Keywords:  Mites, gardens, vegetable
Category:
 Home gardens
Managing Insect and Mite Pests in Vegetable Gardens

John A. Jackman
Professor and Extension Entomologist
The Texas A&M University System

Introduction

Vegetable gardening can be an entertaining pastime and a source of fresh produce that is difficult to surpass. Producing your own vegetables adds to the enjoyment of consuming them and may be lucrative compared to purchasing produce. However, producing your own vegetables is sometimes challenging. One of the challenges is successfully dealing with pests, especially insects. This publication discusses some of the management alternatives that vegetable gardeners should consider when dealing with insects and other pests and provides information on insecticides that are registered for use in home gardens.

Understanding insects

There are about 30,000 species of insects in Texas. Fortunately, less than a hundred are routine pests in vegetable gardens. Actually, most insects in gardens are either incidental or beneficial organisms contributing to pollination, the balance of nature, or recycling of organic matter. Contrary to some opinions, a garden with an abundant supply of insects may actually be quite healthy and productive. However, pest species can reduce the quantity and/or quality of the vegetables we produce. A few insects can transmit plant diseases from one plant to another which is a secondary effect of insect infestations. Control measures should be considered when insects are a threat to the garden.

Identification of insects in your garden is important to determine whether they are beneficial or pest species. Learn to recognize the common insects in your area, especially the common pests. Recognizing pest damage is also useful to help the gardener monitor for pests.

Insect pests can migrate into vegetable gardens by walking or flying. Flight especially allows many insects to have great mobility and their movement in large numbers is possible. Moreover, certain pests like aphids and mites have a short generation time of about a week under good conditions and their numbers can increase rapidly. One of these two methods of increase are usually underway when pests seem to appear in large numbers almost overnight.

As insects grow they change size and shape and this process is called metamorphosis. Some insects damage plants in both the immature and adult stages. Because insects change they may be difficult to identify and their damage may change with them. Small caterpillars may barely scrape the surface of a leaf, while the same caterpillar may eat great chunks of leaves when they are larger.

Mouthparts are often a key to understanding the type of damage expected from a pest. Insects with sucking mouthparts feed by piercing leaves or fruit. Damage appears as pock marks or mottled leaves. Insects with chewing mouthparts can be expected to chew holes in plant tissue. Recognizing feeding type also helps select the proper insecticides, like stomach poisons for chewing insects or contact poisons for sucking insects.

Plan ahead

When planning a vegetable garden, anticipate the pests that may occur later. Wherever possible, consider all management practices that will help deal with the pests before they become a problem. Implement the management plan in plenty of time to deal with the pest problems. Use past experience as a guide to anticipate pests in the upcoming season.

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management, IPM, is a philosophy of managing pests with the use of multiple control techniques used together to produce a crop or manage an environment. IPM balances the goals of economic production and environmental stewardship when implementing control practices. IPM is the overriding strategy for most of production agriculture today and is rapidly being adopted in the urban environment as well.

Monitoring or scouting crops for the presence and abundance of pests is an important part in the decision process of IPM. Most IPM programs reserve the use of insecticides for situations when the pest is known to be present and the numbers are high enough to justify the cost of return on the investment in control practices.

Many specific insect control practices can be implemented as part of an IPM program but generally the use of insecticides is included as a control option. When alternate control practices are substituted for insecticides, the IPM approach is much like organic gardening. Selection of a particular control practice is determined by the manager. Many of the control practices available for home vegetable gardeners are categorized in the following sections.

Cultural control

Cultural control consists of a variety of management practices that impact pest numbers including such things as crop rotation, cultivation, weed management, water management, and good fertilizer use. Many of these practices impact pest numbers even though the impact may not be considered. Opportunities to interrupt the life cycle of pests with fallow periods and crop rotation should be implemented for several pests. Always remove plant debris from the garden area because it can harbor pests. Keep weeds under control because they can attract insects that may feed on vegetables. Some pests of landscape plants may also move onto vegetable gardens.

Host plant resistance

Vegetable varieties differ in susceptibility to insect pests and this response is called host plant resistance (HPR). Resistance can be expressed as tolerance, non-preference, or antibiosis. Tolerance is the ability of the plant to continue to develop and produce even with insect damage. Non-preference is exhibited when an insect chooses to feed on or lay eggs on alternate varieties or host plants. Antibiosis is the ability of a plant to kill or slow development of a pest usually with chemicals that occur naturally in the plant.

Extensive variety trials are needed to understand the HPR of vegetables. Most variety selection is done emphasizing other factors like appearance, taste, and production volume. HPR status of many of our modern varieties is simply not well known because of the need to test all new varieties as they become available in the marketplace.

Recently, transgenic plants have been developed for field crops and some vegetables including tomatoes, potatoes, and corn. Transgenic plants have their genetic material altered and dramatic results can be achieved when genes for resistance to insects are incorporated. Most of the resistant transgenic vegetable varieties incorporate genes of the bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis, and are resistant to caterpillar pests. This resistance is an antibiosis effect which inhibits the growth of caterpillars on these plants. Resistant transgenic vegetable varieties are expected to become increasingly available to homeowners.

Biological control

Biological control is the use of one organism to control another. Three approaches to biological control have been successfully implemented: importation, conservation, and augmentation. Importation biological control requires foreign exploration for a parasite or predator that can be introduced into our country to control a pest species. Importation is highly regulated and is generally beyond the scope of home vegetable gardeners, although they do benefit from successful importation programs that have been completed by various research groups.

The conservation approach to biological control is the perpetuation or encouragement of natural enemies that are already present in the area. Conservation methods have good potential for impact in home gardens. They include planting nectar-producing flowers that provide food for parasites, and the avoidance of unnecessary pesticide applications. Conservation can also be enhanced by selecting pesticides that are toxic to the pest but relatively non-toxic to beneficial insects.

