Identifying and Managing Plant Pests in Fruits and Vegetables

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1 Identifying and Managing Plant Pests in Fruits and Vegetables Unit: Horticultural Science Problem Area: Integrated Pest Management Student Learning Objectives. Instruction in this lesson should result in students achieving the following objectives: 1 Identify insect and disease pests of fruits and vegetables. 2 Analyze methods of pest management for fruits and vegetables. List of Resources. The following resources may be useful in teaching this lesson: E-unit : Identifying and Managing Plant Pests in Fruits and Vegetables. Danville, IL: CAERT, Inc. Picture Sheets X699.50: Grape Diseases I. Urbana: University of Illinois Information Technology and Communication Services. Picture Sheets X699.53: Bramble Fruit Diseases I. Urbana: University of Illinois Information Technology and Communication Services. Picture Sheets X and X699.55: Strawberry Diseases Iand II. Urbana: University of Illinois Information Technology and Communication Services. Picture Sheets X699.66: Blueberry Diseases I. Urbana: University of Illinois Information Technology and Communication Services. Page 1

2 Picture Sheets X and X699.47: Apple Diseases I and II. Urbana: University of Illinois Information Technology and Communication Services. Picture Sheets X and X699.49: Cherry and Plum Diseases I and II. Urbana: University of Illinois Information Technology and Communication Services. Picture Sheets X and X699.52: Peach Diseases I and II. Urbana: University of Illinois Information Technology and Communication Services. Picture Sheets X through X699.64: Vegetable Diseases I through IV. Urbana: University of Illinois Information Technology and Communication Services. Manual and Picture Sheets MX600: Horticultural Diseases, Pests, and More. Urbana: University of Illinois Information Technology and Communication Services. List of Equipment, Tools, Supplies, and Facilities Writing surface Overhead projector Visuals from accompanying masters Copies of student lab sheet Terms. The following terms are presented in this lesson (shown in bold italics): aphids apple maggot aster yellows Botrytis blight brown rot cabbage worms cankers codling moth Colorado potato beetle corn earworm cucumber beetles damping-off fireblight leaf spots and blights pathogen peach tree borer plum curculios root and stem rots rusts Page 2

3 San Jose scale scab slugs verticillium wilt Interest Approach. Use an interest approach that will prepare the students for the lesson. Teachers often develop approaches for their unique class and student situations. A possible approach is included here. Ask students to describe the perfect apple. What characteristics do they look for when picking an apple? After students list these traits, ask them to tell you the things that can make an apple undesirable. What causes these undesirable characteristics? SUMMARY OF CONTENT AND TEACHING STRATEGIES Objective 1: Identify insect and disease pests of fruits and vegetables. Anticipated Problem: What insect and disease pests affect the growth of fruits and vegetables? I. Like any other crops, fruits and vegetables have pests. These pests can impair fruit or vegetable growth and production. Damage to fruits and vegetables can be enough to leave them worthless to the grower. A. Hundreds of insects affect the growth and yield of fruit and vegetable crops. These pests can cause damage in a number of different ways. The most obvious way insects can affect plants is by consuming the foliage or fruit. Not only can this affect the growth of the plants, but it can also result in poor quality and contamination of the edible parts of the fruit or vegetable crop. Insects can also do damage by piercing plants and sucking nutrients from them. Insects also spread disease. Finally, the consumer does generally not tolerate the presence of insects on or in fruits or vegetables. Most products must be free of insect pests to be marketable. 1. Aphids are pear-shaped, soft-bodied, usually wingless insects. They are often green or yellowish in color. Aphids have the ability to reproduce very rapidly. Astonishingly, they give birth to live young that are born pregnant! Aphids use their mouthparts to pierce plants and suck out juices. Aphids attack a wide variety of fruit and vegetable plants. Page 3

