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Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/24/2017, 3:28 pm

Great website, thanks, Beetles!
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My hopes of not using pesticides are not looking good! :-(

Post  brianj555 on 9/24/2017, 4:35 pm

Ok, so I go out to look for friendly mr. Poopy caterpillar, and try to find the stink bug to encourage him to take a soapy bath, I noticed these.

Are these bad too?
Below: I saw an example this the day I noticed the leaf footed nymphs, when I was trying to identify them on google.  But I can't remember what this is, but I think it's bad too!pale

So now I have noticed these two new things, on top of the leaf footed nymphs, stink bugs and caterpillars.Sad  See my property backs up to the woods. (See top pick above) I guess that's why my SFG is a variable critter zoo!  Based on all of this, is it time to use an eco friendly ( if there is such a thing) pesticide???  If so, what do you guys recommend I get?  If not, what do y'all think I should do ?
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 9/24/2017, 7:01 pm

The little fly is beneficial. Here is a similar fly (might be the same species, might not - there's a bunch of them that are hard to tell apart):
http://bugguide.net/node/view/1005724/bgimage

It fly belongs to the Long-Legged Family of flies (Dolichopodidae). Of this family, Kaufman's Field Guide to Insects of North America says, "These flies are predators, especially on mites, aphids, and smaller flies."
----
The second photo shows damage by a leaf-miner of some sort. Since that's a tomato, it's probably the larvae of a fly in the Liriomyza genus. The adults look like yellow and black fruit flies. At the wider end of each trail there will either be a maggot, or an exit hole where the larva has dropped to the ground to hide and pupate into an adult. You can follow the trails and squash each maggot inside the leaf. I don't know how well pesticides work on these because they are protected inside the leaf - they are eating the layer between the leaf's upper and lower skin, so pesticides don't directly get on them.
----   
I love my critter zoo... I use manual control methods, and get help from beneficial critters - but it's tedious and time consumptive, and I know not everyone has the time (particularly for a larger garden) or patience or tolerance of being close to creep-crawlies to do it. You will never have a perfect garden outdoors, the question is, how much damage is 'too much.' A single stinkbug and one caterpillar wouldn't alarm me. A single brood of leaf-footed bug nymph is more concerning, but still something you can probably deal with by hand. None of these is really an infestation.

There are pesticides that are considered Organic because they are derived from natural sources. But most still aren't selective, and kill both good and bag bugs. The risks are that you may also kill your pollinators and predators - and the predator populations take longer to recover than the prey. The closest thing to Eco-safe is Bt for caterpillars because it's specific to them, and they have to eat it for it to affect them. But for just one pile of poop, I don't think it's worth the effort.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/24/2017, 7:53 pm

Thanks beetles.  I read online that I should remove the leaves that the leaf miners had infested .  Do you agree?  The article said removing the leaves they were in would help to prevent them from multilying so much and most importantly, from laying eggs. I did remove some of the more riddled leaves , but by no means removed them all.  My plants would more closely resemble co-jack if I removed every leaf that had a trace.  I'm just sorry I didn't take action sooner.  Good to hear about that fly.  Thanks again for all your help.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/25/2017, 8:40 am

Do adult leaf miners actually look similar to bees?  I was looking at google images of them.  I'm not sure if they had pictures of bumble bees mixed in or if they actually look that closely to one another.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 9/25/2017, 9:32 am

Removing the leaves will remove the maggots. The maggots don't lay eggs until they become adult flies. Any adults that are flying around will still be laying eggs in the leaves, so you would need to continue to be vigilant even if you had removed all the tunneled leaves. If you can find the maggots inside the leaves at the wider end of the tunnels and squish them inside the leaf, that will kill the maggots without needing to remove the whole leaf - tedious, but I figure that way that plant still has some use of the leaf instead of none. A leaf can have multiple maggots.

Not knowing what search terms you used I'll add that there are a lot of different leaf miners, each with different host plants - some grown up to be moths, different kinds of flies, and some grow up to be beetles. There's a leaf-cutter bee that looks somewhat bumblebee-ish that could have gotten in to your search results. But
"look similar" is one of those subjective things... the adult-form of the insect I'm referring to looks like yellow/black fruit flies to me - they might look bumblebee-ish because of that, but they aren't fuzzy, and are much much smaller - only a few millimeters. The maggots inside the leaves look like ... slightly translucent yellowish-green fly maggots. Here's an info page that has pictures and more information about the leaf miner I think your tomatoes have:
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/a_serpentine_leafminer.htm
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/25/2017, 4:16 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Removing the leaves will remove the maggots. The maggots don't lay eggs until they become adult flies. Any adults that are flying around will still be laying eggs in the leaves, so you would need to continue to be vigilant even if you had removed all the tunneled leaves. If you can find the maggots inside the leaves at the wider end of the tunnels and squish them inside the leaf, that will kill the maggots without needing to remove the whole leaf - tedious, but I figure that way that plant still has some use of the leaf instead of none. A leaf can have multiple maggots.

