The average home vegetable garden contains more than a dozen different vegetables, and each is attacked by several different insect pests. Insects can damage vegetables in several ways. Some pests, such as cutworms and squash vine borers, attack and kill entire plants. Other pests, like tomato fruitworms, stink bugs, and cowpea curculios, go directly for the fruit. Pests such as aphids and whiteflies cause indirect damage by sucking sap from the leaves, and many insect pests transmit plant diseases.
See Publication 2347, Insect Pests of the Home Vegetable Garden, for information on the identification, management, and control of the most common insect pests in Mississippi gardens. This publication also contains information on the best insecticides for home vegetable gardens and tips on how to apply insecticides. Publication 2347 also contains information on organic insect control. For more detailed information on non-insecticidal management methods see Organic Insect Control for Commercial Vegetable Production. Although this publication is written for commercial producers, many of the non-insecticidal management methods discussed also apply to home gardens.
Fire Ants in Home Vegetable Gardens
Organic Fire Ant Control
Tomato Fruitworm, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 8, 2005
Squash Vine Borer, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 7, 2004 (Page 2)
Hornworms on Tomatoes, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 9, 2004
Insect Pests in Late-season Vegetable Gardens, Bug-Wise Newsletter No. 6 of 2012
Stink Bugs in Home Vegetable Gardens, Bug-Wise Newsletter No. 7 of 2011
Pyrethrum, Pyrethrins, Pyrethroids, Permethrin, What’s the Difference? Bug-Wise Newsletter No. 4 of 2010
Insecticides for the Home Vegetable Garden, Bug-Wise Newsletter No. 8 of 2009
Whiteflies on Home Vegetables and Landscape Plants, Bug-Wise Newsletter No. 8 of 2008
Spider Mites, Bug-Wise Newsletter No. 5 of 2007
Successful Mississippi gardens are filling up with beautiful tomatoes, but unless gardeners stay alert and act, these plants can succumb to summer insect pests and diseases.
More would-be gardeners than ever before are planting with hopes of a summer crop of vegetables, but getting to that harvest means handling the inevitable insect pests, weeds, disease and fertilizer needs.
Your summer vegetable garden is likely winding down, but you still have time for another round of fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)