Celery insect pest update for Michigan
Two lepidopteran pests of celery are becoming active in west Michigan, and now is the time to effectively manage them.
Celery leaf tier adults are flying in Michigan, which means that egglaying is ongoing at this time. Insecticides with pyrethroid as the active ingredient are effective in controlling adults and caterpillars of this insect, and now may be a good time to reach the small, hatching larvae before they move down to feed on celery hearts or roll up leaves where they are protected from contact insecticides.
To read more on celery leaf tiers, check out these two articles:
- Greenhouse leaf tier (a.k.a. celery leaf tier), Tom Dudek, Michigan State University Extension
- Celery leaf tier are present, Zsofia Szendrei, Michigan State University
Variegated cutworm adults have been caught in pheromone traps in west Michigan. This marks the beginning of the second adult flight and it also means that egglaying is starting. Variegated cutworms can cause serious damage in celery if left uncontrolled because the larvae feed on the heart of growing and mature plants.
Insecticides that contain the active ingredients carbamate (such as Lannate) or pyrethroid can provide effective control of this insect. If the insecticide is applied when eggs are just hatching or larvae are still small, they are easier to reach and destroy.
To read more on variegated cutworms, see:
- Variegated Cutworm Update, University of Wisconsin
- Cutworms in Home Gardens, University of Minnesota Extension
Michigan State University is not supporting the use of any particular insecticide brand. When using pesticides, always follow the label recommendations.
Dr. Szendrei’s work is funded in part by MSU‘s AgBioResearch.