Augmentation is the release of additional predators and parasites to contribute to the natural populations of biological control organisms. Releases of ladybird beetles, preying mantids, parasitic wasps, and various other organisms can contribute to biological control. However, many of these organisms occur naturally in the environment and the additional benefit contributed by releases may be marginal. There are many sources of biological control agents available through commercial channels.

Biological control should not be considered an instant solution to pest problems. Generally, a sound biological control program needs to be supported by careful study and increased knowledge. Proper identification of pests, careful selection of beneficial organism, and increased monitoring are all necessary for success. Biological control solutions can not be implemented for all pest situations because biological control agents are not available for every pest.

Mechanical control

Mechanical control is the use of physical means to reduce the number of insects or their damage. Several mechanical methods are available including the use of barriers, covers, high pressure water sprays, and hand picking of pests. Barriers come in many shapes and sizes and prevent the movement of pests onto the plants.
Cardboard or plastic cylinders around the base of transplants are an example of a barrier which discourages cutworms and other soil inhabiting pests from attacking transplants. Cloth or plastic screening can serve as a cover to prevent the invasion of pests into a newly planted garden. Screening may increase the temperature of a planting bed so additional benefits of temperature management may be achieved. Screening is most useful for young plants and seedlings when they are most susceptible to pest attack.

High pressure water sprays are also a mechanical control method. These are most effective against small soft-bodied pests like aphids. High pressure water sprays may help remove webbing, dissolve droppings, and reduce the number of pests in a short time. It is one of the few options available when vegetables are near harvest.

Hand picking and destruction of some pests may be feasible especially in small gardens. Hand picking can be successful for tomato hornworms and even squash bugs if persistently done. Obviously, hand picking is more feasible for larger insects than for small insects.

Chemical control

Pesticides come in many forms and provide a wide array of tools for pest management. Pesticides are regulated for safety by the Environmental Protection Agency, and the sale and use of these products is regulated by the Texas Department of Agriculture. These agencies do not consider efficacy, or "how well it works", in the registration process but concentrate on safety issues instead. Labeled insecticides may or may not be effective in killing pests that are mentioned on the product label. The number of products available for use in home vegetable gardens and the rapid turnover in the market makes it difficult to know the efficacy of products available to gardeners. The response of pests can also change as they become tolerant, or as environmental factors interact with a chemical treatment. Additionally, many pesticides fail because the user did not read the label and/or calibrate the application equipment and therefor applied the wrong amount of product.

The USER is always the person responsible for the proper use of any pesticide. It is illegal to use a product in a manner or situation that is not defined on a pesticide label. Therefore, the user needs to read the product label thoroughly and follow directions specifically. Table 2 is a list of the product labels that were reviewed to develop the information in this guide. It is not an exhaustive list of all that are available but includes most of the common active ingredients available for use in home gardens. Use this list as a guide when purchasing products for use in home vegetable gardens.

There are numerous trade names for some generic insecticides and special restrictions may be present on the labels. Read the label carefully. Space limits the number of labels included herein.

EPA approves pesticides for use on a particular crop after examination of safety data. If a crop is not listed on a product label, the pesticide can not be considered safe for use on that crop. Table 1 summarizes the chemicals registered by vegetable. There are several products with more than one active ingredient and only a few of these were reviewed and included here.

Product labels may carry a number of restrictions that must be considered by the user. Labels include limits on product rate, number of applications per season, specific crops, method of applications, days from last application to harvest, and other items. Be sure to read the label for additional restrictions and follow the directions carefully.

Product labels also have a suggested list of target pests on the label. A summary of the chemicals available for use in home gardens is included as Table 1. This list was prepared from product labels and not all products have been examined by the Texas Cooperative Extension. Your results may vary depending on the environmental conditions, method of application, and other factors.

Pesticide registration status changes rapidly. Since the last printing of this guide products containing difofol (Kelthane®), endosulfan (Thiodan®), chlorpyrifos (Dursban®), dimethoate (Cygon®), lindane, and methoxychlor, have all been discontinued for home vegetable garden use. Products containing diazinon are being phased out and the status is changing. At the time of printing diazinon can be sold through retail outlets until December 31, 2004. Due to the changes in the registration status of diazinon, it has been left out of Table 1. In most cases, products are phased out with dates to stop wholesale sales and later dates to stop retail sales. Usually there are provisions to allow the homeowner to use products they have in stock beyond those dates.

Pesticides vary widely in their hazard to humans and the environment. The key words on the label, e.g., CAUTION, WARNING, and DANGER, are an indication of the product toxicity. Use this information on your product label as a guideline on product use and potential hazard. Most of the products mentioned here have the CAUTION safety word on the label.

Insecticide products can be categorized by their compound class. Insecticide classes provide a key to understanding the mode of action of the product and thus the pests that are most likely controlled by the product. When insect control is unsatisfactory it is wise to change to a product from another compound class (See table 3).

Less Toxic Approaches

Many gardeners prefer to use less toxic approaches to insect management rather than standard insecticides. Individual philosophy varies about these approaches and opinions differ on what should be considered as management options. Less toxic approaches range from selecting "soft" insecticides to natural control with no action. There are increasingly more products available for the use by organic gardeners than ever before. Some of the products that could be considered less toxic are included in this guide if they are registered and sold as pesticides.

Less toxic chemicals are becoming available under different legal registrations. Chemicals listed in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) EPA Title 40, Chapter 1, Subchapter E, Part 152.25 which are considered "minimum risk pesticides" and are exempt from FIFRA registrations. This list includes: cedar oil, citric acid, citronella, cloves, garlic, lemongrass oil, mint, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, white pepper, and several other products. For a complete list of these products see FIFRA. These products may be sold as repellents, e.g., Garlic Barrier®, Hot Pepper Spray® (capsaicin).

Some products have very broad site and pest combinations on the product label. For example, the product label might just say “pests” on “vegetables”. Some products with very broad site/pest statements are: Green Light Tomato & Vegetable Spray Read-to-Use (neem oil), Green Light Neem Concentrate (neem oil), Green Light Neem II Ready-to-Use (neem oil and pyrethrins), and Green Light Bioganic® series.

