Fungus Gnats on Houseplants

Fungus gnats (Family Sciaridae) are insects commonly associated with overwatered houseplants. They can become a nuisance when they are present in large numbers and fly around inside a home. In most situations, fungus gnats are a cosmetic problem. However, on occasion, fungus gnat larvae can cause plant damage.

Lily Leaf Beetle

This insect was first reported in North America in eastern Canada during World War II and was most likely introduced in shipments of plant materials from Europe.  LLB spread to New England in the 1990’s and has been moving westward since that time.  LLB made its first appearance in Wisconsin in 2014 and as of the end of 2019 has been found in 12 counties including Dane, Door, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Pierce, Portage, Price, Shawano, Taylor and Wood Counties.

Phenology

Karen Delahaut, UW-Madison Fresh Market Vegetable Program Revised:  5/17/2012 Item number:  XHT1085 The word phenology is derived from the Greek word phaino meaning “to show” or “to appear”.  Phenology is a branch of science that studies the relationships between periodic biological events—usually the life cycles of plants and animals—and environmental changes.  Natural events such as […]

Degree Day Calculation

Karen Delahaut, UW-Madison Fresh Market Vegetable Program Revised:  8/6/2012 Item number:  XHT1086 Indicator plants are not always suitable for the timing of pest management practices.  You may not have the critical indicator plant  nearby to time local activities, or there may not be a good indicator plant for a particular pest’s crucial life stage.  Another […]

Twospotted Spider Mite, Tetranychus urticae

From apples to zucchini – no matter what types of plants you grow – it’s likely something spider mites will attack. The most common spider mite, the twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae), is a general feeder that attacks a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals. Learn about this the biology of this tiny pest, the type of damage it causes and how to manage it in this article…

Scale Insects

Scale insects feed on many plants, but are often overlooked because they are immobile and many types look like small bumps that just might be plant parts blending in with the leaves, twigs and branches. These insects secrete a waxy covering – that gives them their common name – to protect them from the environment and predators. Learn more about this group of inconspicuous and atypical insects in this article…

Aphids, in-depth

Aphids may be viewed as just another pest for gardeners to try to eliminate, but they’re really fascinating insects, with bizarre lifestyles and eating habits and they’re also dinner for lots of other insects. Forming colonies covering the leaves and stems of plants, these small sap-sucking creatures reproduce incredibly fast and a few also transmit plant diseases. Learn more about this large group of insects and how to manage them in the garden in this article…

Common Milkweed Insects

Almost everyone knows that monarch butterfly caterpillars live only on milkweeds, but did you know there are many other insects that feed exclusively on these plants? From other caterpillars to bugs and beetles, there are several types of insects that have developed ways to avoid being affected by the toxins in milkweeds and have become specialized feeders on these plants. Lean more about some of the most common insects found on milkweed in this article…

Aphids

Aphids are soft-bodied, sucking insects that are sometimes called plant lice. They feed on plant sap and subsequently excrete a sugary substance (called honeydew) that can attract ants as well as support the growth of a saprophytic fungus called sooty mold. Learn about common aphids found in home gardens in this factsheet.

Sawflies

Sawflies are a group insects related to wasps that get their common name from the saw-like appearance of the ovipositor, which females use to cut slits in stems or leaves to lay their eggs. The plant-feeding larvae often look like caterpillars or slugs, and many are quite noticeable because they often stay together to feed in groups and quickly cause noticeable defoliation on their hosts. Learn more about sawflies in this article…

Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, and Vietnam. It was first detected in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014, and due to its highly invasive nature, it appears to be spreading rapidly. SLF has a large host range and potentially could greatly impact the grape, tree fruit, plant nursery and timber industries in the U.S. Learn about what to watch for with this new pest.

Japanese Beetle

The Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, is a significant pest of landscape trees and shrubs, vegetable and fruit crops, and turfgrass in the eastern United States. This factsheet describes the lifecycle of this destructive beetle along with management and control options.

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