by Laura Schumm, community Kitchen Garden research Intern, Lewis Ginter botanical Garden; photos by Brian Vick, ar Kitchen Garden Coordinator


Ladybugs (beneficial insects) lay little yellow eggs. Mexican bean beetles (pests), a close loved one to ladybugs, carry out too. The eggs look an extremely similar. As soon as the larvae flower it is much simpler to call the difference between the two.

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There has actually been a big amount of insect task here in the ar Kitchen Garden this year in ~ Lewis Ginter, partly because of the too much heat this summer and the mild winter temperatures. As soon as combating pests in your garden, it is vital to observe and also identify first. The an excellent news is the the presence of insect pests in your garden will normally bring useful insects too, these space the good guys. It’s necessary to discover the difference between the pests and the beneficials for this reason you deserve to treat because that the poor bugs and leave the great ones alone.


Tiny ladybug larvae flower from the little yellow eggs.

There are so many reliable resources obtainable today, so identify insect pests is the simple part. The Lora Robins Library at Lewis Ginter botanical Garden has many books dedicated to the subject of garden pests. The Virginia cooperative Extension firm is additionally a wonderful resource, and also don’t forget about your other gardeners and local farmers. Be cautious when making use of the internet for bug identification; If friend do, stick through one of many universities have actually entomology departments with good websites that are an extremely reliable.

Here in the CKG, the vine borers, cucumber beetles, and also squash bugs have actually been roughly for month now, but we newly had numerous other insects invade the garden. End the last few weeks we have identified countless other pests choose aphids, sheet footed bugs, Mexican bean beetles, tomato hornworms, harlequin bugs, cross striped cabbage worms, cabbage loopers, and also imported cabbage worms. The presence of these pests has actually attracted beneficials like ladybugs, lace wings, soldier beetles, and also predatory wasps. The beneficial insects food on or parasitize the insect insects. For instance ladybugs love come feast top top aphids, and small parasitic wasps lay your eggs ~ above the backs of tomato hornworms. The wasp lays its eggs on the hornworm, together the egg hatch the wasp larvae eat the hornworm, death it in the process.


This photo shows helminth wasp cocoons on a hornworm, if you see this in your garden leave it be so the the wasps hatch and also the process can start again.

Once you have actually positively figured out the insects in your garden, girlfriend can choose the many effective and least hazardous treatment. In the CKG we usage Bacillus thuringiensis(Bt), i beg your pardon is a naturally emerging bacteria the is offered as an necessary pesticide and it does no kill helpful insects. We additionally use aromatic herbs such together basil and dill together companion plants to shot to deter insect pests in the very first place. Avoid large spectrum pesticides that kill all insects, consisting of beneficials. The ladybugs, bees, and even the wasps room our friends, and our gardens require them come flourish.


Leaffooted an insect eggs are laid in a right line. This insect is a pest, and also the eggs need to be removed manually. Hands-on removal stays clear of the egg from hatching and need for insecticide treatment.

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Laura is the community Kitchen Garden Horticulturist at Lewis Ginter factory Garden. Once she"s not functioning in vegetable garden, she enjoys spending her days at the river and also checking out every one of the brand-new restaurants the Richmond food scene has to offer.