4 2. Cabbage worms attack cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, and other related crops. They are 1-inch-long green cabbage looper or butterfly larvae. They eat holes in the leaves and flowers. 3. The Colorado potato beetle is a yellowish ½-inch-long beetle with brown stripes. It eats potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. 4. Cucumber beetles eat holes in the leaves of cucumbers, melons, and squash. They are about ¼ inch in size. Their bodies are yellowish with black stripes. They also carry cucurbit wilt disease. 5. The corn earworm is a greenish-brownish striped caterpillar about 1 inch long. It feeds on the tip of the ear. 6. The peach tree borer attacks stone tree fruit, including peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and cherries. It damages the inner bark from about 12 inches above the ground to about 3 inches below the ground. Serious infestations cause individual branches or entire trees to die. 7. The apple maggot infests apples, plums, and blueberries. The adult fly emerges between June and September. It lays an egg inside the skin of a developing fruit. The larva tunnels through the flesh of the fruit. 8. The San Jose scale is a pest of apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, and cherries. The scale feeds on branches, leaves, and fruit. Infested fruit drops, branches lose vigor and die, and leaves and fruit have a red spotted appearance. 9. The codling moth is a serious pest of the apple. The larva damages the apple by burrowing into the center of the fruit. As the larva chews its way inward, it pushes fecal material through the opening. 10. Plum curculios attack apples, peaches, pears, plums, and cherries. Larvae tunnel through the fruit and cause the fruit to drop or rot. B. There are three main causes of fruit and vegetable diseases. The pathogens that cause plant disease are fungi, bacteria, and viruses. For one of these pathogens to infect a plant, the environmental conditions must be right, the host plant must be susceptible, and the pathogen, or the cause of disease, must be present. 1. Root and stem rots are caused mostly by Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium fungi. When plant roots and stems rot, plant growth becomes stunted, and the plant wilts easily. Pythium is one fungus that can cause damping-off. Damping-off is the early death of seedlings that have germinated. More mature plants can also develop root and stem rots as a result of Pythium, particularly when the growing medium has poor aeration. Rhizoctonia causes damping-off, as well as root and stem rots. 2. Aster yellows is a viral disease of brambles and other crops. Symptoms of infection include discoloration of plant tissues, stunting of growth, and deformed growth. The spread from one plant to another is primarily by feeding insects. 3. Rusts are fungal diseases of apple, hawthorn, juniper, and other species. Symptoms of rust are bright yellow, orange, orange-red, reddish-brown, dark Page 4

5 brown, or black powdery raised pustules on leaves, stems, and fruit. Leaves may wither and die, and plants may be stunted. 4. Scab is a fungal disease common to crab apples and apples, but other species are also affected. Initially, small light brown to olive-green lesions appear on the undersides of leaves. The spots turn black; the leaves may curl; and if the petioles are infected, the leaves drop. 5. Leaf spots and blights are caused by fungi and bacteria. They are common with many vegetables and fruits. Most leaf spot diseases appear as small, scattered, round to oval dead areas. The appearance of the lesions varies. 6. Cankers have a variety of causal agents. A canker is a localized dead area in the cambium and bark of a branch or trunk. Cankers may appear sunken, flat, or swollen. They are typically discolored. Cankers can enlarge and girdle the stem, resulting in the death of all tissue beyond the infection. 7. Fireblight is a disease of plants in the rose family, including apples, pears, and quince. It is caused by a bacterium. Flowers, shoots, and branches may be attacked. Symptoms are leaves that wilt and turn brown, giving the plant a scorched look. 8. Verticillium wilt is caused by fungi. It is a vascular disease that infects both woody and herbaceous plant species. Leaves on a branch wilt and turn brown, and individual branches die back. The sapwood is discolored and has a dark streaking. 9. Botrytis blight is a fungal disease that can attack fruit crops. It causes a brown rotting and develops fuzzy, gray mold as it produces spores. Botrytis is most common when temperatures are between 60 and 70 F, air circulation is poor, and humidity is high. 10. Brown rot is a fungal disease that infects ripening peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, and apricots. Rotted areas are soft and brown. Blossoms and shoots may also wilt and turn brown. C. Slugs are brown to black shell-less snails ranging from ½ inch to more than 1 inch long. Slugs feed on leaves, flowers, and fruit during the night. D. Mice and voles are serious pests of apples. The animals chew the roots, as well as the bark on the trunk of a tree. Badly damaged trees die. Use an interest approach to get the students attention. State the objectives of the lesson. Have the students read selections from resources pertaining to fruit and vegetable pests. Lead a discussion on the common pests. Obtain a PowerPoint presentation or create your own for use during the discussion. Page 5

