Karen Delahaut, formerly UW-Madison Fresh Market Vegetable Program Revised:  8/13/2012 Item number:  XHT1130 Scales are probably one of the most difficult insects to control because of their protective covering.  There are many species of scales, but they can all be categorized as either soft or armored.  Soft scales are tropical insects and are economically more […]


Just what are all those little white blobs you’ve seen on various plant stems and leaves? Those batches of bubbles are created by the immature stage of insects called spittlebugs, and their foam helps protect them from predators, extreme temperatures and dessication. To find out more about these fascinating creatures, read this article…

Cyclamen and Broad Mites

Phil Pellitteri, UW Insect Diagnostic Lab Revised:  5/7/2010 Item number:  XHT1038 Cyclamen and broad mites are extremely small (0.3 mm long) and can be found infesting bedding plants and perennials in the greenhouse and in the garden. Broad mites commonly infest African violet, ageratum, azalea, begonia, dahlia, larkspur, gerbera, gloxinia, ivy, jasmine, impatiens, lantana, marigold, […]

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…


Christy Stewart, UW Horticulture and USDA-ARS Revised:  12/11/2012 Item number:  XHT1213 Why are pollinators important?  Approximately three quarters of the world’s major food crops require or benefit from animal pollination.  This includes many fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, currants, plums, apples, sweet cherries, pears, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, squashes, and tomatoes.  Pollinators also […]

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.

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…


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.

Common Columbine Pests: Columbine Leafminer and Columbine Sawfly

If you have columbines in your garden, you likely have seen squiggly white trails or blotches on the leaves or had the entire leaf devoured at one time. These are significant as cosmetic problems, but generally have little impact on the plant’s health. Learn more about the life cycle of the two insects that cause these problems and how to deal with them in this article…

Goldenrod Gall Fly, Eurosta solidagnis

You’ve probably seen spherical swellings on goldenrod stems at one time or another, but do you know what caused those? A type of small fly with patterned wings is responsible for the most common gall on goldenrods. To learn more about the goldenrod gall fly and how it creates those golf ball-sized growths, read this article…

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