PUTTING IT ALL INTO PRACTICE

Here are a few tips and practices that should be considered for any garden.

PLANT A GARDEN OF MANAGEABLE SIZE
Garden size directly affects control methods that work for individual plants or small gardens. Hand removal of pests and swabbing pests with alcohol may not be feasible in larger gardens. The larger the garden the more need there may be for insecticides.

LEAVE THE GARDEN FALLOW BEFORE PLANTING
Insect pests such as white grubs, wireworms and cutworms over-winter in the soil and feed on abandoned plants or weeds. Remove these food sources during the off season to reduce pest numbers before spring planting.

GOOD SANITATION
Remove dead leaf piles, boards, railroad ties and other objects where pests such as cutworms, slugs, snails, pillbugs, sowbugs and other pests congregate. Mulches are often used to maintain moisture and provide shelter for spiders and predatory insects. However, mulch also provides shelter for pests.

SELECT PEST-FREE TRANSPLANTS
Inspect plants at the store to be sure they have no pests. Most common insect and mite pests can be found on the under surfaces of leaves. Purchase only healthy pest-free transplants.

SELECT PEST-RESISTANT VEGETABLE VARIETIES
Some vegetable varieties are unattractive or resistant to certain pests. Planting resistant varieties adapted to your area can dramatically reduce the need for insecticides. For example, the sweet corn variety 'Seneca Sentry' is resistant to corn earworms and is adapted to central Texas. In this variety, the leaves that wrap around the corn ear tip are much tighter around the silk than in more susceptible varieties. Unfortunately, the pest resistance status of only a few vegetable varieties is known.

PRACTICE GOOD HORTICULTURAL METHODS
Properly prepare the soil before planting. Thorough tilling of the soil will kill many soil insects and provide good growing conditions for seedlings and transplants. Healthy plants will be less susceptible to severe pest damage. The composition of the soil and spring growing conditions (weather) also affect pest populations. Soils with high organic matter are more likely to support white grubs, root maggots, pillbugs, and sowbugs, even though these soils may promote better plant growth.
Keep a weed-free garden. Weeds supply food for insect pests. They also compete with vegetable plants for soil nutrients and water, and can decrease vegetable yield considerably. Keep weeds out of the garden and keep grass mowed short around the garden to discourage insects such as grasshoppers and armyworms from moving in.
Fertilize properly. Plants need adequate nutrients to grow well. Without them, plants may be slow growing, stunted and more susceptible to pest damage. However, using too much fertilizer can produce lush green plants that attract insects such as aphids. A soil test will tell you which nutrients may be lacking and which are at adequate levels for good plant growth.
Water properly. Either too much or too little water can be unhealthy for plant growth. Drought-stressed plants are more likely to attract spider mites.

INSPECT PLANTS FOR PESTS AND PROPERLY IDENTIFY THEM
Learn to identify the various insects and other creatures encountered in the garden. Many of them are actually beneficial. County Extension Agents can be helpful in identifying plant pest problems. Avoid treating undiagnosed problems. Pests attack garden plants from seed to maturity. Inspecting plants weekly or more often helps you detect pest infestations early, monitor natural enemies and evaluate the effects of control tactics. Check the undersides of leaves for aphids, whiteflies and spider mites, as well as egg clusters of armyworms, Colorado potato beetles and squash bugs. To detect low populations of spider mites and thrips, beat plants on a piece of off-white paper. The pests can be seen and identified on the paper. Although yellow sticky cards are occasionally promoted as insect control devices, they are best used to monitor pest activity. These cards attract the winged adult stages of aphids, leaf miners, thrips, whiteflies and a wide variety of flies. Cards should be inspected and replaced regularly so that pests can be detected early and their numbers monitored. Sex attractant chemicals called pheromones are also available commercially to monitor many insect pests, especially moths.

CONSIDER ALL PEST SUPPRESSION METHODS
When a pest outbreak occurs, consider how it might have been prevented and the best method of reducing pest numbers to a tolerable level. Some mechanical suppression methods are listed below.

● Reflective mulches. Highly reflective mulches such as foil paper slow infestation by some pests such as aphids.
● Barriers. Young plants or transplants are vulnerable to attack by cutworms, sowbugs or pillbugs. They can be protected by placing a barrier around the base of each plant. Barriers can be made of cardboard, plastic or metal cans with the bottoms cut out.
● Barrier screens over the garden. Fine mesh screens or fabrics can provide a barrier through which even tiny insects such as thrips can not cross. Several products are used to cover and protect crops. This method works best in early spring or fall when frost is a possibility. When barriers are properly maintained, insects can be excluded. However, plants should still be monitored regularly, which requires removing the barrier. The temperature inside barriers often exceeds that outside, so remove them before plants experience heat stress.
● Cages and trellises. Plants growing on the ground are susceptible to soil pests. Vine plants such as cucumbers and even tomatoes are easier to manage when grown in trellises or cages. It is easier to monitor pests and spray plants thoroughly when they are held up off of the ground.
● High pressure water sprays. Small pests such as aphids, spider mites and others can be dislodged from plants with high pressure water sprays directed to the undersides of leaves. Commercial spray devices are now available (Water Wand® and Jet-All Water Wand®), but similar devices also can be made at home. Care must be taken not to harm the plant or to distribute pests around the garden. Repeated treatments may be necessary to keep pest numbers low.

CONSERVE NATURAL ENEMIES AND PROTECT BEES
The first line of defense against insect pests is their natural enemies. Spiders, praying mantids, lady beetles, ground beetles, green lacewings, ambush bugs, assassin bugs, minute pirate bugs and even some wasp species prey upon insects. However, the most effective natural enemies are the tiny parasitic wasps and flies, together with bacteria, fungi and viruses that are rarely observed with the naked eye. Whether naturally occurring or released into the garden, these organisms should be preserved and encouraged to thrive. Do not use pesticides except as a last resort; allow natural enemies an opportunity to suppress the pest infestation. Should a pesticide be required, wherever possible select the least toxic, most target-specific pesticides that decompose quickly in the environment.

