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omemakers chat 


MOFDAY, MAY 3, 1943 

SUBJECT: "FOUR EARLY &ARDEK INSECTS." Information f rPBrrnitomoa^og^ q 

C f f> / 

U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

— ooOoo—- 

The early "bird gets the worm, according to the o 



MAY 1 1 1943 1 

Victory Gardeners will not leave too much to the eariy^WTUT 
after the worm themselves — and every other insect pest of vegetable crops. 
At this time of year the gardener himself prepares first to get the early worm. 
And the early worm is the cutworm which takes down young, tender plants, 
especially cabbage, tomato and pepper plants — cuts them down by night. 

The cutworm is probably the first insect to prepare for in the spring. 
This grey-brown, rather chunky worm lives through the winter in the ground . 
and comes out in the spring hungry for juicy young plants. Cutworms feed 
at night... hide underground during the day. They cut of f young plants just above 
ground... cut them off and leave them. A few cutworms can do a lot of cutting 
in just one night. 

Luckily for the gardener, cutworms like bran even better than tender 
young plants. common everyday breakfast bran, or the bran for stock feeding. 
So a poisoned bran is the ideal bait for the cutworm. . .usually poisoned with 
Paris green. But bran without poison scattered around the garden will draw 
cutworms away from young plants, because the cutworms will feed on it instead 
of plants. And them, in a small garden you can protect plants with paper 
collars. When you set plants out in the garden, wrap a collar of heavy paper, 
about the size of a penny-postcard, around each one. The paper must encircle 
the stem and go down an inch into the ground. Cutworms can't climb over the 


paper or burrow under it» 

So much for the early worm, Now for the second kind of insect to prepare 
for in the early garden — aphids or plant lice..* tiny green or grey insects 
that gather together on the under side, of leaves and down the stem and feed on 
the juice of the plant. As aphids collect on plants, the plants "become 
stunted and finally die. Go after aphids the moment they appear by spraying 
with soap suds and nicotine sulphate. Use one teaspoon nicotine sulphate and 
2 tablespoons soap flakes in one gallon of water. And then spray the leaves, 
the underside thoroughly. By the way, you can buy nicotine sulphate at the 
drug store and in small amounts. You won't need much for a family garden. 

No?; for the third insect likely to make its appearance in your garden. 
This is the flea, beetle — a small , dark beetle that comes in crowds. . ..jumps 
around like a. flea. ..and eats tiny holes, the size of pinheads, in the leaves of 
cabbage, tomato and other plants* Plea, beetles feed on the upper side of the 
leaf — the top side instead of underneath as aphids do. But flea, beetles won't 
eat a. dusty or powdering leaf. So the way to control flea beetles is to dust 
plants with hydrated lime or "land plaster", often called gypsum. Even talcum 
powder or flour will turn off the flea beetle. By the way, these little beetles 
go first for weak, wilted plants. So give your cabbage and tomato plants 
plenty of water when you transplant them. That keeps them from wilting, 
and helps them resist the flea beetle. And remember to powder the leaves as soon 
as the beetles start hop- skip-.and- jumping in your garden. 

Tne fourth and last insect to prepare for in your early garden is the 
bean beetle. This is a larger beetle than the flea beetle — yellow or copper 
in color with 16 black spots on its back. Bean, plants are this beetle's dish — 
snap beans, lima beans, pole beans... but not soybeans if any other kind of bean 
is near to feed on. The copper-colored, 16-spot bean beetle lays clusters of 


small yellow eggs on the underside of bean leaves. The eggs hatch into fuzzy 
yellow larvae with voracious appetites. They can make lac ©work out of a "bean 
leaf faster than you can believe. As soon as you see a copper-colored,. 16- 
spot "beetle in your garden, look on the underside of "bean leaves for the little 
yellow eggs and crush then "by folding over the leaf. Keep beetles down by 
dusting or spraying the underside of leaves with rotenone. Hotemone is 
practically harmless to humans, but death to bean beetles. Supplies of 
rotenone are United this year, but Victory Gardeners should be able to get 
small amounts for use on beans, 

Nov; briefly, let's review these 4 important pests of the earls' - garden: 
First, cutworms. .. cut down young, tender plants. .. control with paper collars 
around each plant or with poison bran. Second, aphids or plant lice... tiny 
green or grey, . .gather in clusters on underside of leaves. .. spray with soapsuds 
containing nicotine sulphate. Third, flea beetles. .. tiny dark beetles that 
hop like fleas... dust leaves with lime or land plaster. Fourth, bean beetles 
and their larvae. .. copper-color, 16-black-spot beetle with fuzzy yellow larvae 
that eat on underside of leaf*.. dust or spray underside of leaf with rotenone. 

The Department of Agriculture will send you a copy of its bulletin 
called "Diseases and Insects of Garden Vegetables" to help you recognise 
garden troubles and control them, ^he bulletin is free as long as the free suppl 
lasts. Send a postcard to the U. 6. Department of Agriculture, Washington, 
D. 0. for "Diseases and Insects of Garden Vegetables"