assassin Bugs naturally live in most chemicalfree gardens: the less pesticides or sprays you
use, the more Assassin Bugs you will see in your
garden.
Photo Credit: Joseph Berger,
Insect Images
38
Braconid Wasps
good bug!
Favorite Bad Bugs:
Aphids
Tomato Hornworm
Why am I good?
I lay eggs in bad bugs, and my larvae eat
these bad bugs from the inside as they grow
bigger!
What Braconid Wasps look like:
We are small wasps, but we don’t sting. We
are black or brown, and have a skinny middle
section. Our larvae look like little white tubes,
and grow attached to bad bugs!
How to attract Braconid Wasps:
• Plant Pollen & Nectar Producing Plants in your
garden (page 48).
In the picture below, Braconid Wasp larvae are growing
on (and eating!) a Tomato Hornworm.
Photo Credit: David Cappaert,
Michigan State University
Photo Credit: David Cappaert,
Michigan State University
39
Damsel Bugs
good bug!
Favorite Bad Bugs:
Aphids
Leafhoppers
Caterpillars
Thrips
Why am I good?
I eat many different bad bugs and stay in the
fields during the winter.
What Damsel Bugs look like:
We are fast moving and we have long bodies.
We are a dull brown or black color.
How to attract Damsel Bugs:
• Damsel Bugs really love to live near alfalfa
fields. So plant some alfalfa! Or if you know
where alfalfa is planted, take a butterfly net,
scoop up some Damsel Bugs, and bring them
back to your garden plot!
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw,
Colorado State University
40
Lacewings
good bug!
Favorite Bad Bugs:
Aphids
Mites
Eggs of Bad Bugs
Why am I good?
I eat many different bad bugs and I am easy
to attract to the garden.
What Lacewings look like:
Eggs: We live on stems. A flexible stalk or
string attaches us to plant stems, and we
blow in the wind.
Adults: We are thin and long with a bright
green body and see-through wings.
How to attract Lacewings:
• Plant Pollen & Nectar Producing Plants in your
garden (page 48).
Photo Credit: Sonya Broughton,
Department of Agriculture & Food,
Western Australia
41
Lady Beetles (Ladybugs)
good bug!
Favorite Bad Bugs:
Aphids
Mealybugs
Spider mites
Why am I good?
I eat many different bad bugs and I can be
easily attracted to fields with Pollen & Nectar
Producing Plants (see list, page 48).
What Lady Beetles look like:
Eggs: We are little bunches of yellow or white
eggs. We live on top of, or under, leaves.
Larvae: We look like mini-alligators because of
our long, black, spiny backs. We eat a lot of
bad bugs in the garden.
Adults: There are many different kinds of
good Lady Beetles, but most of us are shiny
red or orange with black dots on our backs.
How to attract Lady Beetles:
• Plant Pollen & Nectar Producing Plants (page
48).
Photo Credit: Johnny N. Dell,
Insect Images
42
Praying Mantids
good bug!
Favorite Bad Bugs:
All bad bugs.
Why am I good?
I eat all bad bugs! I actually eat any bug I can
catch, even other Praying Mantids!
What Praying Mantids look like:
We are long, skinny, green bugs with big,
bright green eyes. We have really long arms
and legs. Our front arms are extra long and
bent and make us look like we are praying.
How to attract Praying Mantids:
• Avoid using chemicals.
• Try planting perennials or permanent
plantings around the edges of your farm or
garden plot. Praying Mantids like to live in these
areas during the winter.
Photo Credit: Chris Horne, Insect Images
43
Soldier Beetles
good bug!
Favorite Bad Bugs:
Aphids
Cucumber Beetles
Why am I good?
I eat many different bad bugs. I really love to
live near plantings of goldenrod, milkweed,
catnip or hydrangeas.
What Soldier Beetles look like:
Larvae: We usually have a red head and a
dark, flat body.
Adults: We look a lot like the larvae Soldier
Beetles, but sometimes you might notice that
our backs look shiny like leather.
How to attract Soldier Beetles:
• Try planting goldenrod, hydrangeas, catnip or
milkweed in your garden.
Photo Credit: Jim Occi, BugPics
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GLOSSARY
Bt
Bt stands for Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacteria
that lives in soil. It is used on large organic
farms as a liquid spray to kill bad bugs, but
is not used very much on small garden plots.
Bt will kill insects only in the larva stage, so it
is only good for killing some kinds of bugs.
There are many different kinds of Bt, so make
sure to talk to a gardening expert or a farmer
that has used it before trying it on your own
plot. And make sure to follow the directions
carefully!
Row Cover
Row cover is a material that covers plants,
keeping them warmer and also stopping bad
bugs from eating plants and laying their eggs.
It is sometimes called garden fabric, garden
blanket, or Reemay. Row cover can be used
in the spring and the fall to keep plants warm
at night, and to protect plants from bad bugs.