Natural enemies can be released in the garden to control pests. Lady beetles and green lacewing larvae eat aphids and whiteflies; predaceous mites eat two spotted spider mites; and certain wasps parasitize certain insect pests (Trichogramma species develop inside caterpillar eggs; and Encarsia species develop inside immature whiteflies). Companies that sell these natural enemies do not guarantee the results, particularly in outdoor sites. Factors such as the number of pests present, the environment, timing of releases, prior pesticide use and the presence of ants can affect such releases. Parasitic nematodes (Biosafe 100® and other products containing Steinernema carpocapsae) are available to control a wide variety of vegetable garden soil pests.

Bees are necessary for pollinating vegetables such as cucumbers, pumpkins, squash and melons and should be protected. Don't apply pesticides while bees are active during the day. Instead, treat plants early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Avoid using products or formulations highly toxic to bees. If a bee hive is located nearby, cover it during pesticide application or arrange to have the hive protected from pesticide drift.

PROPERLY APPLY PESTICIDES ONLY WHEN JUSTIFIED
If a pest population becomes too damaging and other control measures have failed, a pesticide may be required. Pesticides are regulated by law and must be applied strictly according to label directions. Pesticides can be toxic, and must be used carefully to reduce risk of negative side effects. Some people put more insecticide into a spray tank that is recommended on the label. In addition to running the risk of violating the label, they often discover too late that the pesticide has burned the leaf tissue on their plants.
To control leaf-feeding insects effectively, the pesticide must thoroughly cover the undersides of leaves. This is difficult to do with dust-formulated products. When using liquids (emulsifiable concentrates, wettable powders), mix the directed amount with water and spray immediately. Alkaline water will decompose the active ingredients of some products if the solution is allowed to stand. Agitate the mixture while treating. If spray droplets bead up and roll off the treated foliage, a spreader-sticker may be necessary. After treatment, clean the sprayer thoroughly, store pesticides properly and wash protective clothing separately from other laundry.

The user is always responsible for the effects of pesticide residues, as well as problems that could arise from drift or movement of the pesticide to neighboring areas. ALWAYS READ AND CAREFULLY FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE CONTAINER LABEL. Proper disposal of left over pesticides and "empty" or used containers is an essential step in safe pesticide use.

POLICY STATEMENT FOR MAKING CHEMICAL CONTROL SUGGESTIONS

The Texas Cooperative Extension bases its suggestions for pesticide use on:
Product registration status;
Avoidance of residues in excess of allowable tolerances;
Avoidance of toxicity to desirable vegetation and animals, and to humans; and
Avoidance of adverse side effects upon beneficial predators and parasites, honeybees, fish and other wildlife, plants, animals and humans.

Suggested pesticides must be registered and labeled for use by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Department of Agriculture. The status of pesticide label clearances is subject to change and may have changed since this publication was printed. County Extension agents and appropriate specialists may have information about the label status of products.

Table 1. Registered Pesticides for Use on Home Garden Vegetables, and Common Insect Pests.

Only some of the more common pests and vegetables are listed herein.
NA means that no specific pre-harvest interval information was found on the label.
P means that the application is a pre-plant soil application. Such applications are generally for pests in the soil.
PHI means pre-harvest interval or the time from last application to harvest in days.

Product labels found in trade channels were the primary source of information in this table. This includes many, but not all, of the products available to the home vegetable grower. A list of the products reviewed during preparation of the guide is provided in Table 2. Only a few products with a mixture of two or more active ingredients where reviewed for this guide. Multiple active ingredients complicate the summary so these were not included in the listing in this table.

The column with pesticides registered on the commodity is a list of the common name of the chemicals that have that particular vegetable listed on the label. Pesticides registered by pest is similarly the pesticides that have that pest on the label. The user should be aware that the pesticide may not specifically state the combination of commodity and pest on a particular label. The user is responsible for reading the label and following directions on the label.

Pests sometimes have several common names. Additional common names for the same pest are given in parenthesis. Some labels have a general common name for a pest group. This group is listed under the pest name and specific examples are listed after the colon. In a few cases the adult and immature form have different common names and control measures. The control measures for each stage are indicated in the table or both names are listed separately with different control measures. An example is cucumber beetles where immatures are called rootworms. This example actually includes several species that can be damaging in Texas with adults that feed on flowers and foliage and larvae that feed on roots.

General and Additional Pests:

Ants - Several ant species can be found in vegetable garden with fire ants and Texas leafcutting ants being the most severe pests. Ants should be controlled outside the garden if possible. Bait formulations or individual mound treatments are preferred. Inside the garden use a mound drench of boiling water if this is feasible. Never use an ant treatment inside the vegetable garden if vegetables do not appear on the product label.

Snails and slugs - Products containing metaldahyde are the primary control measures for snails and slugs. These products are typically granular baits, meal, or pastes. Some snail and slug baits contain carbaryl and include various other pests on the label. Iron phosphate is also an active ingredient in some snail and slug baits.

Grasshoppers and Crickets - Grasshoppers and crickets may move into gardens rapidly, especially when winged. When these pests are abundant, protecting foliage with an insecticide may not be very successful. Insecticides like carbaryl are generally preferred. Bait formulations with carbaryl and metaldahyde are available for this situation. Treating the premises outside of the garden may help. Use barriers to protect the most valuable plants.

Sowbugs, pillbugs, millipedes, centipedes, mole crickets, cutworms, and earwigs are considered soil pests. These pests typically have been controlled with pre-plant treatments of insecticides incorporated into the soil such as diazinon. Some formulations of synergized pyrethrins and carbaryl are labeled for these pests. Some baits may also have these pests on the label.

