Solutions by Insect Name

Search this table for your insect, then by the types of crops they affect, in order to determine potential solutions.
Insect NameCrops They AffectDamageSolutions
AphidsCabbage family (Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, etc.)Aphid-covered foliage, leaves deformedSpray with water, Floating row cover as physical barrier, insecticidal soap labeled for aphid control, let ladybugs and green lacewings eat them!
Apple codling mothsApples, pearsHole visible in fruit, sometimes on side of fruit or near blossom end of fruit; worm in apple; frass often visibleApple maggot barriers, Spinosad spray, kaolin clay + water spray, attractants. Also indicator traps to determine when the moths are active.
Asparagus beetlesAsparagus ferns and spearsDeformed spears, yellowing fern foliageHand-picking
Blister beetlesCalendula (edible flower) and othersEat flower petalsHand-picking
Cabbage wormsCabbage family (Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, etc.)Holes in leaves, also in broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower heads.Hand-picking, Bt var. kurstaki, floating row cover as a physical barrier, tulle netting as a physical barrier to prevent cabbage butterfly from laying eggs.
Cherry fruit flies, WesternCherriesHole in fruit, small white maggots inside fruitSpinosad spray. Also indicator traps to determine when the flies are active
Colorado potato beetles and larvaeNightshade family crops (Potato, tomato, pepper, eggplant, tomatillo)Chewed foliage, orange tubular eggs on leaf undersidesBt var. tenebrionis
Corn earwormsCornChewed corn silks, worm in earPlace drops of mineral oil on corn silks where they go into the ear to smother eggs laid there
CutwormsSmall tender seedlings (cucumbers, squash, cabbage family seedlings, etc.)Wilted plant, chew marks on stem at or below soil surfacePaper collars around seedlings, monitor frequently for signs and hand-pick, diatomaceous earth at base of seedlings' stem
EarwigsCorn, peppers, tree fruits such as apricots, peaches and plums, sometimes strawberriesChewed corn kernels, damage to the insides of peppers, chewing damage to soft fruits along with frassClean up garden debris or nearby boards that they hide under during the day. Try cardboard or newspaper traps.
Fungus GnatsHouseplants, seedlingsThere are a nuisance indoors, although they can chew on plant roots and spread root diseasesSticky traps
Leaf MinersBeet family (beets, spinach, Swiss chard)Wiggly lines through plants' leaves, clear "window" in leavesFloating row cover for entire season
Pillbugs, sowbugYoung seedlings, primarily in the Cabbage family (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.) and the Cucurbit family (cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash)Chewed stems, which can kill the seedlingsSprinkle diatomaceous earth around base of main stem, hand-picking from bothered plants
Root WeevilsStrawberries, along with ornamentals such as peonies, lilacs and rhododendronsNotched leaf margins (not leaf holes)Hand-picking at night, parasitic nematodes
SlugsMany plants such as lettuce, spinach, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, hostasHoles in leaves, slime trailsOrganic slug bait, copper bands or tape, beer traps, hand-picking, diatomaceous earth
Spotted Wing Drosophilacherries, peaches, plums, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberriesMaggots in fruit, fruit flies in areaCreate a monitoring trap (refer to information sheet for details)
Stink bugs, Brown Marmorated and GreenArtichokes, tomatoes, small fruits.Holes, deformed growth, frass.Hand-picking, stink bug traps, control weeds in and around your garden area. Try planting "trap crops" of sunflowers or legumes to draw the stinkbugs away from susceptible plants.
Tent Caterpillars, WesternApples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries, aspens, roses"Tents" of webbing that encompass branchesPrimarily aesthetic problem, trim off affected branches
Tomato hornwormsNightshade family (tomato, potato, pepper, eggplant, tomatillo -- but mostly tomato)Chewed tomatoes (or other fruits of Nightshade family crops), chewed leavesHand-picking, Bt var. kurstaki
WhitefliesTender new plants from nurseries (sometimes), grapes, tomatoes, rhododendrons, some cabbage family crops, also greenhouse plants.Leaves may become mottled due to whiteflies' sucking activities. Clouds of whiteflies when plant disturbed.Sticky traps
WirewormsRoots of vegetable and fruit crops, also feed on seedsWilting foliage when plants' roots are being chewed on, poor seed germination esp. on large-seeded cropsNatural traps using potato chunks (read page on Wireworms for details)

Back to Organic Pest Control