Insects directly affect the lives of all Mississippi citizens. You don’t have to be a farmer or gardener to be plagued by insects. Fire ants and mosquitoes are just two examples of insect pests that affect us all.
Every major row crop grown in the state is subject to attack by a variety of insect pests, and farmers often suffer large yield losses to insects despite spending a significant portion of their crop production budget on insect control.
Commercial fruit and vegetable crops are similarly affected, and home vegetable gardeners are well-aware that insects are a constant threat to tomatoes and other home vegetables.
Ornamental plants and turfgrass are also subject to attack by a variety of insects: azalea lace bugs damage azaleas in home and commercial landscapes, crape myrtle bark scale is a serious new pest of crape myrtles, and chinch bugs damage St. Augustine lawns.
Insects, like mosquitoes and ticks, bite people and sometimes spread serious diseases, while insects like fleas plague our pets, and horn flies and other livestock pests feed on livestock, reducing growth rates and feed use efficiency.
Termites and a few other insects even eat our homes, while insect pests such as confused flour beetles and cloths moths damage food and clothing stored inside our homes.
Successful insect control requires proactive planning, proper pest identification, understanding pest biology, and a sound knowledge of control options and how and when to apply control. Insecticides are useful tools for controlling insect pests, but insecticides are only one of many methods of insect management. Plant selection, variety selection, time of planting, cultural practices, natural biological control, and exclusion are just a few examples of non-insecticidal methods that can help reduce the need for insecticide use. When insecticides are needed, knowing which insecticide to use and how to apply it safely is critical to obtaining effective control for minimum cost and effort.
These web pages and the publications they reference can help you learn more about the insect pests that affect you, your home and landscape, or the crops you produce, and they provide specific recommendations on how to control these pests.
If you have a home garden, you know the headache of dealing with garden pests. Insects can damage the produce, both directly and indirectly. There are a multitude of different insects that can wreak havoc on your vegetables. We asked MSU Extension Entomology Specialist Blake Layton what are the five most common insects he sees in gardens. Here’s his list:
Mississippi is home to several flying insects that can be mistaken for the invasive Asian giant hornet discovered in Washington in 2020. Blake Layton, Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist, said this insect, also called a “murder hornet,” has not been confirmed outside the Northwest. However, Layton said he has been contacted by people who think they have seen these hornets in Mississippi and Alabama in the last few weeks.
Do you have fire ants in your vegetable garden? Me too. Good news for all of us! There are some fire ant baits that are safe to use around food plants.
What’s the difference between a carpenter bee and a bumble bee? A lot. They look similar, but they are very different. Find out more about the habits of each one.
Fire ants are the most common pests of home lawns, but homeowners can manage them with the right approach, and spring is the perfect time to begin the process.
When most people think of mosquito control, they envision a large chemical tank in the bed of a pickup truck.
Spraying chemicals is actually the last resort in integrated pest management (IPM), a scientific process of preventing invasive insects from reaching adulthood. IPM uses environmentally responsible alternatives, such as habitat removal, structural barriers, and larval control, before using sampling and resistance management to determine treatment plans for adult mosquitoes.
A dream of the Mississippi Pest Control Association and the Mississippi State University Extension Service is coming true after more than 20 years, thanks to a generous donation by one of Mississippi’s oldest pest-control companies.
Bug Camp is not a place for kids who are afraid of bugs, warns Ryals Strider.
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