Vegetable

Registered Pesticides (PHI)

Common Insect Pests

Pesticides Registered by Pest

asparagus

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (1)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (1)

permethrin (3)

petroleum oil (0)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

sulfur (NA)

asparagus beetle

carbaryl

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cutworms

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

permethrin

beans

Comments:

Pesticide restrictions are often different between succulent beans and dried beans.  Read the label to check the restrictions.

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (0-3)

    (14-21 dry beans)

disulfoton (P)

endosulfan (3)

esfenvalerate (3)

    (21 dry beans)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (1)

permethrin (3)

petroleum oil (0)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (3)

sulfur (NA)

aphids: pea aphid

azadirachtin

carbaryl

disulfoton

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

beetles: yellow-margined leaf beetle

azadirachtin

carbaryl

disulfoton

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

blister beetles

endosulfan

pyrethrins

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

corn earworm (tomato fruitworm, bollworm, soybean podworm)

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

cucumber beetles

carbaryl

endosulfan

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cutworms: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

European corn borer

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

flea beetle

azadirachtin

carbaryl

disulfoton                     

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

leafhoppers

carbaryl

disulfoton

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

leafminers: serpentine leafminer

azadirachtin

disulfoton

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

rotenone

spinosad

Mexican bean beetle

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

mites: spider mites

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

plant bugs

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

saltmarsh caterpillar

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

esfenvalerate

stink bugs

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

thrips: western flower thrips

azadirachtin

carbaryl

disulfoton

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

wireworms

beets (roots and tops)

Remarks: There are often differences in restrictions between table beets and beet greens. 

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (3-7)

    (14 tops)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (7)

petroleum oil (0)

pyrethrins (1)

rotenone (1)

sulfur (0)

aphids

azadirachtin

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm

azadirachtin

carbaryl

pyrethrins

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

stink bugs

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

pyrethrins

rotenone

webworms: beet webworm, garden webworm

azadirachtin

pyrethrins

rotenone

bok choy

(see lettuce)

broccoli

(see cole crops)

brussels sprouts

(see cole crops)

cabbage

(see cole crops)

cantaloupe

(see melons)

carrots

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (0-7)

cyfluthrin (0)

endosulfan (7)

esfenvalerate (7)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (7)

pyrethrins (1)

rotenone (1)

sulfur (NA)

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

flea beetles

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

leafhoppers

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

mites: spider mites

endosulfan

malathion

rotenone

sulfur

wireworms

weevils: carrot weevil

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

rotenone

cauliflower

(see cole crops)

celery

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

endosulfan (7)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (7)

permethrin (1-3)

petroleum oil (NA)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

sulfur (NA)

aphids

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm

Bacillus thuringiensis

endosulfan

permethrin

pyrethrins

cabbage looper

Bacillus thuringiensis

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

corn earworm

Bacillus thuringiensis

endosulfan

permethrin

pyrethrins

cutworm: black cutworm

Bacillus thuringiensis

permethrin

leafhoppers

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

leafminers: serpentine leafminer

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

mites: spider mites

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

rotenone

sulfur

weevils: carrot weevil

permethrin

rotenone

chives

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

insecticidal soap (0)

cole crops:

broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi

Remarks: Product labels vary greatly relative to which crops are on the label and PHI. 

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (3)

disulfoton (P)

endosulfan (7-14)

esfenvalerate (3)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (3-7)

permethrin (1)

petroleum oil (NA)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

sulfur (NA)

aphids: cabbage aphid, poplar-petiole gall aphid

azadirachtin

carbaryl

disulfoton                     

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

corn earworm (tomato fruitworm, bollworm, soybean podworm)

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

diamondback moth

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

flea beetle

azadirachtin

carbaryl

disulfoton                     

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

imported cabbageworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

harlequin bug

carbaryl

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

root maggots: cabbage maggot

carbaryl

endosulfan

malathion

thrips: western flower thrips

azadirachtin

carbaryl

disulfoton                     

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

weevils: vegetable weevil

azadirachtin

carbaryl

esfenvalerate

permethrin

rotenone

whiteflies: sweetpotato whitefly

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

collards

(see greens)

corn (sweet)

Bacillus thuringiensis     (NA)

carbaryl (0-2)

  (14 for forage or silage)

  (48 for dry grain)

cyfluthrin (0)

endosulfan (0)

    (not for dry corn)

esfenvalerate (1)

malathion (5)

permethrin (1)

petroleum oil (0)

pyrethrins (1)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

aphids

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: fall armyworm

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

chinch bugs

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

corn earworm (tomato fruitworm, bollworm, soybean podworm)

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

cucumber beetles

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

European corn borer

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

rotenone

flea beetle

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

grubs: white grubs

rootworms: southern corn rootworm, spotted corn rootworm, twelve spotted cucumber beetle

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

malathion

root maggots: seedcorn maggots

stalk borers: lesser cornstalk borer, southwestern corn borer

esfenvalerate

stink bugs

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

wireworms

cowpeas

(see peas, southern)

cucumbers

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (0-5)

endosulfan (0-5)

esfenvalerate (3)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (1)

permethrin (0-3)

petroleum oil (0)

pyrethrins (1)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

aphids: melon aphid or cotton aphid

azadirachtin     

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cucumber beetles: southern corn rootworm

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

leafminers: serpentine leafminer

azadirachtin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

melonworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

permethrin

rotenone

mites: spider mites

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

rotenone

pickleworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

squash bug

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

squash vine borer

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

rotenone

stink bugs

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

thrips: western flower thrips

azadirachtin

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

whiteflies: sweetpotato whitefly

insecticidal soap

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

eggplant

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis    tenebionis (NA)

carbaryl (3-7)

endosulfan (1)

esfenvalerate (7)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (3)

permethrin (0-3)

petroleum oil (NA)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

sulfur (NA)

aphids

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

Colorado potato beetle

Comments: Certain Bacillus thuringiensis formulations are specific for beetles.