Organic Fertilizer
Fertilizer gives your plants extra nutrients so
that they can grow healthy. Organic fertilizers
are made only from other plants or animals,
not from chemicals. Most gardening stores
sell many different kinds, but a good organic
fertilizer to use is one made from fish waste
(fish emulsion). Make sure to follow the
directions, because too much fertilizer can
attract bad bugs to your plants, or can “burn”
plants and make them die!
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Bug Control Tips
• Keep notes of what is happening in your
garden and what you use for getting rid of
pests. Using your notes from year to year will
help you identify the first signs of bug trouble
and stop them from turning into major
problems.
• Crop rotation means that you grow plants
in your garden in different places each year.
Moving your plants around can trick bad bugs
by making them have to find their favorite
plants each year. It will also make sure that
the same kinds of plants will not take the
same nutrients from the soil year after year.
• Organic pesticides or sprays are still poisons:
they can kill both bad and good bugs. Use
them carefully!
• The spray recipes are best to use early in the
morning or late in the afternoon. Bad bugs
are hard at work at these times, and plants
will not be tired from the heat. Do not use the
sprays on windy or rainy days.
• Keeping your garden clean is very
important! Bugs can live and hide under piles
of weeds, bricks, logs, or wooden boards.
Get rid of these hiding places.
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RECIPES
Garlic and Chili Pepper Spray
Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when
mixing and spraying!
1. Crush 6 cloves of fresh garlic.
2. In a glass jar, mix the garlic with 1
tablespoon of powdered cayenne pepper and
1 quart of warm water.
3. Put the cover on the glass jar and shake it.
(Wear gloves and eye protection!!)
4. Keep the cover on the jar and put it in a
sunny spot (inside or outside) for 2 or 3 days.
5. Strain the mixture through a coffee filter
or cheesecloth into a spray bottle.
6. The spray works best if used in the
morning (after you water). Spray plants well
and make sure to spray under the leaves.
Everything Spray
1. Chop or grind up 1 whole garlic bulb and
1 small onion.
2. In a glass jar, add 1 teaspoon of powdered
cayenne pepper, the chopped up garlic and
onion, and 1 quart water.
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RECIPES continued
3. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour.
4. Strain the mixture through a coffee filter or
cheesecloth into a large spray bottle.
5. After the mixture is strained, add 1
tablespoon of liquid soap and mix well.
6. Use this spray in the morning (after you
water) and make sure to spray the plants
everywhere, especially under the leaves!
7. Any extra Everything Spray can be kept for
up to 1 week in a labeled, covered container
in your refrigerator. After 1 week, throw away
any extra spray.
Soap Spray
1. Mix 2 tablespoons of liquid soap and 1
quart of water in a spray bottle.
2. Spray plants well, and make sure to spray
under the leaves.
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PLANT YOUR WAY TO A
HEALTHY GARDEN!
POLLEN & NECTAR PRODUCING PLANTS
(We attract good bugs!)
Yarrow Alfalfa
Goldenrod Daisies
Dill Parsley
Sunflowers Zinnias
Marigolds Calendula
Coriander Fennel
Hollyhocks Anise
Morning Glory Angelica
Lemon Balm White Clover
COMPANION PLANTING
Many vegetable and fruit growers believe
that planting different vegetables and herbs
together can attract good bugs and repel
bad bugs…and even make some crops taste
better! A good book about companion
planting is Carrots Love Tomatoes, by Louise
Riotte. Some examples of companion
plantings:
• Basil planted with Tomatoes will help keep
away aphids.
• Marigolds will help keep away many
different bad bugs like Mexican Bean Beetles.
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Information:
Southside Community Land Trust
109 Somerset Street, Providence, Rhode Island
www.southsideclt.org
401-273-9419
Informational brochures, workshops, and staff who
can recommend where to find products and how
to solve bug problems.
University of Rhode Island
Master Gardener Program
www.urimga.org
1-800-448-1011
(Master Gardener Hotline)
Experts who can answer many different questions
about plants, bugs, and gardening.
Northeastern Organic Farming Association
(NOFA) RI
www.nofari.org
401-523-2653
Experts who can answer many different questions
about plants, bugs, and gardening.
RHODE ISLAND RESOURCES
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Supplies:
Adler’s Hardware
173 Wickenden St., Providence, Rhode Island
www.adlersri.com
401-421-5157
Organic fertilizers, potting soil and mulches,
Insecticidal Soap and more.
Arlington Farm & Pet Supply
5 Depot Avenue, Cranston, Rhode Island
401-942-6720
Straw mulch, organic fertilizers, Insecticidal Soap,
Bt and more.
Gillette’s Home and Garden Center
716 South County Trail, Exeter, Rhode Island
401-295-2770
Organic fertilizers, Insecticidal Soap, row cover, Bt
and more.
The Good Earth Organic Gardening Center
1800 Scituate Avenue, Cranston, Rhode Island
www.goodearthorganicgardencenter.com
401-826-3130
Organic compost, potting soil, mulches and
fertilizers, as well as Insecticidal Soaps, Bt, and much
more.
RHODE ISLAND RESOURCES
NOTES