6 Objective 2: Analyze methods of pest management for fruits and vegetables. Anticipated Problem: What methods of pest management are used for fruits and vegetables? II. Insects, diseases, and weeds can be managed to reduce losses to fruits and vegetables. A. There are a number of general practices that are employed to manage insect and disease pest problems. 1. Select and grow disease-resistant varieties and hybrids. 2. Use seed treated with a fungicide to reduce damping-off. 3. Examine the plants for signs of disease or insect infestation and address the problem promptly. 4. Fertilize the plants properly to promote healthy growth. 5. Use attractant baits to manage slug and snail populations. 6. Mulch the plants to reduce soilborne diseases, reduce weed problems, and maintain uniform soil moisture. 7. Avoid working in the garden when the plants are wet. Moisture contributes to the spread of disease. 8. Remove plant residue that has been infected with disease and dispose of it. 9. Rotate the crops in the garden every year and avoid planting the same type of vegetable in the same location more than once every three years. 10. Eliminate weeds from around fruits and vegetables. They harbor insects and diseases. They also compete for nutrients, water, and light. 11. Remove dead and diseased limbs from fruit trees. Proper pruning can increase light penetration to the foliage and inhibit disease development. It can also improve air circulation, thus reducing diseases. 12. Apply chemical pesticides to manage existing pests when other control methods have failed. Have students read selections pertaining to pest management in various resources. Continue with a PowerPoint presentation as class discussion resumes. Invite an extension agent to speak about pests of fruits and vegetables. Have the students prepare questions in advance. Review/Summary. Use the student learning objectives as the basis for review and summary. Have students explain the content associated with each objective. Use their responses in determining which objectives and concepts need to be reviewed or taught from a different angle. The anticipated problems can be used as student review questions. Application. Use the included visual master and lab sheet to apply the information presented in the lesson. Page 6

7 Evaluation. Evaluation should be based on student comprehension of the learning objectives. This can occur during instruction, review, or later as students apply the information. The sample written test can also be used. Answers to Sample Test: Part One: Matching 1. i 2. b 3. c 4. j 5. h 6. d 7. a 8. e 9. f 10. g Part Two: Multiple Choice 1. b 2. d 3. c 4. d 5. a Part Three: Short Answer Any 10 of the following: 1. Select and grow disease-resistant varieties and hybrids. 2. Use seed treated with a fungicide to reduce damping-off. 3. Examine the plants for signs of disease or insect infestation and address the problem promptly. 4. Fertilize the plants properly to promote healthy growth. 5. Use attractant baits to manage slug and snail populations. 6. Mulch the plants to reduce soilborne diseases, reduce weed problems, and maintain uniform soil moisture. 7. Avoid working in the garden when the plants are wet. Moisture contributes to the spread of disease. 8. Remove plant residue that has been infected with disease and dispose of it. 9. Rotate the crops in the garden every year and avoid planting the same type of vegetable in the same location more than once every three years. Page 7

8 10. Eliminate weeds from around fruits and vegetables. They harbor insects and diseases. They also compete for nutrients, water, and light. 11. Remove dead and diseased limbs from fruit trees. Proper pruning can increase light penetration to the foliage and inhibit disease development. It can also improve air circulation, thus reducing diseases. 12. Apply chemical pesticides to manage existing pests when other control methods have failed. Page 8

9 Sample Test Name Identifying and Managing Plant Pests in Fruits and Vegetables Part One: Matching Instructions: Match the term with the correct definition. a. slugs f. aphids b. pathogen g. brown rot c. codling moth h. scab d. fireblight i. canker e. mice and voles j. peach tree borer 1. A localized dead area in the cambium and bark of a branch or trunk 2. The cause of disease 3. A serious pest of the apple whose larva damages the apple by burrowing into the center of the fruit 4. An insect that attacks stone tree fruit and damages the inner bark from about 12 inches above the ground to about 3 inches below the ground 5. A serious fungal disease of apples in which small light brown to olive-green lesions appear on the undersides of leaves 6. A disease of plants in the rose family caused by a bacterium in which the leaves wilt and turn brown, giving the plant a scorched look 7. Brown to black shell-less snails 8. Animals that chew the roots, as well as the bark on the trunk of a tree 9. Pear-shaped, soft-bodied, usually wingless insects 10. A fungal disease that infects peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, and apricots, causing the ripening fruit to develop rotted areas that are soft and brown Page 9