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

cucumber beetles

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

lace bugs: eggplant lace bug

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

malathion

leafminer: serpentine leafminer

azadirachtin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

mites: broad mite, spider mites

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

rotenone

 sulfur

whiteflies: sweetpotato whitefly

azadirachtin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

greens: Chinese cabbage, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens

Comments: Registration for specific crops varies between product labels. Be sure to check the label for specifics.

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (14)

endosulfan (21)

esfenvalerate (7)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (7)

permethrin (1)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

sulfur (NA)

aphids

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

beetles: yellow-margined leaf beetle

azadirachtin

carbaryl           

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

diamondback moth

azadirachtin     

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl           

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

imported cabbageworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

leafhoppers

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

mites: spider mites

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

sulfur

herbs

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)  insecticidal soap (0)

horseradish

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (7)

permethrin (22)

kale

(see greens)

kohlrabi

(see cole crops)

lettuce

Comments: Registration status may vary for head lettuce or leaf lettuce. Be sure to check the label for specifics.

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (14)

    (3 head lettuce)

disulfoton (P)

endosulfan (14)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (7)

permethrin (1)

petroleum oil (NA)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

aphids: red lettuce aphid

azadirachtin

carbaryl           

disulfoton                     

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

permethrin

pyrethrins

beetles: yellow-margined leaf beetle

azadirachtin

carbaryl

disulfoton                     

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

corn earworm (bollworm, tomato fruitworm, soybean podworm)

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

permethrin

pyrethrins

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

permethrin

diamondback moth

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

permethrin

pyrethrins

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

imported cabbageworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

leafhoppers

carbaryl

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

leafminers: serpentine leafminer

azadirachtin

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

thrips: western flower thrips

azadirachtin

carbaryl

disulfoton                   

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

melons

Comments: Specific melon types may be listed on some of the labels. Be sure to check product labels for specific restrictions.

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (0-5)

endosulfan (0-5)

esfenvalerate (3)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (1)

permethrin (0-3)

petroleum oil (0)

pyrethrins (1)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (3)

sulfur (NA)

aphids: melon aphid or cotton aphid

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cucumber beetles: southern corn rootworm

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

leafminer: serpentine leafminer

azadirachtin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

melonworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

permethrin

rotenone

mites: spider mites

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

sulfur

pickleworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

squash bug

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

squash vine borer

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

stink bugs

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

thrips: western flower thrips

azadirachtin

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

whiteflies: sweetpotato whitefly

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

muskmelon

(see melons)

mustard greens

(see greens)

okra

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (0-3)

insecticidal soap (0)

permethrin (1)

pyrethrins (NA)

rotenone (1)

aphids

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

corn earworm (bollworm, tomato fruitworm, soybean podworm)

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

permethrin

pyrethrins

stink bugs

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

onions

Comments: Dry onions are sometimes on the label as a separate site.

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (3)

petroleum oil (NA)

pyrethrins (1)

rotenone (1)

sulfur (NA)

armyworms: beet armyworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

pyrethrins

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

root maggots: onion maggot

malathion

rotenone

thrips: onion thrips, western flower thrips

azadirachtin

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

wireworms

parsley

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (14)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (21)

permethrin (1)

pyrethrins (NA)

spinosad (1)

aphids

azadirachtin

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

armyworms

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

permethrin

pyrethrins

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

weevils: carrot weevil

azadirachtin

carbaryl

permethrin

peas (English, green, succulent)

Remarks: Dry peas have different restrictions.  Be sure to read the label. 

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (0-3)

    (21 dry)

disulfoton (P)

esfenvalerate (3)

  (21 dry)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (3)

pyrethrins (1)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (3)

sulfur (NA)

aphids: pea aphid

carbaryl         

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

pyrethrins

cutworm: black cutworm

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

esfenvalerate

leafhoppers

carbaryl

disulfoton

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

leafminers

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

spinosad

loopers: alfalfa looper

Bacillus thuringiensis

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

stink bugs

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

pyrethrins

rotenone

wireworms

peas (southern, blackeyed, crowder, cowpeas)

Remarks: Succulent use has different restrictions than dry pea use.  Read the label for specifics.

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (3)

  (21 dry)

endosulfan (3)

  (not on dry peas)

malathion (1)

pyrethrins (NA)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (30)

aphids: cowpea aphid

carbaryl

disulfoton

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

cowpea curculio

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

peppers

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (0-7)

cyfluthrin (7)

endosulfan (4-7)

esfenvalerate (7)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (3)

permethrin (3)

petroleum oil (0)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

sulfur (NA)

aphids: green peach aphid, melon aphid or cotton aphid

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

cutworms: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

corn earworm (tomato fruitworm, bollworm, soybean podworm)

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

leafminers: serpentine leafminer

azadirachtin

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

rotenone

mites: broad mites, spider mites

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

rotenone

sulfur

psyllids

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

thrips: western flower thrips

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

weevils: pepper weevil

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

permethrin

rotenone

potatoes (Irish, white)

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis     tenebrionis (NA)

carbaryl (0-7)

disulfoton (P)

endosulfan (0-14)

esfenvalerate (7)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (0)

permethrin (7)

petroleum oil (NA)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (7)

sulfur (NA)

aphids: green peach aphid, melon aphid or cotton aphid

azadirachtin   

carbaryl

disulfoton

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

Colorado potato beetle

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis    tenebrionis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

cucumber beetles

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

leaffooted bug

endosulfan

leafhoppers

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

plant bugs

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

psyllids

Comments: Disulfoton is labeled for use for potato psyllid as a preplant treatment.

disulfoton

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

pyrethrins

wireworms

pumpkin

(see squash)

radishes

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (3-7)

cyfluthrin (0)

esfenvalerate (7)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (7)

petroleum oil (NA)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

aphids

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

beetles: yellow-margined leaf beetle

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

flea beetle

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

pyrethrins

rotenone

rutabagas

carbaryl (3-7)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

rotenone (1)

sulfur (NA)

spinach

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (3-14)

endosulfan (21)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (7)

permethrin (1-7)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

sulfur (NA)

aphids

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

permethrin

pyrethrins

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

permethrin

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

webworms: garden webworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

pyrethrins

rotenone

squash

Comments: Product labels differ in the statements regarding winter squash, summer squash, pumpkin, etc. Be sure to read the product labels for specifics.

