Specs on Five Northwest Pests

UI insect information

Published in the April 2009 Issue Published online: Apr 30, 2009 Ryan Hales
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At this time of year, the magazine has a focus on crop protection. The following information on five pests is from the University of Idaho "Identification Keys for Insect Pests in Pacific Northwest Field Crops." For more information on pests, visit www.extension.uidaho.edu.



Size: about 10 mm long, 9 mm wide
Color: yellowish with 10 black stripes on wing covers; cherry red larvae have black heads and feet
Hosts: potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, nightshade


Size: about 2 mm long
Color: olive-green to black; orange or red band on back of abdomen
Time: from corn in fall to winter cereal crops
Hosts: cereals, corn, grasses, bird-cherry


Size: 2.5 to 3.5 mm long
Color: green
Disease: efficient transmitter of PVY, but not of PLRV
Damage: caused by the aphid's sucking plant sap; large populations predispose the plant to wilt and sunburn
Host: occurs on potatoes, but nightshade is the preferred host; apples, beans, clover, corn, nightshade, peas, pigweed, lambsquarters, shepherdspurse


Size: 1.5 to 2.5 mm long
Color: light yellowish-green, sometimes pinkish
Characteristics: small tubercles at the antennae base distinguish them from most other aphids
Time: winged forms migrate from peach and apricot trees to several vegetable crops in the spring.
Diseases: efficient vector of several viruses such as Potato Leaf Roll Virus
Hosts: cabbage, eggplants, peppers, mustard, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, peaches, prunes, apricots, sugarbeets


Size: 4 mm long
Color: green
Time: from May to September
Damage: stippling or speckling of the leaf surface
Hosts: potatoes, tomatoes, nightshade


The University of Idaho provides an online catalog with reference guides, such as the Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook, a series of three comprehensive handbooks, each more than 350 pages long, providing current, in-depth information on controlling weeds, insects and plant diseases in Pacific Northwest field, horticultural and other crops. The books are prepared by pest experts at the University of Idaho, Oregon State University and Washington State University and are updated annually. For ordering information, log onto www.extension.uidaho.edu. Photos courtesy of Miller Research and Oregon State University.