Pest Management

Japanese Beetle; photo by Edwin Remsberg

Selected Readings and Content

  • Disease Cycles (password protected; Maine Master Gardeners, please see your MGV contact for the password), by Mary McKellar, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University
  • Entomology (password protected; Maine Master Gardeners, please see your MGV contact for the password), by Jeffrey Hahn, Professor and Assistant Extension Entomologist, University of Minnesota; edited by Clay Kirby, University of Maine
  • Plant Pathology (password protected; Maine Master Gardeners, please see your MGV contact for the password), by Michelle Grabowski, Regional Extension Educator, University of Minnesota; edited by Bruce Watt, University of Maine

UMaine Extension and State Websites

UMaine Extension Bulletins

UMaine Extension Videos

Weed Management

Additional Resources


Master Gardener Volunteer Training

Core Competencies

At the end of these sessions you will be able to articulate and explain:

Pathology

  • The difference between biotic and abiotic diseases
  • The three main types of biotic diseases (fungal, bacterial, viral)
  • The factors necessary for plant disease to occur (the “disease triangle” and/or “disease pyramid”)
  • How to use the ‘IPM Triangle’ to identify preventative measures and controls for plant diseases
  • The importance of properly identifying the disease, assessing severity of damage and noting time of year before considering control
  • The signs and symptoms of at least one common disease of ornamentals, vegetables and fruits; (powdery mildew, downy mildew, Pythium root rot, rust, apple scab and others)
  • How to package samples for shipment to the Pest Management Lab for diagnosis; and articulate and explain what information is needed for plant disease diagnostics
  • Why Master Gardener Volunteers do not offer advice on the use of pesticides
Entomology
  • Key morphological characteristics of insects;
    • Three major body parts: head, thorax, abdomen
    • Six leg
    • Exoskeleton
    • Antennae
  • The two common life cycle types of insects – gradual and complete metamorphosis
  • The characteristics of five orders of common garden insects:
    • Coleoptera (beetles)
    • Diptera (true flies)
    • Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)
    • Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants)
    • Hemiptera (true bugs, hoppers, aphids)
  • The fundamental components of Integrated Pest Management (IPM);
    • Knowledge of crop, Knowledge of pest, Monitoring, Thresholds, Action steps (actual management methods) and Evaluation
  • How to use the ‘IPM Triangle’ to identify preventative measures and controls for plant pests
  • Common arthropod pests of fruit and vegetable crops and ornamentals/turf;
    • Fruit crops: e.g. tarnished plant bug, strawberry weevil, blueberry maggot, raspberry cane borer, apple maggot
    • Vegetable crops: e.g. striped cucumber beetle, asparagus beetle, squash bug, cutworms, hornworm,
    • Colorado potato beetle, imported cabbage worm
    • Ornamentals/turf: e.g. Japanese beetle, lily leaf beetle, viburnum leaf beetle, mites, eastern tent caterpillar
  • Beneficial organisms (predatory or parasitic) and how to attract them to the garden;
    • Examples: braconid wasps, ichneumonid wasps, nematodes, lady beetles, spiders, green lacewings
  • The threat that invasive insect species pose in Maine
  • Why Master Gardener Volunteers do not give advice on the use of pesticides

Practical Skills Gained and Strengthened

In Plant Pathology

  • How to prevent and control plant diseases (IPM/Disease Triangle)
  • Be able to locate disease resistant varieties in a seed catalog
  • Identify common plant diseases found in Maine gardens and landscapes
  • How to collect and package samples for shipment to the Pest Management Lab for diagnosis
  • How to gather the necessary information for plant disease diagnostics

In Entomology

  • How to prevent and control pests (IPM Triangle)
  • Become familiar with the latest sources for  cultural/mechanical pest control techniques geared to a specific pest
  • Identify common pest species found in Maine gardens and landscapes
  • Identify common beneficial organisms found in Maine landscapes