Types of Garden Enemies
Nymphs feeding on stems and leaves in their frothy masses distort foliage, cause small and seedy berries. Other spittlebugs are found on grass and garden flowers, even on petunias in a penthouse windowbox; meadow spittlebugs on alfalfa and other crops harass farmers.

Control. For ornamentals, spray or dust with benzene hexachloride or lindane, with DDT dust as a third choice. Dust strawberries with DDT before fruit forms, then with rotenone.

Springtails are in the insect order Collembola, a group of small insects, less than 54 inch long, that have no wings and almost no metamorphosis. They have a forked tail at tip of the abdomen which helps them spring into the air. They live in decaying vegetable matter and seem to worry African violet fanciers who make their potting mixtures partly of leaf- mold or manure.

GARDEN SPRINGTAIL (Bourletiella hortensis)
is a black active species, very small, 1/25 inch, eating holes in leaves of young plants in seedbeds and gardens.

Control. Treating the soil with lindane before planting is effective Saucers and surface of pots can be dusted with chlordane or DDT.

Symphylids usually go by the name of garden centipedes, but they are not true centipedes, having only 12 pairs of legs, and are more troublesome in greenhouses, where they feed on plant roots, than in gardens. Soil treatment with lindane controls these small, white active animals.

Termites are in the insect order Isoptera. They are sometimes called white-ants but can be distinguished from true ants by the broad "waist" where the abdomen is joined to the thorax (Figure 55B). Subterranean termites sometimes injure living trees and shrubs, more often in warm climates. They hollow out the roots and honeycomb stems, causing wilting and death even though the outer stem surface shows no evidence of termites at work. Normally termites feed on decaying wood, including garden stakes and boards edging beds. In regions where termites are a problem, stakes, posts, etc., should be treated with wood preservatives such as copper sulfate, zinc chloride, or copper naphthenate. Red wood posts are quite resistant to termite attack. Infested plants should be removed and the soil drenched with chlordane emulsion. Some chemicals used in termite-proofing house foundations injure shrubs and trees several feet away, but chlordane can be used without killing plants.

Thrips are tiny insects with rasping-sucking mouthparts, gradual metamorphosis. They feed by macerating surface layers of plant cells and sucking up the juices. They belong to the order Thysanoptera, meaning bristle-winged. The membranous part of the wing is reduced to a thin stick, and this is bordered by many stiff hairs (Figure 57). There are a number of species attacking flowers and vegetables, fruits, and shrubs, with the gladiolus thrips probably best known to gardeners.

      (c)2005, common-garden-pests.com