Bug Library

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APHID
Description: Soft-bodies, round or pear-shaped, various colors including yellow, light-green, powder blue and brown, seldom more than 1/8 inch long, some look woody or powdery due to a waxy excretion.
Habitat: Most plants are subject to infestation by aphids of one or more species.
Damage, Symptoms: Sucking of plant juices causes curled or distorted leaves: stunted, possibly dying plants A colorless sweet secretion called honeydew may attract ants and provides a growth medium for black, sooty mold.
Vegetable: They attack most garden crops. Apply malathion or insecticidal soap on foliage to control the insects. Aphids and leafhoppers transmit plant disease; early control is important.
Tree/Shrub: Spray foliage thoroughly (use acephate, malathion or insecticidal soap) with force when aphids become numerous. Repeat as needed. Check for presence of lady beetles and other predators before spraying.
Lawn: Spray grass thoroughly with acephate 15.6% emulsion concentrate (4-1/2 fluid ounces per 1,000 square feet).
Flower: Spray foliage thoroughly with malathion (2 tsp. per gallon of water), acephate (4 tsp. per gallon of water) or insecticidal soap (follow label directions). Repeat treatments may be needed.
ARMYWORM
Description: The larvae of moths, they are 1-1/2 inches long, light tan to dark green or black with white stripes along each side and down the back. Adults (moths) are brownish gray and have a wingspan of 1-1/2 inches.
Habitat: General feeders, they attack all common turf grasses, many vegetables, and flowers.
Damage, Symptoms: Bare, circular areas in lawns may indicate the presence of armyworms. They feed on the blades of grass, making the turf look ragged and bare.
Lawn: Apply carbaryl or chlorpyrifos as sprays or granules. Use 5 to 10 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet.
BAGWORM
Description: Bagworms are unique in that in the caterpillar stage they form spindle-shaped bags around themselves that hang from tree limbs (often looking like pine cones). Only the male changes into a gray moth at adulthood.
Habitat: They feed on many different types of trees and shrubs, but are most often found on junipers.
Damage, Symptoms: In large populations, bagworms consume tree foliage.
Tree/Shrub: Spray foliage (acephate, carbaryl or malathion) thoroughly before June 15. Later sprays are less effective. For late spraying, use Bacillus thuringiensis. Handpicking of bags in winter and early spring will reduce later infestations.
BLISTER BEETLE
Description: Are named for the chemical (cantharidin) that the beetle contains that can cause blisters when applied to the skin. Their coloring ranges from solid black to black with orange or grey stripes. They have narrow bodies and small heads and long antennae. They are roughly 1" in length.
Habitat: Blister beetles are attracted to the nectar and pollen of various types of flowers.
Damage, Symptoms: They cause damage by feeding on flower leaves, nectar and pollen in the adult stage. In the larvae stage they are considered beneficial as they feed on grasshopper eggs.
Flower: Spray foliage with carbaryl 50% wettable powder (2 tablespoons per gallon of water). Repeat treatments may be needed.
BLUEGRASS BILLBUG
Description: Adults vary in color from light olive yellow to reddish brown to black and are from 1/4 to 1/2 inch long with long snouts. The larvae or grubs are white, short, legless, chunky and curved, with a distinctive hard yellow-brown head.
Habitat: Corn, turf and other grasses.
Damage, Symptoms: When larvae hatch, they feed inside the stem. Outgrowing that they move to the soil and attack roots and crowns of plants often leaving a sawdust-like trash on the soil surface. Adults feed on stems and foliage leaving a series of transverse holes in leaves, and a ripped or shredded stem.
Lawn: Apply chlorpyrifos as a spray in spring to lawn damaged in previous year. Drench at high rate in July if damage is observed.
BOXELDER BUG
Description: About 1/2" long and gray with red lines behind the head and on the wings.
Habitat: Nest on various trees and plants but are most often found on boxelder trees. During the winter, they enter buildings through small holes or openings.
Damage, Symptoms: They feed on the sap of trees but do not cause significant damage. And although they do not cause any damage indoors, they are a nuisance.
Chemical: Spray boxelder bugs on tree trunks, foundation walls (insecticidal soap), under eaves, and other areas where they gather. Use carbaryl on foliage where beetles are feeding.
Nonchemical: Keep screens, and other openings in good repair. Caulk all seams around windows and doors. Indoors remove the bugs by vacuuming.
BRONZE BIRCH BORER
Description: Adults are small, coppery beetles about 1/2" in length. In the larvae stage, they are white, legless grubs with an enlarged area behind the head.
Habitat: Various types of birch trees.
Damage, Symptoms: The larvae get inside the tree branches causing it to wilt and die. This tunneling causes visible raised ridges.
Tree/Shrub: Spray trunk and limbs thoroughly with dimethate in late May and early June. Repeat in 3 weeks or apply 6-inch band of concentrate to trunk. Keep trees watered if dry during the summer. Keep trees healthy and vigorous.
BROWN DOG TICK
Description: The adult male is flat, 1/8 inch long and uniformly red-brown. The female, before feeding, resembles the male As she becomes engorged with blood, the female may grow to 1/2 inch long, 1/4 inch wide and 1/8 inch thick The engorged retortion of the body becomes blue-gray.
Habitat: Dogs are almost the exclusive host but other mammals, including man, are occasionally attacked.
Damage, Symptoms: Frequently invading buildings, brown dog ticks become a nuisance pest. In the south they are also Common in lawns and recreation areas. Attaching to skin, mainly on dogs, they may cause irritation and inflammation.
Chemical: Apply spray to lawns, fencerows, roadsides, and areas not regularly mowed. Dust pets directly as needed, according to label instructions. Dust baseboards, cracks, and crevices around pet bedding. Use a repellent like DEET when entering tick-infested areas.
Nonchemical: Keep vegetation, weeds and brush, mowed and clean. Avoid areas where ticks are known to be present. Wear long-sleeved shirt and trousers when visiting infested areas, tuck pant-legs into socks. Check for ticks on skin or clothing every few hours. Vacuum baseboards and other cracks and crevices thoroughly to destroy eggs and immatures.

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