Not knowing what search terms you used I'll add that there are a lot of different leaf miners, each with different host plants - some grown up to be moths, different kinds of flies, and some grow up to be beetles. There's a leaf-cutter bee that looks somewhat bumblebee-ish that could have gotten in to your search results. But
"look similar" is one of those subjective things... the adult-form of the insect I'm referring to looks like yellow/black fruit flies to me - they might look bumblebee-ish because of that, but they aren't fuzzy, and are much much smaller - only a few millimeters. The maggots inside the leaves look like ... slightly translucent yellowish-green fly maggots. Here's an info page that has pictures and more information about the leaf miner I think your tomatoes have:
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/a_serpentine_leafminer.htm
Would you recommend my making sticky traps for the adults or would that take out too many beneficials?  Your Opinion?  It almost seems like that wouldn't be a whole lot different than using pesticides.  I'm assuming bee's and other flying beneficials would be just as attracted to the paper as the adult leaf miners.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 9/25/2017, 5:28 pm

@brianj555 wrote:Would you recommend my making sticky traps for the adults or would that take out too many beneficials?  Your Opinion?  It almost seems like that wouldn't be a whole lot different than using pesticides.  I'm assuming bee's and other flying beneficials would be just as attracted to the paper as the adult leaf miners.
I haven't tried the cards outside. I've used commercial ones inside for fungus gnats, but switched to yellow plastic caps from peanut containers with a thin layer of -- hm, can't recall if I used vasoline or olive oil...but it worked nearly as well as the commercial traps, with the advantage that I could wipe them clean and reuse them. Yellow index cards smeared with vasoline didn't work for me for the fungus gnats.

Sticky cards are much easier to remove than a pesticide, don't drip into the soil, cover a smaller surface area, and you aren't putting something that is potentially toxic into/onto your food. (Nor would trapped bees be bringing toxins back to the hive, thereby keeping the baby bee grubs safe even if you do accidentally trap a few adult bees.) I'm not sure what the rate of attraction would be for beneficial insects. You could put a few out and if they seem to be doing more harm than good, remove them. Put them about 12 inches off the ground, rather than up where your tomato flowers (and thus your pollinators) probably are.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/25/2017, 5:52 pm

All good points. And I don't think if I tried the lid with olive oil it would attract the bees quite like a sugary honey solution either.  Although speaking of, I wonder if placing lids in the ground with corn syrup, molasses or the like would trap them as opposed to making a sticky trap?  I wonder if the flys would "check in" and not be able to "check out"?  I certainly wouldn't want to attract more of them in for a yummy meal and them use it like a drive through.Shocked
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/25/2017, 6:43 pm


Trying this.  Lid is inverted with a small hole in the cap.  Corn syrup, molasses and water mixture inside.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/26/2017, 4:33 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:... I've used commercial ones inside for fungus gnats, but switched to yellow plastic caps from peanut containers with a thin layer of -- hm, can't recall if I used vasoline or olive oil...but it worked nearly as well as the commercial traps, with the advantage that I could wipe them clean and reuse them.

What a fab idea!
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/28/2017, 6:17 pm

What critter is doing this??? I just keep finding new critters, it seems like I have more bad than good!No

I did see a wasp today.  First one.  That's good right?
I also have lots of what we call "daddy long leg" spiders in there.  Is that good?
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  yolos on 9/28/2017, 8:20 pm

@brianj555 wrote:What critter is doing this??? I just keep finding new critters, it seems like I have more bad than good!No

I did see a wasp today.  First one.  That's good right?
I also have lots of what we call "daddy long leg" spiders in there.  Is that good?
I have had bean foilage look just like that.  The cut pieces of leaves that are folded over are usually hiding small caterpillars within the folds.  I used BT to kill the caterpillars.  You also have leaf miners.  See the right hand leaf with the squiggly lines.  Not bad enough to do any thing about them.  Maybe pick that leaf off the plant.??????
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/28/2017, 8:58 pm

@yolos wrote:
@brianj555 wrote:What critter is doing this??? I just keep finding new critters, it seems like I have more bad than good!No

