Sucking pests on vegetable plants

Aphids, Thrips, White fly, Mealy Bugs, Jassid or Leafhopper, Red Spider mites are common sucking pests of vegetables, even in poly-house and green house. Control of sucking insects with insecticides is often difficult because of the insects’ capacity to reproduce rapidly. Also, they may develop resistance to the chemicals. Often a blast of water from a garden hose will knock the pests off the plant.

Aphids : Often called plant lice are small, soft-bodied insects. They range in color from black to green to yellow. Their numbers may greatly increase in a short time. They may cover the entire surface of a leaf or stem.

Thrips : are minute insects that feed on pollen and tender plant tissue. They typically hide in the cracks and crevices of leaf buds, junctures, and flowers. They rasp the tissue and suck up the exuding sap. The leaves take on a silvery appearance after the thrips feed, and plants become stunted and deformed. Cause streaking of flowers or spotting of foliage.• Occasionally cause foliage distortion.• Usually, produce tiny tar spots.• Have complicated life cycle.

White fly : are tiny insects, measuring between 0.6 and 2 mm in length are often found in clusters on the undersides of leaves. They are easily recognized because of their white appearance caused by a waxy powder on wings and body.

Red spider mites : are a garden pest that affects a wide variety of plants. A plant that is infested by red spider mites will start to look unhealthy and will have a dusty appearance to the undersides of their leaves. Close inspection will reveal that the dust is actually moving and is, in fact, the spider mites. The plant may also have some webbing on the underside or on the branches of the plant.You cannot easily make out the details of red spider mites with the naked eye but a simple magnifying glass can make the details more visible. A red spider mite will be all red.There are other kinds of spider mites, such as the two-spotted spider mite, that are partially red. Red spider mites will be all red. Knocking some off onto a piece of white paper will make it easier to distinguish the colors.

Mealy Bugs : are very small, soft-bodied, oval-shaped insects that are covered with a white, powdery wax coating. When seen on plants, they look like very small spots of cotton. Mealy bugs move slowly, but when they find a suitable location on the plant, they often become immobile and form clusters on the plant.

Jassid or Leafhopper : The initial symptoms of Jassid or leafhopper damage in all crops are leaves curl downwards, turn yellowish, then brownish before drying and shedding. The fruiting capacity of the infested plant is significantly affected and in many cases, heavy infestation on young plants cause the death of plants.

Control of these sucking pests

1. Use resistant varieties.
2. Use yellow sticky traps to catch white flies and jassids.
3. Light traps are very good choice
4. Spray neem oil @ 5 ml per liter of water if required.
5. Lady bird beetle naturally controls aphids these sucking pests. You can introduce them from neighboring area.
6. Cut affected branches in case of heavy damage and destroy.
7. Some organic sprays are also available. These can also be used if required.
8. Don’t use any pesticide
9. Avoid over watering.
10. Use organic fertilizers. Avoid fertilizers rich in nitrogen as it makes plants susceptible to sucking pests.

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