PESTS OF CARROT

Since carrots are root crops, soil-inhabiting pests such as wireworms and vegetable weevils have the most direct effect on produce quality. Armyworms, however, may cause indirect injury to the taproot by cutting stems and/or consuming foliage above ground. Few other insect problems are common in North Carolina.

KEY TO CARROT PESTS

A. Chewing insects that cut holes or entire leaves

  1. Caterpillars with three pairs of legs and five pairs of prolegs

    1. Armyworm - This pale green to yellowish or brownish-green, smooth-bodied caterpillar up to 35 mm long has three dark longitudinal stripes and a tan or greenish-brown head mottled with darker brown (Fig. 67). It feeds primarily at night onfoliage and succulent stems

    2. Parsleyworm - This yellowish-green caterpillar up to 40 mm long has transverse black bands and deep yellow or orange spots. The head is greenish-yellow with black stripes (Fig. 68). When disturbed, a pair of horn-like scent organs protrudes from behind the head. They feed during the day

    3. Yellow woollybear - This caterpillar is white to yellow or brown or red and has dense white hairs covering its body (Fig. 69). Young larvae feed in colonies on the underside of leaves; older larvae disperse and feed anywhere

  2. Vegetable leafminer - These bright yellow maggots grow up to 3.0 mm long and make S-shaped leaf mines which are often enlarged at one end (Fig. 70). Heavily infested leaves sometimes turn brown

  3. Vegetable weevil and larva - Dull grayish-brown weevil with a short, stout snout and light V-shaped marks on wing covers, feeding primarily at night on buds and foliage (Fig. 71A). Both weevils and grubs are about 6.4 mm long. The pale green legless larvae grow up to 10 mm long and have dark mottled heads (Fig. 71B)

B. Insect with needle-like mouthparts that cause foliage to be yellowed or distorted

  1. Aster leafhopper - Yellowish-green aster leafhoppers are up to 5 mm long and have six black spots on front of head (Fig. 72). Nymphs are sometimes light brown instead of yellow or green

  2. Tarnished plant bug - Oval-shaped brown bugs are up to 6.4 mm long and have long legs, long antennae, and a white triangle between its "shoulders" (Fig. 73A). Nymphs are yellowish-green to green with black spots on its back (Fig. 73B)

C. Insects that feed on underground plant parts

  1. Vegetable weevil and larva - Dull grayish-brown weevil with a short, stout snout and a light V-shaped marks on wing covers, feeding primarily at night on buds and foliage (Fig. 71A). Both weevils and grubs are about 6.4 mm long. The pale green legless larvae grow up to 10 mm long and have dark mottled heads (Fig. 71B). Vegetable weevils feed at night, often attacking large taproots

  2. Southern potato wireworm - These slender, wire-like, cylindrical larvae have three pairs of short legs and a pair of fleshy anal prolegs (Fig. 74). The white, cream, or yellow-gray larvae have red-orange heads and grow to 17 mm long. The last abdominal segment has a closed oval notch. These wireworms form irregular holes in infested taproots

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