Cabbage Root Maggot Insecticide
Insecticides are used to control various pests in gardens. They are very effective against many insects such as aphids, caterpillars, beetles, fleas, moths and spiders. However they have limited effectiveness against cabbage root maggots (CRM). CRM is a type of soft scale bug which lives inside the roots of vegetables like carrots, turnips and radishes.
These bugs feed on plant juices and nutrients. When these insects die off, it causes the loss of vitamins and minerals from the plants. The problem with using pesticides to control CRM is that there are no natural predators or herbivores which eat them. So even if you spray pesticide over your garden, the pests will just move elsewhere where they can survive.
There are several natural methods to control CRM including:
1) Use of garlic, onions and other herbs to attract the bugs.
These foods contain substances which repel insects.
2) Using vinegar and water to soak up any liquid left behind by dead insects.
3) Spraying insecticidal soap onto affected areas.
4) Covering affected area with plastic wrap until it dries out completely.
How to get rid of cabbage maggots in garden
If you are a fan of natural ways to control CRM, there are several easy steps you can take:
1) Cabbage maggots thrive in moist and humid conditions.
2) Soaking the area with water will drown the root maggots and provide immediate relief.
3) Hosing down can be done every morning before you start planting your crops.
4) If you water your crops in the evening, it is better to water them early in the day.
5) Using a water sprayer will also protect your crops from fungal diseases.
6) Watering thoroughly twice a day for two weeks is effective.
7) Dumping all standing water and removing any affected plants.
8) Check for any dead plant material or debris, which can hold water.
9) Do not plant your crops too close to each other.
10) Removing any mulch or covering which can hold water around the base of your plants.
Cabbage Root Maggot Life Cycle
The life cycle of a CRM is similar to that of other pests. The female lays eggs on the stem during spring and summer. These eggs hatch and become larvae after a few days. The new life forms then start feeding on the plant.
The eggs, larvae and adult CRM can be found on the roots, under the ground or on the stem. Cabbage root maggot is a disease of vegetables like cabbage, turnips, rutabagas and other plants in the same family. These pests cannot fly but they can walk or be transported by water. The female lays eggs near the roots of these plants where they grow and multiply. Within weeks the plants will wilt. You can avoid these problems by covering the planting area with plastic for two weeks after you plant the seeds.
Benefits of using biological control to kill root maggots
The best way to get rid of root maggots is to use the natural predators and parasites which already exist in your area. One of the most effective biological controls for root maggot is nematodes. These microscopic roundworms are not insects or worms but they feed on them. There are several types of nematodes which attack root maggots.
They enter the bugs through their breathing pores and feed on their tissue. Another biological control for root maggots is a small wasp called Trichogramma. This parasite lays its eggs inside the eggs of CRM. The Trichogramma hatch before the CRM eggs and consume their yolks. They also secrete a chemical which prevents the egg from hatching. After they hatch they feast on the maggot inside until it dies.
Root Maggot Killer
If you have a severe root maggot problem then you should use the above biological controls in combination with some synthetic pesticides. One of the most popular chemicals used for killing root maggots is called Conserve. It is an IGR (insect growth regulator) and it prevents the maggots from reaching adulthood. You can use it as a fumigant to protect your plants or you can inject it directly into the soil.
Dursban is another popular insecticide which can be used to control root maggots. It is a little toxic so you should wear gloves and protective clothing when handling it. Always read the safety directions before you apply any chemical to your garden.
Root maggots are one of many garden pests which can damage your plants. These pests can be controlled naturally or with the aid of synthetic pesticides.
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Disclaimer: I support responsible gardening. Unnecessary use of pesticides is bad for people and the environment. Always follow the instructions on the label. The information contained here is for educational purposes only.
Sources & references used in this article:
Insect pests of truck and garden crops by AL Lovett – 1921 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
Natural insect control: the ecological gardener’s guide to foiling pests by W Schultz – 1994 – books.google.com
Vegetable garden insect pests by HH Crowell, RW Every, HE Morrison – 1955 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
Insect pests of truck and garden crops by DC Mote – 1926 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
Vegetable garden insect pests (Revised March 1976) by HH Crowell, J Capizzi – 1976 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
Controlling Insects in the Home Vegetable Garden by ME Ascerno – 1981 – conservancy.umn.edu