COMMON GARDEN PESTS TO WATCH OUT FOR, AND THE BEST PEST CONTROL TECHNIQUES TO GET RID OF THEM
Wherever there are gardens, there will always be garden pests. That is how it has always been and will always be; Mother Nature intended it that way. But still, this is really no reason to fret; not all garden pests inflict considerable damage to gardens, and in fact, gardens even turn out healthy despite the presence of pests. It is all just a matter of knowing how much pests our gardens plants can tolerate.
In case the effect of these pests in your garden becomes too much to tolerate, then the first thing you should do is identify the pests that are attacking your plants in the first place. This way, you would know the steps you should take to get rid of that particular pest.
We have listed below some of the garden pests you may come across with.
Common garden pests encountered
Animals – Not many people have realized it, but even their pets can be considered dangerous to garden plants. Somehow, they mow down on leaves and fruits from the garden. Other animals that are guilty of this are deer, rabbits, raccoons, and birds. Just imagine waking up one day with your almost ripe fruits and vegetables being stolen, and your garden damaged! I am sure you would be outraged if that happens.
To prevent these animals from attacking your garden, put up a fence. Or you may put some natural repellents, like essential oils, vinegar, or other offensive odors.
Aphids – There are around 4,000 species of aphids throughout the world. They look like miniature pears. They are just ⅛ inch long with very long antennae and spiked tubes protruding from their back. Their bodies are soft and may come in different colors like green, yellow, brown, red, or black. In general, aphids do not have wings, but some may grow wings if their population becomes too high. They have to suck mouthparts that are suited for sucking the juices from the plants. This is why heavy infestation of aphids results to curling of the leaves or wilting, and in addition, stunted growth.
Several aphid species can also transmit diseases to plants. They also cause a decline in the overall plant vigor.
Bean leaf beetle – The adult bean leaf beetle is a ¼ inch long, they could be yellow, green, or red in color. They have characteristic markings that can be different from each other; yet all of them have black triangle marks at the front of the elytra. They like to feed on soybeans, snap beans, and other legumes. Signs that your plants have been attacked by the bean leaf beetle include round holes in the foliage, stunted growth, and cosmetic damage to pods late in the season.
Blister beetles – There are 250 kinds of blister beetles spread across the United States. The adults vary in size and color. Most species are 2 inches long. They have soft bodies, wide heads with an antenna. They have long legs and soft wings. These pests contain a toxin called cantharidin. If swallowed by both humans and animals, it can cause injuries. Four to six grams of dead blister beetles can be lethal.
Aside from its toxicity, blister beetles can destroy both garden and commercial plants. They will feed just about any leaves in the garden. They cluster together when they feed, so there is a good chance that one hay bale will contain a concentration of these insects. They feed on tomato, potato, eggplant, and leafy greens too.
Stink bugs – These insects are oval-shaped bugs that are usually 2 cm in length. The color of their bodies can be black, brown, or bright green. When they feel that they are in danger, they release chemicals that stink as self-defense. This discourages predators from attacking. Stink bugs are so annoying because of their odor. These chemicals come from glands located at the thorax. Stink bugs can fly because they have wings. These wings are folded when not flying. They are such pests because they feed on garden plants and crops. They also prefer fleshy fruits but can eat just about any kinds of plants. This causes damage to crops, which could lead to early decay and spoilage and also discoloration.
Cutworm – They are stout, soft-bodied insects that are 1 to 2 inches long and gray to dark brown in color. Whenever they are at rest, they curl up; whenever they are disturbed they curl up too. These insects are nocturnal so they feed at night. During the day, they burrow into the soil.
Cutworms attack a wide variety of plants, including cauliflower, beets, kale, broccoli, and cabbage. They also frequently attack turfgrass. The larvae attack the stems and eventually cutting the plants down.
Whiteflies – The size of the whiteflies is about 1/12 of an inch. They have soft bodies and with wings attached to their bodies. They are active during the day. They are found in clusters under the leaves of plants. Whiteflies eat the sap or plant juices; when the whiteflies feed on the sap, the plant weakens and would not be able to perform photosynthesis. The leaves of the plants would just wilt, and the plants die.
Psyllid – Adult psyllids are small, just about 1/10 inch long. They are reddish brown in color and are equipped with wings. They are definitely garden pests; each species feed on only one specific type of plant.
They are also called jumping plant lice since they have strong jumping legs. They feed on a variety of fruit plants and trees, and even tomato and potato.
Cabbage maggot – Cabbage maggots destroy plants by creating holes that become entry points for disease organisms. When the cabbage root flies lay eggs at the base of the plant. When these eggs hatch, they become this small, white legless worms. They destroy cabbages by slowly burrowing through the roots. Their eggs do not hatch when the weather is hot, and hatch only during the cool season, and for this reason, they attack only cool weather plants like the cabbage. They can also invade carrots, beets, broccoli, radishes, and turnips. Wilting plants could be a sign of the presence of these maggots. You may then check for the presence of maggots at the roots. To control cabbage maggots population and to protect your garden, simply put row covers over the plants. If your cabbage already has maggots, you should pull the plant out and destroy it just to prevent the spread of the cabbage maggots.
Once you have identified these pests, you can get rid of them with a myriad of organic pest control products.
The best organic pest control techniques
- Parasitic nematodes – These parasites find their way inside pests. Once inside a pest, they release a bacteria that would kill the pest within 1 or 2 days. You may purchase parasitic nematodes from a local gardening store near you. This may sound weird, but once you purchase them, you may put the nematodes in your refrigerator until such time as you want to use them. The nematodes will last there for 4 months. Mix the nematodes with water then apply. DO not save any of the mixes because they would be useless in a few hours.
- Diatomaceous earth – Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of diatoms. It is like little shards of broken glass, that is why it works by inflicting small cuts on the bodies of these insects, causing them to bleed to death. To use, sprinkle around the plant to shield it from crawling insects. Re-apply every time it rains.
- Floating row covers – This is a translucent, porous polyester fabric that works as a barrier from insects, and at the same time allowing light to pass through it and reaching the plants underneath it. You can simply lay it on your plants, just cut it to the needed length.
- Chilli pepper insecticide – You can create a very effective homemade insecticide using chili pepper to kill a variety of garden pests. You can use either fresh chili peppers or the powdered form. For chili powder, put 1 tablespoon of the chili powder and in a quart of water and several drops of liquid soap. Spray this on the leaves of the affected plant.
If all else fails, you can always turn to the best pest control management in North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth is simply the best
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family corporation that uses the latest and most advanced technology in the business, making our pest control service to you more efficient, safer and more convenient. Our expert experience in exterminating pests like cockroaches, wasps, weevils, mosquitoes, mice, flies, termites, ants, and spiders can really make you say goodbye to these pests in your home. You may check us on Facebook or Google us to see what our satisfied customers have to say about us.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.