Managing Insect Pests

Need an insect identified?

Here's a form to download with instructions for sending an specimen to the Arthropod ID Lab in Durham for identification.

flea beetle damage on potato plantsBetween 10,000 and 20,000 species of insects live in New Hampshire, but  only a few damage garden plants. Many more are beneficial, and some, such as our pollinating insects, are essential to human survival. Indiscriminate use of insecticides often kills many useful insects as well as the target species.

Pest-prevention tips Proven strategies for preventing insect, disease and weed problems in home gardens.

Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management A technical manual developed for organic farmers and the professionals who work with them. Covers major diseases and insect pests of major vegetable crops. Excellent color photos of insect and disease damage in various crops.

Cornell University's Guide to 58 vegetable Varieties An "everything you need to know" about growing vegetables. Click on individual vegetable in list to get comprehensive info on plant requirements, instructions for planting and ongoing care, common insect and disease problems.

Individual insect pests UNH Cooperative Extension fact sheets cover a dozen or so individual insects pests that attack vegetable crops.


Suspect an insect pest? Get the insect identified

Correct identification is crucial when you think you have an insect problem in your garden. Here's a form to download with instructions for sending an insect (or a  tick, mite, or spider) specimen to the UNH Arthopod ID Lab in Durham for identification.


Not sure what kind of problem you have? Call our Info Lineparsley worm on dill plant

Insect damage? Plant disease? Nutrient deficiency? If you notice a problem but can't determine the cause, call the UNH Cooperative Extension's Education Center's toll-free Info Line (M-F, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.).

Before you call
Record your answers to a few questions to help the person taking your call find the right answer to your question:

  • When did you first notice the damage?
  • What part(s) of the plant is (are) affected?
  • Describe the damage.
  • How extensive is the damage?
  • Do nearby plants or crops seem to have similar damage?
  • Do you have the results of a recent soil test?
  • How did you fertilize the soil the affected plants are growing in?
  • Have you applied pesticides or herbicides of any kind on or around the affected plants?