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Charley's Greenhouse
17979 State Route 536
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
Fax 360-873-8264

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Vegetable Plant Guide w/ Pests & Effective Controls
By Carol Yaw

A quick, earth-friendly guide to identifying pests and effectively controlling them naturally.

Artichoke, Globe

  • Aphids like feeding on their leaves.
    Use a strong spray of water from a hose, or spray with soapy water.
    Still a problem? Neem Oil is very effective.

  • Yellow patches on leaves caused by aphids.
    (See Artichoke controls above.)
  • Mid-summer black trails of excrement caused by blister beetles can cause sudden damage.
    Shake plant and beetles will drop off. Collect and dispose of with GLOVES.
Brussels Sprouts

  • In general cabbage pests will attack broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
    (See Cabbage controls below.)


  • Small, green caterpillars — cabbage loopers and cabbageworms hide on leaf veins and eat leaves. They leave dark green droppings and holes in leaves around the edges.
    Control by hand picking them off, Bt treatments or floating row covers.

  • Curled leaves and slow growth may be from aphids eating tops or roots. (See Artichoke controls above.)
  • Misshaped roots with round galls caused from root-knot nematodes. These nematodes occur naturally in many soils (especially sandy.)
    Best strategies are resistant varieties, rotating crops. Root-knot nematodes do not like French marigolds, ryes, most mall grains, sweet potatoes and cabbage family plants. Encourage beneficial fungi by building up soil with more organic matter.

  • Aphid, cabbageworms and cabbage looper are pests.
    (See Artichoke and Cabbage controls.)
  • Yellow and striped cucumber beetles feed heavily, lay fast growing eggs, and transmit bacterial wilt.
    Plant cucumber varieties described as nonbitter. Cover plants with row covers until they start flowering. Also enter mix radishes among cucumbers.

  • Kale and Kohlrabi have the same pests as cabbage.
    (See Cabbage controls above.)

  • Aphids like to hide among leaves.
    (See Artichoke controls.)
  • Slugs are common after rainfall.
    Best controls we’ve found are Sluggo Plus and Slug Hotel.


  • Same pests as cucumbers.
    (See Cucumber controls above.)

  • Aphids can transmit viruses.
    (See Artichoke controls.)
  • Brown spots on leaves indicate Potato leafhoppers.
    Control with Yellow Greenhouse Traps, strong sprays of water, Neem Oil.

  • Leafhoppers on underside of leaves cause tips and margins to turn brown and die.
    (See Pea controls.)
  • Black and cream striped Colorado potato beetles consume leaves. Tiny larvae hide in growing tips.
    Hand pick and drop in bucket of soapy water. Mulch plants with thick straw. For heavy infestations use a Bt specially formulated for potato beetle larvae — Bacillus thuringiensis san diego.

  • Cutworms can mow down seedlings instantly and cause them to wither. Encircle each seedling with a protective collar out of plastic or a paper cup. Black and cream striped Colorado potato beetles consume leaves.
    See Potato controls above.
  • A shiny trail that leads to a hole in the fruit detects slugs.
    ( See Lettuce controls.)
  • Leaf tips with black spots and wilting virus signal Thrips (so tiny hard to see.)
    Slow down light infestation with Neem Oil. For heavier infestations use Leafminer and Thrip Sticky Traps.