SQUASH VINE BORER (Melittta cucurbitae).
Responsible for sudden wilting
of squash and pumpkin vines east of the Rocky Mountains, sometimes infesting cucumbers, gourds, melons. The position of the thick,
white, wrinkled caterpillar in the stem is indicated by masses of yellow-
green frass pushed out through holes. Winter is spent as a cocoon in the
soil and wasplike moths lay their eggs on stems, leaf stalks, and blossoms
early in summer.
Control. Kill the borer in place with a knife, and heap earth over stem
joints to encourage new roots. Dust vines with rotenone starting in June;
beware of using DDT or sulfur on squash. Clean up plant debris in
autumn, burning it or spading under deeply.
SULK BORER (Papaipema nebris).
The brownish caterpillar, just over an
inch long, tunnels in stems of aster, cosmos, dahlia, delphinium,
goldenglow, hollyhock, lily, peony, phlox, zinnia, and other ornamentals.
The brownish-gray moth lays eggs on ragweed and other weeds.
Control. Clean up garden in the fall, getting rid of weeds. Spray or dust
stalks of plants most likely to be infested with DDT or chlordane.
Almost all garden pests are commonly called bugs; technically the name
belongs to members of the insect order Hemiptera, which means half-
winged. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts like aphids, but their
wings have the upper part thickened and only the lower part membranous and the wings when at rest are folded flat over the back instead
of being in a rooflike position. Lace bugs and the various plant bugs
injure many ornamentals, chinch bugs ruin lawns, squash bugs and stink
bugs like vegetables.
APPLE RED BUG (Lygidea mendax).
Small, dark-red bugs, 1/4 inch long,
with orange heads, feed on the new foliage, curling the leaves and
covering them with numerous small, dark sunken spots. The fruit is
pitted or dimpled, woody in texture, often russeted.
Control. A dormant oil spray and nicotine sulfate added to early sprays
for codling moth are fairly effective.
BOXELDER BUG (Leptocoris trivittatus).
The nymphs are bright red, the
adults dark gray with 3 red stripes on the thorax and red veins on
the wings. They feed on flowers and fruit of boxelder and sometimes ash
in summer and swarm into houses in fall. They are more of a nuisance
in the Middle West and West.
Control. Spray with chlordane; or cut down the pistillate, seed-bearing,
CHINCH BUG (Blissus leucopteris) and HAIRY CHINCH BUG (B. hirtui),
damaging to corn and grain crops and to lawn grasses. These are
very small, flat bugs, less than % inch long even as adults. The tiny
nymphs are brick red, then they turn brownish with a white dot or band
and finally acquire the black and white wings of the adult form