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Pest Management

WVU Extension Service agents and specialists field complaints from people and property owners across the Mountain State. Learn about common pests.

Browse the Pest Identification Guide

Keep your lawn, garden and buildings pest-free with an integrated pest management strategy. WVU Extension Service helps prevent, identify and find solutions to problems.

Pest Identification Guide

Asian Lady Beetles

Asian Lady Beetles

Asian lady beetles are attracted to light-colored exterior surfaces, such as white or yellow, and will often congregate in areas exposed to afternoon sun.

Asian Lady Beetle Description
Asian Lady Beetle Damage
Asian Lady Beetle Control
bed bug

Bed Bugs

Eradication of bedbugs requires a multistep approach that includes thorough cleaning, applying pesticides, and preventing reinfestation.

Bed Bug Description
Bed Bug Damage
Bed Bug Control
A cluster of boxelder bugs on a wood plank.

Boxelder Bugs

In the spring and in the fall, boxelder bugs can be found gathering in warm, sunny outdoor locations. They can become indoor pests in the fall when they invade structures to find a place to overwinter.

Boxelder Bug Description
Boxelder Bug Life Cycle
Boxelder Bug Damage & Control
stink bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

Stink bugs can enter cracks as small as 1/16 to 1/8 inch around windows, doors, eaves and overhangs, dryer vents, and are an annoyance indoors.

Stink Bug Description
Stink Bug Damage
Stink Bug Control
cicada

Cicadas

Consider postponing the planting of new trees and covering existing young trees with a fine mesh netting during cicadas egg-laying period.

Periodic & Annual Cicadas
Cicada Damage
Cicada Control
potato bug

Colorado Potato Beetles

Plants commonly attacked by Colorado potato beetle include potato, eggplant, tomato and pepper.

Colorado Potato Beetle Description
Colorado Potato Beetle Control

Corn Earworm

Corn Earworm

Corn earworm is the primary economic pest of sweet corn in West Virginia. Infestations of corn earworm result from migrant moths carried northward on storm fronts during mid-to-late summer.

Corn Earworm Control
Adult spotted and striped cucumber beetles on a leaf.

Cucumber Beetles

Cucumber beetles are one of the most serious insect pests of cucurbit vegetables (e.g., cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash).

Cucumber Beetle Description
Cucumber Beetle Damage
Cucumber Beetle Control
Fall webworm on a tree.

Fall Webworms

Fall webworm larvae are a common defoliator of a number of ornamental and fruit trees throughout West Virginia.

About Fall Webworm
Fall Webworm Control
harlequin beetle

Harlequin Bugs

Plants commonly attacked by harlequin bugs include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish and turnips.

Harlequin Bug Description
Harlequin Bug Damage
Harlequin Bug Control
japanese beetle

Japanese Beetles

Adult Japanese beetles feed on the foliage, flowers, and/or fruit of more than 300 different plant species and are considered a major pest of many popular horticultural and agricultural plants.

Japanese Beetle Description
Japanese Beetle Damage
Japanese Beetle Control
adult plum curculio

Plum Curculio

Plum curculio cause considerable damage to apple, pear, apricot, peach, plum, nectarine, cherry and other tree fruits.

Plum Curculio Description
Plum Curculio Symptoms
Plum Curculio Control
yellow poplar weevil

Poplar Tree Pests

Tuliptree scale and yellow- poplar weevil can both cause a sticky, black substance to cover yellow (tulip) poplar trees, damage leaves and scar the ground.

Tuliptree Scale Damage
Poplar Weevil Damage
Poplar Tree Pest Control
adult spotted lanternfly on bark

Spotted Lanternflies

Be on the lookout for a new invasive insect pest, the spotted lanternfly, which attacks several host plants such as grapes, hops, and various fruit and timber trees.

Spotted Lanternfly Description
Spotted Lanternfly Damage
Spotted Lanternfly Control
Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted wing drosophila targets any fruits, vegetables, and/or ornamentals that have soft skin, presenting an easy target for gravid females to deposit their eggs.

Spotted Wing Drosphilia Description
Spotted Wing Drosphilia Damage
Spotted Wing Drosphilia Control
Tick on a leaf

Ticks

If an attached tick is found, remove it using thin-tipped tweezers or forceps. Grasp the tick as close to skin as possible and pull the tick upward with steady even pressure to remove the tick with its mouthparts intact to reduce the risk of infection.

Tick Descriptions
Tick Management
white grub

White Grubs

White grubs feed below the soil surface on the roots of grasses. Early symptoms of feeding injury include grass wilting or yellowing, and the appearance of scattered, dead patches of grass.

White Grub Description
White Grub Damage
White Grub Control

Other Pests

Nuisance Wildlife

Beautiful in their natural habitat, wildlife can be problematic pests where people live, work and play. Learn what you can do to avoid and control wildlife.


IPM Chronicle

Yes it’s true: Genetically engineered mosquitoes

mosquitoe sucking blood from human skin

Modifying the genes of mosquitoes can transform these pests into a weapon capable of fighting disease. Zika, dengue and chikungunya are all viral diseases spread by the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Because there are no cures for these viruses, health officials are eager to find new methods to slow their spread. Genetically engineered mosquitoes are being studied as a tool for this reason.

Scientists are modifying the genome of A. aegypti mosquitoes by inserting a gene into the insect that prevents its offspring from surviving to adulthood. This gene, tTAV (tetracycline repressible transactivator variant), makes a non-toxic protein that essentially ties up the machinery inside the insect’s cells, so that genes key to survival are not expressed and the insect dies.

Read this article and more in the latest edition of the IPM Chronicle


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