There aren’t many pests that attack turnips, but some insects do find this root crop yummy and when they do, the damage can be pretty significant.
Insect pests can do direct and indirect harm to turnips or any other vegetable for that matter. Some insects feed on the fruit and do direct damage. Some do indirect damage by eating the leaves or sucking the plant’s sap.
Although in some cases, the harm is not that extensive or directly damaging, the plant still is affected in some ways. They are unable to produce fruit if they lose too much leaves and some can get contaminated by disease transmitted by these pests.
Two different types of flea beetle attack turnips – cabbage flea beetle and striped flea beetle. Both eat holes on turnips’ first leaves, chew stems and can do extensive damage if not controlled.
Aphids, caterpillars, root maggots and grub also feed on turnips. Aphids, or what we commonly know as turnip louse, feed on the underside of the leaves of turnips making them curl and turn yellow.
Vegetable Weevils are leaf-feeders but can also damage the stems and roots. You will see them crawling on plant crowns and leaves.
Marked in striking yellow, black or red, Harlequin Bugs eat collards, cabbage and turnip leaves, leaving sunken spots and blotches on the part where they fed.
Remedy and Control
When pests attack your turnips, worry not. There are steps that can be taken to successfully control or eliminate these pests. In fact, some infestation can be avoided altogether even before they begin to happen.
Like with flea beetles. These pests can be prevented by simply applying insecticide to the soil when planting. Covering your turnips with row covers can avoid root maggots from harming your crops.
Malathion and carbaryl will help eliminate vegetable weevils and rotating the garden site, cultivation and tillage can help reduce the level of infestation.
You may also choose to grow turnip varieties such as Forage Star which has the ability to resist aphids. Harlequin bugs can be eliminated by hand-picking eggs from small forages. Spraying carbaryl, malathion or permethrin will also help.
Tags: Growing Turnips