I did see a wasp today.  First one.  That's good right?
I also have lots of what we call "daddy long leg" spiders in there.  Is that good?
I have had bean foilage look just like that.  The cut pieces of leaves that are folded over are usually hiding small caterpillars within the folds.  I used BT to kill the caterpillars.  You also have leaf miners.  See the right hand leaf with the squiggly lines.  Not bad enough to do any thing about them.  Maybe pick that leaf off the plant.??????
Ok. Do you recommend bt over neem?  I got a couple pics of caterpillars I found today on the caterpillar good or bad thread also.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  yolos on 9/28/2017, 10:13 pm

I have not used neem for caterpillars.  I always use BT or just go around and squish each folded over leaf.  But I am sure others have used neem so they may put their 2 cents in here.  make sure you shoot the BT or neem inside the fold of the leaves in order to get the caterpillar.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  sanderson on 9/28/2017, 10:50 pm

With all the pieces of leaves left, I'm thinking frisky birds or cats.  My cat loved bean leaves.

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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 9/29/2017, 12:16 am

@brianj555 wrote:What critter is doing this??? I just keep finding new critters, it seems like I have more bad than good!No

I did see a wasp today.  First one.  That's good right?
I also have lots of what we call "daddy long leg" spiders in there.  Is that good?
As yolos has has said - caterpillars. These are also known as Bean Leaf Rollers. If left, they would likely become Longtail Skipper Butterflies: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/bean/bean_leafroller.htm
It looks like there are too many for your plant to support, so some (or all) of them need to go. I recommend bt over neem, it's more specific about what it kills. And, as yolos says, you will need to get under the folds with the bt -- or just dispatch each caterpillar in it's tent by hand since it's clear that's where they are.

Yes, wasps are beneficial to have visiting your garden. Many eat caterpillars, some eat other bugs, some are pollinators. The skipper caterpillars use their folded leaf nests to hide from predators like wasps.

"Daddy long leg spiders" is used as a common name for at least two different creatures. I think you probably mean the harvestmen which aren't truly spiders (I grew up with the daddy long leg spiders name for these, too.) They are not bad -- mostly scavengers - I've seen them eating overripe blackberries and dead insects.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/122329/bgimage
(The other daddy long legs is a type of long-legged house spider that is also called a cellar spider: http://bugguide.net/node/view/1345596/bgimage )
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/29/2017, 9:12 am

I picked off 20+ of the leaf rollers this morning.  I was amazed to see the their was a tiny caterpillar under 8/10 of these folds.  I really appreciate you guy's alerting me to the fact that they were under there.  I would have never figured that out on my own.  Thanks yolos, sanderson and bettles.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  sanderson on 9/29/2017, 7:59 pm

Actually, the thanks go to Yolos and Beetles. I thought those were pieces of tattered leaves. Embarassed

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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/29/2017, 8:35 pm

Yay! Stupid bug damage averted!
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/29/2017, 9:08 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Yay! Stupid bug damage averted!
I hope it will help .  Nine hours later when I returned from work, I found another 10 to 15 of them. As a result, I Broke down and sprayed BT on them. I only sprayed the green bean plants to test my mixture. If they aren't harmed, I will spray the tomatoes next.
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Leaf Rollers - Green Bean plants

Post  brianj555 on 9/30/2017, 11:25 am

As I mentioned above, I sprayed BT on my Green Bean plants because they looked like this. 

After spraying last night, they looked like this this morning!

Already seems to have a significant impact!Laughing
One critter slowed down or either down! Several more to go though!
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/30/2017, 11:38 am

Good or Bad?


I have a lot of those spiders.  This is the first I've noticed of the bug.  I am aware of the leaf rollers, although I'm still not very sure how to handle them.  I have pulled a lot of the leaves that were riddled , but I still have many more with not so much traffic on them.
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 9/30/2017, 1:54 pm

On your miner-riddled bean leaves is one of the harvestmen - they are good: mostly scavengers, possibly occasionally predatory.

Your lower photo is a good guy, a predator. Looks like a Milkweed Assassin Bug:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/1342691/bgimage
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Re: Bug/Pest Identification....Help!

Post  brianj555 on 9/30/2017, 7:41 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:On your miner-riddled bean leaves is one of the harvestmen - they are good: mostly scavengers, possibly occasionally predatory.

Your lower photo is a good guy, a predator. Looks like a Milkweed Assassin Bug:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/1342691/bgimage
Thanks beetles
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