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (0-5)

endosulfan (0-5)

esfenvalerate (3)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (1)

permethrin (0-3)

petroleum oil (0)

pyrethrins (1)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (3)

aphids: melon aphid or cotton aphid

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cucumber beetles: southern corn rootworm

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

leafminer: serpentine leafminer

azadirachtin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

rotenone

melonworm

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

permethrin

rotenone

mites: spider mites

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

rotenone

pickleworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

squash bug

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

squash vine borer

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

malathion

stink bugs

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

thrips: western flower thrips

azadirachtin

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

whiteflies: sweetpotato whitefly

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

strawberries

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (1-7)

endosulfan (4)

permethrin (14)

petroleum oil (NA)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

sweet corn (see corn)

sweet potatoes

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

endosulfan (P, 0)

malathion (3)

pyrethrins (NA)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (7)

beetles: golden tortoise beetle

azadirachtin

endosulfan

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

endosulfan

flea beetles

azadirachtin

endosulfan

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

sweetpotato weevil

wireworms

Swiss chard

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (14)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (7)

permethrin (1)

pyrethrins (NA)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

aphids

azadirachtin

carbaryl

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

permethrin

pyrethrins

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

stink bugs

carbaryl

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

webworms: beet webworm, garden webworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

pyrethrins

rotenone

tomatoes

Remarks: Permethrin use is not permitted on varieties with mature fruit under 1 inch in diameter. 

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis         tenebionis (NA)

carbaryl (0-7)

cyfluthrin (0)

disulfoton (P)

endosulfan (1-5)

esfenvalerate (1)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (1)

permethrin (0)

petroleum oil (0)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (1)

sulfur (NA)

aphids

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

disulfoton

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm, fall armyworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cutworms: black cutworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

flea beetles

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

disulfoton

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

leaffooted bug

endosulfan

leafminers: serpentine leafminer

azadirachtin

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

malathion

permethrin

petroleum oil

plant bugs

carbaryl

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

stink bugs

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

thrips: western flower thrips

azadirachtin

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

disulfoton

insecticidal soap

malathion

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

tomato pinworm

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

permethrin

rotenone

tomato russet mite

endosulfan

tomato hornworm

(tobacco hornworm is a close relative)

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

rotenone

tomato fruitworm (corn earworm, bollworm, soybean podworm)

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

carbaryl

cyfluthrin

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

permethrin

pyrethrins

whiteflies: sweetpotato whitefly

endosulfan

esfenvalerate

insecticidal soap

petroleum oil

pyrethrins

rotenone

turnips

Comments: The site generally refers to roots. Also see greens for turnip tops.

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (3-7)

  (14 tops)

endosulfan (21 greens)

insecticidal soap (0)

malathion (3-7)

pyrethrins (0)

rotenone (1)

sulfur (NA)

aphids

azadirachtin

carbaryl

endosulfan

insecticidal soap

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

blister beetle

endosulfan

pyrethrins

weevils: vegetable weevil

azadirachtin

carbaryl

watermelon

Comments: Also see melons.

azadirachtin (0)

Bacillus thuringiensis (0)

carbaryl (3-5)

malathion (1)

permethrin (0)

pyrethrins (NA)

rotenone (1)

spinosad (3)

aphids: melon aphid or cotton aphid

azadirachtin

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

armyworms: beet armyworm

azadirachtin

permethrin

pyrethrins

cabbage looper

azadirachtin

Bacillus thuringiensis

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cucumber beetle

malathion

permethrin

pyrethrins

rotenone

cutworm: black cutworm

azadirachtin

permethrin

leafminers: serpentine leafminer

azadirachtin

malathion

permethrin

mites: spider mites

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

squash bug

malathion

permethrin

rotenone

thrips: western flower thrips

azadirachtin

malathion

pyrethrins

rotenone

spinosad

webworms: garden webworm

azadirachtin

pyrethrins

rotenone

whiteflies: sweetpotato whitefly

pyrethrins

 

Table 2. Insecticides and example product names.

Insecticide

Example Product Names

azadirachtin

Gordon's7 Garden Guard Liquid insecticide

B.t., Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki

(and other caterpillar products)

Bonide7 Dipel7 150 Dust

Bonide7 Thuricide7 Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)

Bonide7 Dipel7 10G

Bonide7 Dipel7 .86% W.P.

Green Light7 BT Worm Killer

Green Light7 Dipel7 Dust

Monterey7 Caterpillar Clobber Bioinsecticide                 

Thuricide7 HPC

B.t., Bacillus thuringiensis var. tenebrionis (and others for beetles)

Bonide7 Colorado Potato Beetle Beater 3%

carbaryl

(some baits also contain methaldehyde)

Allpro7 Carbaryl 4L Flowable

Allpro7 Carbaryl 80S

Allpro7 10% Carbaryl Dust

Bonide7 Slug, Snail, & Sowbug Bait

Cutworm & Cricket Bait, Southern7 Agricultural Insecticides, Inc.

Gordon's7 Liquid Dura‑Spray Carbaryl Insecticide

Green Light7 Bug Bait

Monterey7 "7" Carbaryl Insecticide

Southern7 Ag Mole Cricket Bait

cyfluthrin

Bayer7 Advanced GardenJ Power Force Multi‑Insect Killer Concentrate

Bayer7 Advanced GardenJ Power Force Multi‑Insect Killer Ready‑to‑Use

Bayer7 Advanced GardenJ Power Force Multi‑Insect Killer Ready‑to‑Spray

diazinon

5% Diazinon Granules, Southern7 Agricultural Insecticides, Inc. 

