Common Garden Pests

a snail on a plant

Not all garden inhabitants are good. While some of them can be very beneficial, some are just plain parasites that harm your plants (and even you). To keep your garden safe and help it continuously thrive, every gardener must know how to avoid or remove these pests. But with the number of bugs, insects and other friendly creatures in a garden, it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate the good from the bad. Here are some common garden pests, how you can identify them, and how you can get rid of them in your garden

Aphids

One if the most common plant pest in the world with about 4000 different species. They favor feeding on new plant growth and feed by the cluster. They are small, soft bodied insects that can either be white, yellow, brown or green in color, depending on the species. They reproduce rapidly and when overpopulation occurs, some of these aphids develop wings (yikes!). Once they reach this level, they can be very harmful to the plant, stunting growth, reducing vigor and causing leaves to wilt, curl, and turn yellow. To control an aphid infestation, you can easily cut off heavily infested leaves and throw them away. For heavier infestations, you can try spraying botanical insecticides or introducing ladybugs in your garden. These ladybugs will feed and feed on your aphid colonies until none are left and the great thing about them is that you do not need to introduce harmful pesticides in your garden.

Blister Beetle

Not only do these beetles destroy crops and garden plants, they can be extremely toxic. When crushed, they secrete a blistering agent called catharidin, as the description suggests, contact with this fluid will destroy tissue. The secretion is so potent; it has been used in products for wart removal. This makes the Blister Beetle harmful to plants, humans and livestock that are near the infestation. When ingested, the catharidin toxin can damage the stomach lining and urinary tract, and can be lethal-even after dead bugs have dried out. the There are about 250 species of the Blister Beetle with varying size and color, and can sometimes be confused with the Asparagus Beetle, another garden pest. Most of these beetles are usually ½ to an inch long with long legs and antennae. Small infestations can be handled by hand picking, just be sure to wear protective gloves to avoid any injury. Put the beetles in a container with soapy water. For larger infestations, try adding diatomaceous earth around affected areas or a garden insect spray. Birds also play a good role in eliminating these beetles without the use of pesticides, invite birds in your garden by providing feed and water source.

Slugs and Snails

These slimy, creepy crawlers have earned quite a negative reputation for gardeners. Usually found in damp, shady areas, they lurk under rocks, heavily mulched, or shady areas in your garden. These nocturnal creatures while glide and slide along your garden, leaving a trail as they munch on seedlings, low hanging fruits and leafy vegetables and plants that they can reach. Handpicking can greatly reduce their numbers. You can also create a bait with shallow containers with beer. The yeast in the beer attracts them and will fall into the container and drown. Opting for rubber mulch instead of organic mulch will also lessen the dark, damp environment that slugs and snails love.

Termites

These wood munchers can create nests in the roots of your plants. While they mostly consume dead wood, some of them have been reported eat the plants and even crops like bell peppers. That and their nests nestling on your plant’s roots makes them vulnerable to other garden pests! Non chemical options include introducing beneficial nematodes in your garden. They seek out a wide range of garden pests including termites. Another alternative is to swap out organic mulch with rubber mulch to discourage termite infestation in your garden as they cannot feed on those.

 

There are many harmful pests that can grow and thrive in your garden. They will always find your garden as it begins to thrive or grow beautifully. The important part is taking precautions and learning to recognize the common culprits and nip their growth by the bud so that they do not create extensive damage.

 

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