Pest Management

Japanese Beetle; photo by Edwin Remsberg

CORE COMPETENCIES

At the end of this session 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 legs

    • 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


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


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