Gordon's7 Diazinon 25% Emulsifiable Concentrate

Gordon's7 Diazinon 5G Lawn & Garden Insect Control

Green Light7 Diazinon Granules

Green Light7 Diazinon Concentrate

disulfoton       

Bonide7 Systemic Granules 2%

endosulfan

.75 Thiodan7 Insecticide SprayBonide7 Tomato‑Potato Vegetable Dust

Bonide7 Thiodan Spray Concentrate

esfenvalerate

Monterey7 Bug Buster

insecticidal soap

AllPro7 Insecticidal Soap 40%

Bonide7 Bon‑Neem Insecticidal Soap RTU

Bonide7 Bon‑Neem Insecticidal Soap Concentrate

iron phosphate

Sluggo7 Monterey

malathion

Bonide7 Malathion

Gordon's7 Malathion 50% Spray for Flies and Garden Insects

Green Light7 50% Malathion Insect Spray

Malathion 50% E. C., Southern7 Agricultural Insecticides, Inc.

metaldehyde

Bonide7 No Escape Slug & Snail Killer (Pellet)

Bonide7 No Escape Slug & Snail Killer (Meal)

Bonide7 No Escape Slug & Snail Killer

Eliminator7 Snail & Slug Bait

Ortho7 Bug‑Geta Snail & Slug Killer

neem oil extracts

(some also contain pyrethrins)

Green Light7 Neem Concentrate

Green Light7 Neem II Ready-to-Use

Green Light7 Tomato & Vegetable Spray Ready-to-Use

permethrin

Bonide7 Total Pest Control

Bonide7 Borer Miner Killer Concentrate

Bonide7 EightJ Insect Control, Garden & Home

Bonide7 EightJ Garden Dust

Bonide7 EightJ Insect Control, Vegetable, Fruit & Vegetable

Bonide7 EightJ Insect Control, Yard & Garden

Dexol7 Yard & Garden Bug Killer

Gordon's7 Bug‑No‑More Yard & Garden Insect Spray

Green Light7 Conquest7 Insecticide Concentrate

Green Light7 Borer Killer

Green Light7 Conquest7 Hose-End Concentrate (RTS)

Southern7 Ag, Garden Insect Dust with Permethrin

Southern7 Ag Lawn Insect Control

petroleum oil (paraffinic oil)

Bonide7 All season Horticultural & Dormant Spray

Bonide7 All Seasons Horticultural and Dormant Spray Oil

Monterey7 Saf‑T‑SideTM

pyrethrins (some also have canola oil or piperonyl butoxide)

Bonide7 Japanese Beetle RTU

Gordon's7 Garden Guard7Monterey7 Bug Buster ‑ O

Monterey7 Take Down Spray RTU

Monterey7 Take Down Garden Spray

Natural Pyrethrins Concentrate Southern7 Ag.

rotenone (usually with cube extracts, some have copper)

Bonide7 Rotenone 1.00% Dust

Bonide7 Garden Dust

Bonide7 Rotenone 5% Dust

Bonide7 Rotenone ‑ Copper Dust

rotenone + pyrethrins

Bonide7 Liquid Rotenone‑Pyrethrins Spray

spinosad

Fertilome7 Borer, Bagworm, Leafminer & Tent Caterpillar Spray

Southern7 Ag Conserve Naturalyte Insect Control

sulfur

Bonide7 Liquid Sulfur

Green Light7 Wettable Dusting Sulfur

Monterey7 Sulfur 90W

thyme oil, clove oil, and sesame oil

Green Light7 Bioganic7 Lawn & Garden Insect Spray

Green Light7 Bioganic7 Organic Insect Control Concentrate

Green Light7 Bioganic7 Lawn & Garden Hose-End  Concentrate (RTS)

 

Table 3. Chemical classes and mode of action.

Insecticide Class

Examples

Mode of Action

Botanical

azadirachtin

- insect growth regulator which inhibits molting

pyrethrins

- derived from a dried pyrethrum daisy flower head

- provides quick "knockdown" by destabilizing nerve cell membranes

rotenone

- derived from several tropical legume roots such as derris and cube root

- inhibits cellular respiration primarily in nerve and muscle cells causing death to occur hours or days after exposure

Synthetic pyrethroid

cyfluthrin

esfenvalerate

permethrin

- synthetic compounds related to natural pyrethrins

- destabilizes nerve cell membranes

Carbamate

carbaryl

metaldehyde

- inhibits cholinesterase, preventing the termination of nervous impulses

Chlorinated hydrocarbon

endosulfan

- destabilize nerve cell membranes, preventing them from transmitting nervous impulses

Inorganic

sulfur

- elemental sulfur, when ingested causes dehydration and electrolyte depletion

iron phosphate

- causes pathological changes on a cellular basis in slug and snail crop and hepatopancreas

Microbial

Bacillus thuringiensis

- bacteria produced spores and delta endotoxin which causes disruption of the stomach lining of certain leaf feeding caterpillars and beetles

Naturalite

spinosad

- extract of Actinomycetes fungus

- activates nerve receptors with a unique mechanism

Organophosphate

diazinon

disulfoton

malathion

- inhibits cholinesterase, preventing the termination of nervous impulses

Insecticidal soaps and oils

insecticidal soap

neem oil

paraffinic oil

- derived from animal byproducts (fat) or plant oils

- causes physical disruption of the insect cuticle, resulting in water imbalance and dessication

 

Acknowledgment

The original version of this publication, published in 1993, was developed by Extension Entomologist Bastiaan M. Drees and former Extension Entomologists Garland McIlveen and Charles L. Cole.

 

Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University •  Department of Entomology  •  412 Heep Center, TAMU 2475
College Station, TX 77843-2475 • 979.845.2516
Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University