10 Part Two: Multiple Choice Instructions: Write the letter of the correct answer. 1. What is Botrytis? a. an insect b. a fungal disease c. a viral disease d. a mite 2. What is about ¼ inch in size, with a yellowish body and black stripes, and carries cucurbit wilt disease? a. Colorado potato beetle b. apple maggot c. corn earworm d. cucumber beetle 3. What viral disease of brambles and other crops causes infected plants to show discoloration of plant tissues, stunting of growth, and deformed growth? a. leaf spots and blight b. rust c. aster yellows d. verticillium wilt 4. What is a causal agent of damping-off? a. brown rot b. verticillium wilt c. Botrytis d. Pythium 5. Which insect lays an egg inside the skin of developing apples, plums, and blueberries, and the larva tunnels through the flesh of the fruit? a. apple maggot b. aphid c. cucumber beetle d. San Jose scale Part Three: Short Answer Instructions: Complete the following. List 10 general practices that are employed to manage insect and disease pest problems. Page 10

11 VM A INSECTS Aphids Cucumber Beetle Cabbage Looper Codling Moth Corn Earworm Colorado Potato Beetle (Courtesy, Agricultural Research Service, USDA) Page 11 u

12 LS A Name Identifying and Managing Plant Pests in Fruits and Vegetables Instructions: Provide the word or words to complete the following statements. 1. are pear-shaped, soft-bodied, usually wingless insects. 2. attack cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, and other related crops. They are 1-inch-long larvae that eat holes in the leaves and flowers. 3. The is a yellowish ½-inch-long beetle with brown stripes and eats potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. 4. eat holes in the leaves of cucumbers, melons, and squash. They are about ¼ inch in size. Their bodies are yellowish with black stripes. They also carry cucurbit wilt disease. 5. The is a greenish-brownish striped caterpillar about 1 inch long. It feeds on the tip of the ear. 6. The attacks stone tree fruit, including peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and cherries. It damages the inner bark from about 12 inches above the ground to about 3 inches below the ground. Serious infestations cause individual branches or entire trees to die. 7. infests apples, plums, and blueberries. The adult fly emerges between June and September. It lays an egg inside the skin of a developing fruit. The larva tunnels through the flesh of the fruit. 8. The is a pest of apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, and cherries. It feeds on branches, leaves, and fruit. Infested fruit drops, branches lose vigor and die, and leaves and fruit have a red spotted appearance. 9. The is a serious pest of the apple. The larva damages the apple by burrowing into the center of the fruit. As the larva chews its way inward, it pushes fecal material through the opening. Page 12

13 10. attack apples, peaches, pears, plums, and cherries. Larvae tunnel through the fruit and cause the fruit to drop or rot. 11. is the early death of seedlings that have germinated. 12. is a viral disease of brambles and other crops. Symptoms of infection include discoloration of plant tissues, stunting of growth, and deformed growth. The spread from one plant to another is primarily by feeding insects. 13. are fungal diseases of apple, hawthorn, juniper, and other species. Symptoms are bright yellow, orange, orange-red, reddish-brown, dark brown, or black powdery raised pustules on leaves, stems, and fruit. Leaves may wither and die, and plants may be stunted. 14. is a fungal disease common to crab apples and apples, but other species are also affected. Initially, small light brown to olive-green lesions appear on the undersides of leaves. The spots turn black; the leaves may curl; and if the petioles are infected, the leaves drop. 15. are caused by fungi and bacteria. They are common with many vegetables and fruits. Symptoms appear as small, scattered, round to oval dead areas. The appearance of the lesions varies. 16. have a variety of causal agents. They are localized dead areas in the cambium and bark of branches or trunks. They may appear sunken, flat, or swollen. They are typically discolored. They can enlarge and girdle the stem, resulting in the death of all tissue beyond the infection. 17. is a disease of plants in the rose family, including apples, pears, and quince. It is caused by a bacterium. Flowers, shoots, and branches may be attacked. Symptoms are leaves that wilt and turn brown, giving the plant a scorched look. 18. is caused by fungi. It is a vascular disease that infects both woody and herbaceous plant species. Leaves on a branch wilt and turn brown, and individual branches die back. The sapwood is discolored and has a dark streaking. 19. is a fungal disease that can attack fruit crops. It causes a brown rotting and develops fuzzy, gray mold as it produces spores. It is most common when temperatures are between 60 and 70 F, air circulation is poor, and humidity is high. 20. is a fungal disease that infects ripening peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, and apricots. Rotted areas are soft and brown. Blossoms and shoots may also wilt and turn brown. 21. are brown to black shell-less snails ranging from ½ inch to more than 1 inch long. They feed on leaves, flowers, and fruit during the night. 22. and are serious pests of apples. The animals chew the roots, as well as the bark on the trunk of a tree. Badly damaged trees die. Page 13

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