Pests are generally attracted to a garden in pursuit of food. Leaves, fruits, and vegetables are a favorite of some pests. And if you do not care enough, your garden gets infested by all kinds of pests including aphids, caterpillars, beetles, snails, slugs, and more. Therefore, it is important to have some knowledge of pests, their habits, and their behavior. Let's look at the same below and also the preventative measures.
Common Garden Pests
Identification: Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped insects that can be green, black, brown, and even pink in color.
Eating Habits: Aphids like sucking on plants. This way they suck all the important nutrients out of the plants. This weakens and causes severe damage to plants, fruits, and crops.
Damage: Once the plants get weakened, due to compromised immunity, they catch diseases. These diseases can then spread from one plant to the other and can make your entire garden infected. Some common diseases that they can cause in plants are Potato Virus Y (PVY), Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV), Bean Common Mosaic Virus (BCMV), and Turnip Mosaic Virus (TuMV)
2. Slugs and Snails
Identification: Slugs are soft, and slimy insects whereas snails have a brittle exterior (shell). Although different looking, they both have a common appetite for plants.
Feeding Habits: These garden pests are herbivores, meaning they eat leaves, stems, petals, fruits, vegetables, and crops.
Damage: Slugs and snails leave a slimy trail on their path which can severely damage your garden by causing defoliation (weakening and breaking of leaves). This slimy trail can also spoil fruits and vegetables. Slugs can cause Fungal and Bacterial Infections and Virus Transmission in plants.
Identification: Caterpillars can be hard to spot as they are mostly green in color and therefore camouflage with a garden. They have a long, soft body with numerous legs.
Feeding Habits: Caterpillars love to feed on plants. They feed by chewing on leaves, stems, and fruits which creates holes (open wounds) in them.
Damage: These holes (open wounds) are not only aesthetically not pleasing but can also cause fungal and bacterial infections in plants.
Identification: Garden beetles come in a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes, but they all have hard exoskeletons, six legs, and antennae in common.
Feeding Habits: Beetles feed mostly on plant leaves, especially plants that have soft leaves. Plants that are repeatedly nibbled on could suffer significant damage.
Damage: One of the most common damage caused by beetles is skeletonization. This means they chew the leaf foliage and leave out the veins of the leaves. Without the leaves, the plants become unable to perform photosynthesize and lose their ability to grow and yield crops. Beetles also cause fungal and bacterial infections in plants as they chew on stems and leaves leaving open wounds.
Effective Strategies for Garden Pest Control
Make sure your garden is clean and tidy. A messy and disorganized garden with dead leaves can attract pests and in turn diseases.
Rotate your crops annually to disturb the life cycles of pests that specialize in specific plants.
Use organic solutions like, diatomaceous earth, or garlic spray to control garden pests without harming beneficial insects.
For larger pests like caterpillars and beetles, a different approach may be necessary. Simply pick them off your plants and relocate them elsewhere, outside your garden.
Use barriers like copper tape to keep slugs, snails, and similar pests away from your plants.
Check your plants regularly for signs of pest damage. Early detection can prevent an infestation from spreading.
In severe infestations that cannot be controlled or when dealing with unfamiliar pests, its better to consult a pest control professional or expert.
One such expert in pest control is Ridaway. RidAway provides quick solutions to urgent problems. They use biologically friendly pesticides that leave your home safe to return to. The best part is that they are state-licensed and industry-certified. From terminates to rodents to bed bugs, there's a huge world of creepy critters of all shapes ‘n’ sizes. RidAway’s pest control experts know exactly how to protect your home against any unwelcome guest. For a quick solution to an urgent intrusion, RidAway is ready to come to your rescue.