I'd like to share this magnificent flea beetle infestation with you all, as i won't be harvesting any horse radish this year, i might harvest some sympathy and tips. I hope others upload their worst pest invasions as well. I'll update when my horse radish is fine again. It is a record smashing heat wave over here and these flea beetles like heat.
I have flea beetles on my new property as well, nothing as bad as that, but they cover the raspberry and blueberry fruits, as well as the rhubarb plant. I've never dealt with them before, we didn't have them in the Bay Area. I'm having some luck with DE. Or other main insect pest in the red shouldered beetle, but it seems mostly to be a nuisance. I have so many lizards and yet they can't keep up with the beetle population.
Wow, that is one serious infestation in the OP's photo! Damn.
I hate flea beetles. I've seen their damage on a variety of crops, but mostly they get my eggplants. This year they seem a bit less ferocious for some reason, or else the eggplants seem a little stronger, I don't know which. I have tried to regularly dust the undersides of the eggplant leaves with some DE this year. I think that has helped, though the eggplants were already doing better before I stated that then they've ended the season looking in other years.
We get hordes of white cabbage butterflies every summer. Brassicas will be going great guns, then one day you'll notice a bunch of scarred leaf surfaces. Undersides of the affected leaves will have dozens of tiny, yellow-green caterpillars. If you're up for a fight, you can spray with soap and Bt. This will usually keep your plants going through the end of December. But then if you let your guard down for a week (or go to the beach) they will gain the upper hand and defoliate anything in the crucifer category. Including horseradish...that seems to be their favourite.
Part of the problem (the biggest part, IMO) is the overplanting of forage brassicas by farmers. No way to control them in paddocks of several hectares, and the farmers don't seem to care that all the fodder that they are growing for their livestock is going on the wing.
I don't have a photo, but the Colorado potato beetles have absolutely decimated my potato plants this year (actually every year). Hundreds of them from eggs to larva to adult on every plant. They eat every scrap of foliage and leave only the stems.
I haven't found a more "permie" solution than row covers.
Six years ago or so, in our second year on this site, grasshoppers invaded en masse and started stripping everything to a stub! Dramatic! The veggie garden was a complete loss. All our new trees we had to go buy fine fabric netting and make big bags to put over them and tie around the stem. But even then some would chew through the bags to get at the leaves, and nibble the bark too! But it was only that one year. Normally I see a few, and their damage is negligible. The opportunity....I made a big butterfly-net with the same net fabric and would go scoop up a big double handful in no time daily....we were that year raising a batch of young chicks and they thrived
An incredible bounce back! The infected horse-radish was completely shriveled and left for dead by the ground-fleas, which were munching my other horse-radishes by that time. Despite 4 heat waves and no rain for month the incredible horse-radish returned! Big applause for the winner, HORSE-RADISH!
Ok, there are some pretty ugly looking pests/infections thus far.
My personal worst pest is actually a pretty one that I love to have around. By far my worst pest are deer. I am in the process of barricading my garden beds from deer, something I really need to finish as my deer (my daughter likes to call them the yard deer) for the last two years have eaten most of my produce for the last two years. They especially like tomatoes and they really love sweet potatoes. In fact, they will eat the sweet potato vines right down to the ground and kill them outright.
I guess I will spend my winter finishing off my garden fencing in preparation for next spring.
We were over run with squash bugs the first year we gardened at our current place. I bought guineas to run in the garden, but never did, as the natural controls must have shown up, as we never had a problem again.
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