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Problem & Solution
July/August 2014

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Mystery Insects
Problem: I have some small white or brown insects (some are white, some are brownish) on many of my garden plants, primarily beans, eggplants and bell peppers. They are stripping the beans and eggplants, not doing too much damage to the peppers. I’d like to know what they are (I’ve not seen them before this year) and what I can do to get rid of them.

Leaf notcher weevils on eggplant.

Colin Carlile

Solution: We passed this assignment along to Patty Leander, contributing writer and vegetable expert Here is what she came up with:

“If you look closely, they look a little weevil-ish. I sent the photo to Wizzie Brown, extension entomologist, Travis County, and after a little research she identified them as the leaf notcher weevil. More info here:

“Organic controls include handpicking, sucking up with a vacuum, or a product that contains azadirachtin, spinosad or pyrethrins. She says naturally-derived products may not work as well as conventional since they are beetles and have a slightly hard shell.”

Strange Invasion
Problem: I am growing beets in my garden, along with tomatoes and beans, and I am getting these small roots that are covering the beets. Any thoughts as to what they are? They are not growing from the ground, but they are covering the entire beet crop and I just now noticed they are moving towards my tomato plants! I just removed lots of them, but they are very aggressive. The only guess I have is that they are sprouting from a small seed/flower and spreading. They seem to be killing the beets, although that might be time for the beets to be harvested, which is why I am noticing some leaves are drying.

Dodder is a parasitic plant that will take over your garden.

Nuri Nuri

Solution: Skip Richter, extension horticulturist, Houston, and contributing editor, tells us that is dodder, a parasitic plant. You should pull it all up and not let it go to seed. The following web sites offer more information on dodder:

Vines for Texas
Problem: I would like a climbing vine for shady areas. Also, for sunny areas. Could you suggest some varieties that might grow in our Texas climate and maybe come back each year?

Pat Watkins

Solution: We have written several articles on vines for Texas in past issues. You can find those articles in our index. It is online at our home page. Most of our past issues are available as single print copies or digital volumes either by ordering online or calling toll-free 1-800-727-9020. Two of our favorite vines are crossvine and coral honeysuckle. Both are natives and will grow in sun or part shade, and come back every year without much care.